English translation: The Stories of Young Immigrants
《Article Five of a Series of Reports》(Part Three)
Parents Educate Their Children to Work Hard on Their Own
Mason Loh [Le Meisen] Became Independent Early and Developed a Healthy Outlook on Life
Looking back the growth of their three sons, Mason Loh’s parents said that teenagers often think that they are mature, but in fact they are extremely naive and have unstable mental activity. They have study problems, as well as a variety of complex psychological problems such as making friends and emotional problems. Parental guidance and care are very important to them. They saw some “Tai kong ren” families [families that keep travelling back and forth], whose fathers are busy with their careers in Hong Kong and Taiwan, and their children cannot get fatherly love. Parents have to give them credit cards and famous cars in an attempt to use materials to compensate for their parental deficiencies. Some children were quickly dragged into gangsterdom. This phenomenon has made them sigh with emotion and worry.
Mrs. Le, Zhao Keshi, has lots of experience in this respect. She said that it is not a solution even if there are relatives and friends taking care of the child. Relatives and friends are generally very polite, and they won’t even let you know if your child did anything wrong. Children need to be managed 24 hours a day for 365 days, especially for older kids more than ten years old. For example, children's memory is very variable. If [you] don’t educate them right away when they did something wrong, [they] will forget, and the penalty will be less effective afterwards. And if the mistake they made was not pointed out and punished at that time, then they will not be convinced afterwards. This kind of long-term effort cannot be done by relatives and friends.
When Mason Loh and his two brothers were studying in Victoria, they wrote lots of letters back home, sometimes up to twice a day. Also, the three brothers often recorded audiotapes and sent them to their parents. Mason’s parents saw that their children had no educational difficulties, but they deeply felt their helplessness of lacking parental love and decided to give up their careers and move their family to Canada.
At that time, Mason Loh's father, Mr. Le Jiafan, was the general agent of American cotton farmers in Southeast Asia, and the business was very large. The couple was energetic with prosperous careers. They would do a lot to develop them. But for the sake of their children’s growth, they resolutely gave up the opportunity to make more money and decided to withdraw from the business. Three months after the children came to study in Canada, they came to Vancouver to settle down and live with their sons. Looking back today, Mr. and Mrs. Le said that it was hard to give up their careers. However, their three children werein the process of becoming mature and needed more care and guide from their parents. As the saying goes, a single slip may cause lasting sorrow. They had to be very careful.
In order to help their children grow up and be less disturbed by the environment, the Le family chose a school located in a remote seaside town for their children from the beginning, and most of their weekends were filled with various sports activities.
Do children need to keep their mother tongue when they go to school abroad? The Les said that it is very necessary. After they moved from Taipei to Hong Kong, they stipulated that they would only speak Mandarin at home. When the children were studying in Victoria, Zhao Keshi often sent them Chinese martial arts novels to encourage them not to forget Chinese while using English. Now, Mason Loh has his family and children. He told to the reporter that his family also uses his parents' method. No English was allowed at home. As a result, the children speak Mandarin with Mason Loh and speak Cantonese with their mother, Jiamin. Mason Loh’s three-year-old child is in preschool and often translates for new immigrant children who cannot speak English.
Mason Loh’s parents also told the reporter that unlike an ordinary wealthy family, they would not grant their children whatever they asked. They were frugal with them. They tried hard to educate the children on how to be self-sufficient to make a living. While they were still dependent, their parents would give them a good education, but they still had to depend on themselves to make a living and succeed in Canada when they grew up. They also tried to let their children know that their parents were “stingy” with them but not with others. They would help others when they had money. It seems that the parents have influenced their children with their exemplary actions, and they have developed a self-reliant, helpful, and healthy outlook on life.
By Yang Shinong, journalist of World Journal Vancouver
[Photo]: Chairman of S.U.C.C.E.S.S., Mason Loh, a lawyer, was photographed in his law firm.