Cultivation Diary: Is There Anything I Can Improve on?

Meng Xing

PureInsight | September 5, 2005

[] I often praise my son when he puts his toys away, when he says, "Thank you for making such a delicious meal, mommy" before eating or when he is tolerant, generous or considerate. Sometimes other people will also pay him compliments when he behaves well. I think these timely praises are a positive reinforcement to his good behaviors, but sometimes I fear they might promote his attachment to showing-off.

Yesterday I finally thought of a way to teach him how to respond to compliments as a young cultivator. I told my son, "Chen Chen, when Mommy praises you for your good behavior, it is time for you to ask yourself, 'Is there anything I can improve on?' If you think of something that other kids do well but you haven't done well, you should say so to the person who pays you a compliment. If you happen to be with other kids, you should also tell the person who pays you a compliment, 'This kid does this well and that kid does that very well.'" My son listened to what I said intently. He said, "So that is how I should be?" Then I repeated what I had just said to reinforce his impression.

Because he paid good attention to my suggestion and showed his approval, I praised him as a reward. He said, "Thank you, Mommy." He then went over to sit on the other side of the room and looked as though he was thinking, "Is there anything I can improve on?"

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