Parent Tips

Whose trash is it? The cultivation of children’s character must be achieved through home-school cooperation to be successful

Written by: Mr. Cheung Wai Ching, Principal


There are two scenes in front of us:


Scene One:

On a bustling street, a little boy walking with his parents notices a discarded soda can at his feet. He picks up the can, intending to throw it into a nearby trash bin. However, his mother sees this and demands that he throw the can away, but the boy refuses. Then, his father comes over and scolds him, “Idiot, how can you pick up such dirty things? You’re not a street cleaner!” The little boy responds, “The teacher said we should protect the environment and not litter!” The mother says, “You didn’t throw it, so why bother?” The little boy looks confused but has no choice but to throw the trash back on the ground.


Scene Two:

On a crowded train station platform, a young mother is with a boy about 5 or 6 years old. After finishing his juice, the boy casually throws the empty box under the seat. The mother quickly picks up the empty box, hands it to her son, and says, “Good boy, throw the empty box into the trash bin in front.” A moment later, the mother and son hug each other affectionately, and the mother softly says to her son, “We must protect the environment and not litter!”


Isn’t the boy in Scene One quite pitiful? He must be confused by the different educational methods of his parents and teacher.


School education, besides teaching children textbook knowledge, also emphasizes moral education. Protecting the environment is a well-known principle. When schools and teachers are fully cultivating this sense of public morality in children, if parents can cooperate with the school, encourage children to follow the teacher’s guidance, and set an example themselves, children can receive positive education, rather than learning one set of standards at school and facing another in real life.


Home-School Cooperation in Cultivating Children’s Character

Schools have many requirements for students, such as punctuality, discipline, orderliness, service, and cleanliness, all of which are part of moral education. The aim is for children to realize from a young age that they are part of society and have responsibilities and obligations, not just to gain benefits. Imagine, if the boy in Scene One, after hearing his parents’ reasoning, adopts the mindset of “since I didn’t throw it, I don’t need to pick it up” even at home, what would the parents think? Every parent hopes their child will consciously care for the cleanliness of their home environment and appreciate their parents’ hard work. But have you ever thought: if you never teach your child to respect the labor of cleaners, and never personally demonstrate care for the larger social environment in front of your child, how will the child learn to care for the small environment at home?

helped by elders or domestic helpers. Some children even believe that it is the domestic helper’s job to take care of them, so there is no need to be particularly polite to them. Additionally, few schoolchildren say “good morning,” “good night,” or “let’s eat” to their parents.


Why do children lack manners? It is because parents themselves do not say “thank you” to others or to domestic helpers. Some parents frequently or occasionally rebuke and scold elders or interrupt others while they are speaking. Besides occupying seats on public transportation, some parents also cut in line or do not queue in public places. Parents and teachers are role models for children, and our every word and action constantly influence their values. Parents must always be vigilant about their behavior and should try to correct their children’s impolite attitudes immediately, but remember to use appropriate tone and language. Parents should also take time each day to guide their children to reflect on their mistakes, making the lessons more impactful. The cultivation of children’s character must be achieved through home-school cooperation, with parents playing an even more crucial role than teachers.

error: Content is protected !!