May our children be all-rounders

Happiness is when you realise your children have turned out to be good people.

—  Unknown

I was bemused to read a story about a Peking University professor who was complaining about his daughter’s poor academic scores in a video that went viral recently.

The story was highlighted by the South China Morning Post. Ding Yanqing, an associate professor at the university’s Graduate School of Education, said in the video he released on Douyin, known as TikTok outside China, that his daughter was a pupil at Peking University Primary School. He added she was second-last in her class in terms of academic performance despite his great efforts.

The professor lamented he was at a loss and added, “This is destiny. I cannot do anything about it.”

He revealed that everyday after picking her from school, he would take her to his office “to force her to study or do homework.”

“During this time every day, everybody on the third floor where my office is located can hear the yelling and screaming from me or my daughter,” he said in the video.

These words make me smile. I have undergone the same ordeal while teaching my nephews and nieces at home. Luckily, all of them fared better in class than the professors’ daughter; none came last or second-last in their classes.

Although the professor’s video has received more than 1.7 million likes on the Douyin platform, I think it must have been embarrassing for the little girl to know her father was making disparaging remarks about her publicly on social media.

The professor’s video has been viewed more than 460 million times on Weibo, with 45,000 comments left on the website.

One person left a very apt comment — “This is the reality of the world.” Yes, indeed, we don’t always get what we want in life.

A clever man may marry a clever wife in the hope of having clever children. But will the children be as clever as the man? I don’t know much about DNA and will be interested to find out what experts have to say about this.

In life, if you have smart children who excel in their academic studies, that is a blessing. If our children do well in school, they can land good jobs later in life and make life better for themselves and for us.

Education has helped many poor families to escape poverty; hence the emphasis on good education by the Malaysian government.

But as parents, do we just want children who are only good in studies and don’t care about the people around them?

No, we want all-rounders, children who are smart as well as compassionate, caring, disciplined, filial, have good moral values and fear God.

Good academic performance does not guarantee success in life. Some people say to succeed in life, you need determination, skill, passion, discipline and luck. Others say the ability to adapt to rapidly changing environment is vital to success.

And Thomas Edison, the genius who invented the light bulb, reminded us, “Genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.” According to him, to succeed in life, we need inspiration and a lot of hard work.

In life, we have a lot of clever people to thank for. They include Thomas Edison, who gave us the light bulb, inventors of electricity, mobile phones, computers, gas stoves, ovens, rice cookers, cars, modern medicines, etc, which have made our lives so much easier.

For instance, without the kerosene and gas stoves as well as ovens and electricity, we have to look for wood to start fires before we can cook. Without the modern medicines which come in the form of pills and syrups, we have to look for herbs to boil in order to cure our sicknesses.

Since our intelligence is a blessing from God, we should, like all the inventors of the modern gadgets, use it wisely to make the world a better place for everyone to live in. We should not use it to commit frauds and other forms of crimes that hurt other people.

If we have clever children, we must thank God for his gift and teachour children to be compassionate, caring and compassionate, disciplined, filial, have good moral values and fear God.

If like the professor in the video, our children are not as smart as we are, we should love them for what they are and teach them the good values in life. Never mind if our children are not gifted academically. Let them finish their education — even if they keep finishing last or second-last in class. One day, with their education, they can earn a decent living and be successful in life.

As parents, we should not try to relive our lives through our children. Let our children live their own lives.