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Saturday, 08 November 2014 00:00

Closer Parent-child Rapport at End of Tzu Shao Course

Written by  Choo Set De & Lau Choo Chin, Muar / Translated by Goh Hwe Yong

November 8, 2014, was the course completion for Tzu Chi Teenagers’ Group of Tzu Chi Muar. Tzu Shao and parents from 55 families took part in the Concluding Ceremony. [Photograph by Sen Ah Wat]

“No matter how naughty I have been, she never gives up on me. I want to tell her: ‘Mum, I love you, and I am sorry for hurting you’.” These words of a child touched the hearts of the parent and bring about a closer parent-child relationship.

The Concluding Ceremony for the 13th batch of Tzu Chi Teenagers’ Group (Tzu Shao) of Tzu Chi Muar was successfully held at the Tzu Chi Bakri activity centre on November 8, 2014. Tzu Shao and parents from 55 families attended the event. 
The children arrived early for a final practice and rehearsal, while Team-guardians assigned for each group took the opportunity to interact with the children. A souvenir of fragrant purse, plus a handbook compiled by the programme team and students were presented to each child. In the handbook were highlights of the course attended by the children throughout the year, including photographs and sharing of learning experiences by each child. In addition, each child also received a carefully selected book entitled, “A Child’s Beautiful and Youthful Stories”. This gift was meant to impart right values to the recipient, who would be able to share the contents with their parents.
A mother and daughter team performed the role of the Master of Ceremony for this occasion. The mother, Lin Xuan You, was one of the Team-guardians, who was good at prompting response from the audience, while the daughter, Zhang Bao Ren, a Tzu Shao, maintained her quiet disposition. In the course of preparing for their task, this mother and child team had established a better understanding of each other. Xuan You said that she was presently surprised by her daughter’s good command of grammar, while the latter said, “I was worried that I would not be as good as expected because I was sitting for my examination when mum was drafting the MC conversations. However, we did finalize the draft together. We talked it out to resolve any differences in our suggestions.”
Parents started arriving at around 7 pm. They were shown a short footage that highlighted parts of the course; and with prompting from the MC, the audience expressly showed their feeling of love. Immediately, a child declared loudly: “I love you both, mum and dad!” In great excitement, the Masters of Ceremony led the children to say it aloud, and all parents responded positively with “I love you too, my child”. The MC then quoted this Jing Si Aphorism to illustrate the meaning of filial piety: “True filial piety is to be independent and to walk the right path”. She also encouraged the children to help out in house chores and spend time with their parents to show their filial piety.
This was followed by the screening of the Master’s sermon entitled, “Thanking Parents, Treasuring Resources”. It showed how Tzu Chi volunteers had made full use of the school summer holidays to organize camps to impart the value of gratitude towards parents.  Participants were also given a real feel of pregnancy to enable them to appreciate the pain and suffering their mothers went through while carrying them. The children were taught not only to appreciate but to give parents the ease of mind by being well-behaved. In the film, Master Cheng Yen encouraged the children to do good deeds as a way of repaying their parents’ love.
No giving up on one’s child
Graduand Chen Tuo Hai, who had spent nine years in Tzu Chi’s classes, having joined since Year 2, felt thankful that volunteers had taken good care of him. He specifically remembered Wu Yi Xuan, who took great care of him when he was sick, and gave him strong moral support when he was facing difficult challenges.
Tuo Hai said, “I must thank my mum. She has been working hard for 16 years to provide for me in all ways. She never said no as long as it was good for me. No matter how naughty I have been, she never gives up on me. I want to tell her: ‘Mum, I love you, and I am sorry for hurting you’.”
His mother, Pan Lü Xi shared that her son has been good all the while. But in May, something happened, which brought her pain. She was thankful that Tzu Chi volunteers gave her great support. In fact, they had better observation about the child than she was. She was thankful that through Tzu Chi, she and her child had learned to accept each other.
In recalling her past, Lü Xi revealed that 14 days after Tuo Hai was born, her husband left her for another woman. She blamed the child and buried the grudge deep inside. It was not until 2011 when she participated in the “Compassionate Samadhi Water Repentance” stage performance that she truly understood the Buddhist teaching of cause and effect, and dismissed the grudge deep down. She apologized to her son and a close rapport was established between them.
Assuming the role of father, love never ends
Another graduand, Chen Jing Ting, was thankful for having the Team-guardians, especially Zhang Su Zhen, who gave her the courage to share her feeling. She revealed, “My dad passed away when I was four, and since then my mum has to assume the heavy responsibility of raising us up. I used to envy others who have fatherly love, but now I treasure more the care that my mother gives me. I had upset her many times by quarreling with my sister. Sometimes, I feel pressured because I am worried I don’t live up to her expectations…” At the end of her sharing, she openly declared to her mother, “I am sorry, and I love you.”
Liu Yue Yin, the mother, recounted that years ago, she happened to see a film entitled, “Mother in Heaven”, which told the story of how a mother, who knew she had only three months to live, trained her child to be independent. It then dawned on her that she should also train her child to be independent, just in case she dies suddenly.
“It is good that Jing Ting has graduated. She has changed a lot in recent years. She used to quarrel with her sister, but now she has learned to communicate,” said the mother, who wants Jing Ting to just do her best and not to feel pressured.
Declaring love
After a sign language presentation, a slide show specially prepared by the graduands was shown. The slides showed parents doing work at home, unaware that they were being photographed. Words of love that touched the hearts of parents were written for each photo. The graduands then presented a sign language performance of the song, “I Love You, Just as You Care for Me”. Following that, they sang, “On this Day Every Year” to express their love to the parents. Then a short film entitled, “When I Have Grown Old” was shown to remind the children to take great care of their parents when they are old.
At this point, each of the teenagers went to his/her parents with a hot towel in hand. They then knelt down beside their parents, and with prompting from the Masters of Ceremony, they caressed their parents’ hands and faces, and then gently wiped the faces and hands with the hot towel.
Lastly, each teenager sat with his/her parents and refreshed memories of childhood years while looking at their childhood albums. It was a time for parent-child bonding, and love and appreciation filled the air.
Pan Lü Xi and son, Chen Tuo Hai, shared their personal feelings. [Photograph by Sen Ah Wat]   A warm moment in which a child wiped the hands and faces of his parents with a hot towel. [Photograph by Sen Ah Wat]

Pan Lü Xi and son, Chen Tuo Hai, shared their personal feelings. [Photograph by Sen Ah Wat]
A warm moment in which a child wiped the hands and faces of his parents with a hot towel. [Photograph by Sen Ah Wat]