拿什么给你,我的孩子? What Do Parents Owe Their Children?

2021年1月27日
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拿什么给你,我的孩子?  What Do Parents Owe Their Children?

If I had to select a word that best describes the majority of American parents, that word would be guilt-ridden. They feel guilty because they always think that they owe their children something. Then what do parents owe their children? And I shall start with what they don't owe them.

如果非要选择一个最能恰如其分地形容大多数美国父母的词,这个词便是“内疚”。因为他们总觉得他们欠了子女什么东西。那么,父母究竟欠子女什么呢?我将从他们不亏欠子女的东西谈起。

Parents don't owe their children every minute of their day and every ounce of their energy. They don't owe them round-the-clock car service, singing lessons, tennis lessons, expensive bicycle, and a motorcycle.

父母不必把分分秒秒、点点滴滴的精力都花在子女身上。他们无须为子女提供24小时的车接车送服务,让他们上音乐课和网球课,不必给他们买很贵的自行车和摩托车。

They don't owe them a car when they reach sixteen, or a trip to Europe when they graduate from high school.

子女满16岁时,父母不欠他们一辆小汽车;当子女中学毕业时,也不必出钱让他们去欧洲旅行。

I take the firm position that parents do not owe their children a college education. If they can afford it, fine: they can certainly send them to the best universities. But they must not feel guilty if they can't. If the children really want to study, they'll find a way. There are plenty of loans and scholarships for the bright and eager who can't afford to pay.

我坚持认为父母不一定要供养子女上大学。如果付得起,那很好;他们当然可以把子女送到一流大学去读书。但供养不起亦无须感到愧疚。如果子女真愿意上大学,他们会找到办法。有许多贷款和奖学金供那些聪明好学而无力支付学费的年轻人申请。

After children marry, their parents do not owe them a down payment on a house or money for the furniture.

子女结婚后,父母不必为他们的新房预付订金,或出钱给他们买家具。

They do not have an obligation to baby-sit or take their grandchildren in their home when the parents are on vacation. If they want to do it, it must be considered a favor, not an obligation.

子女休假时,他们没有义务照顾孙子们,或是把孩子们领回家中看管。倘若父母乐意这么做,子女应看成是恩惠而非尽一种义务。

In my opinion, parents do not owe their children an inheritance, no matter how much money they have.

在我看来,无论父母多有钱都不必给子女留下一笔遗产。

One of the surest ways to produce a loafer is to let children know that their future is assured.

培养懒汉最万无一失的方法之一便是让孩子知道他们的前途确有保障。

Do parents owe their children anything? Yes, they owe them a great deal.

那父母就不欠子女什么了吗?欠,他们欠子女很多。

One of the chief obligations is to give their children a sense of personal worth, for self-esteem is the basis of a good mental health. A youngster, who is constantly made to feel stupid and unworthy, constantly compared to brighter brothers, sisters, or cousins, will become so unsure, so afraid of failing, that he won't try at all.

主要的责任之一便是使子女感到自身的价值所在,因为只有自尊自重才是健康的精神状态的基础。一个年轻人如果老是被拿来同更聪明的兄弟姐妹或亲戚家的孩子们相比较,老是觉得自己愚蠢透顶,毫无价值,那么他就会变得缺乏自信,害怕失败,以至于不敢做出任何尝试。

Of course, they should be corrected when they do wrong—this is the way children learn. But the criticism should be balanced with praises, preferably with a smile and a kiss. No child is ever too old to be hugged.

当然,孩子有错误应当及时纠正,这样孩子才能有所长进。但是批评与表扬应该并重,最好是面带微笑并亲吻一下。不管孩子多大,拥抱一下总不为过。

Parents owe their children firm guidance and consistent discipline. It is frightening for a youngster to feel that he is in charge of himself; it is like being in a car without brakes. Once parents establish some rules they have to adhere to them, and cannot change them constantly.

父母应该给予子女坚定不移的引导,始终如一的管教。让一个年轻人感到随心所欲是件令人害怕的事,就像坐在一辆没有刹车的汽车里一样。父母一旦定下规矩,他们就得坚持下去,不能朝令夕改。

Parents owe their children some strong belief, which will become their spiritual pillar. The fact that so many strange cults are enjoying such success is proof that children feel the need for something spiritual in their life.

父母应该给孩子培养某种坚定的信仰,使之成为他们精神的支柱。如此之多千奇百怪的信仰崇拜能大行其道,这一事实便证明了孩子们在生活中需要某种精神的东西。

Parents owe their children a comfortable feeling about their body and enough information about sex to balance the misinformation that they will surely receive from their friends.

父母要使子女身心健康并传授他们足够的性知识以纠正他们从朋友那里得来的错误信息。

Parents owe their children privacy and respect for their personal belongings. This means not borrowing things without permission, not reading diaries and mail, not looking through purses, pockets, and drawers. If a mother feels that she must read her daughter's diary to know what is going on, the communication between them must be pretty bad.

父母应该允许子女有自己的隐私,尊重他们的个人物品。这意味着未经允许不要使用他们的东西,不私自阅读他们的日记和邮件,不翻他们的钱包、口袋和抽屉。如果母亲感到必须要偷看女儿的日记才能了解情况的话,那母女间的沟通就存在很大的问题了。

Parents owe their children a set of solid values around which to build their lives. This means teaching them to respect the rights and opinions of others; it means being respectful to elders, to teachers, and to the law. The best way to teach such values is by example.

父母应该给子女建立一套坚不可摧的道德标准,教他们该如何为人处世。这就意味着要教育他们尊重别人的权益和意见;意味着要尊敬老人,尊敬老师,遵纪守法。而传授这些道德标准最好的办法就是以身作则。

A child who is lied to will lie. A child who sees his parents steal tools from the factory or towels from a hotel will think that it is all right to steal. A youngster who sees no laughter and no love in the home will have a difficult time laughing and loving.

如果你对子女说谎,反过来他们也会对你说谎。如果子女看到父母偷工厂里的工具或是旅馆里的毛巾,他们就会认为偷窃没有什么不对。如果一个年轻人在家里看不到欢笑,感受不到爱,那么要他去开怀大笑,去关爱别人就非常困难了。

No child asks to be born. If you bring a life into the world, you owe the child something. And if you give him his due, he'll have something of value to pass along to your grandchildren.

没有任何孩子是自己要求出世的。如果你把一条生命带到这个世界,你便对他负有义务。倘若他得到了他所应得的,他也会将一些珍贵的东西传给你的子子孙孙。

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