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新为父为母之道

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本文说明了不能给二十多岁孩子提建议的原因以及其它棘手问题

我发现给孩子提建议的最好方法是:先搞清楚他们想要什么,然后建议他们去作----哈里*杜鲁门

简*艾茜很情愿这样做,但不会做得有过之而无不及。在为其著作<如覆薄冰:处理成年孩子与父母之间的微妙关系>而采访了七十名父母和成年孩子之后,艾茜建议父母们“将嘴闭紧,将门打开”(门虽然开得不是太大,但至少他们能回来)。这一指导引起了某一年龄父母们的广泛共鸣,这些父母对自己刚步入成年的二十多岁的孩子迷惑不解。这里是她发现的其它“规则”
规则1 把建议留给自己
 
孩子会对你的训导心怀不满,这是为什么呢?艾茜说:“我们许多人都有孩子,他们比我们进入成年晚。当我们看见他们在二十多岁苦苦挣扎的时候,出于爱,我们会不由自主地帮助他们。但是,他们把我们给出的任何建议都当成是对于他们行为怠慢的批评。”父母们依然“鸟瞰着”,也就是说,盘旋在孩子周围,盯着他们的一举一动,从而将孩子的这一感觉扩大了。
 例子:桃瑞丝是一名教师,她三十八岁作承包商的儿子,即使生活在离她仅一英里远的地方也很少去看望她,对此她迷惑不解。桃瑞丝对艾茜说:“在我看来,显然是我改变了她的生活。”如今,她依旧经常给儿子打电话,劝他如何扩大他的生意,如何巩固与女朋友的关系。她说:“不容易阿!我只想帮帮他。”
  据艾茜说,桃瑞丝“必须停止”向儿子提这些不请自到的建议,不然,可能使关系更加疏远。
逐渐改变:艾茜提议说,如果你抗拒不了自己,那么就用中性的方法来派发你的聪明才智。“用这样的词句来表达:有些人可能认为……,你可曾想到……。此类语言是非评判性的,”艾茜说,“在你勿忙提建议之前,记住这点:犯错误并不很糟糕。你从你的错误中吸取教训;他们将会从他们的错误中吸取教训。
 

规则2:搞清楚你给钱条件

 

  如今,许多生活舒适的中年父母们想与仍和他们生活在一起的孩子们分享他们的财富,他们的孩子由于社会和经济的变故并不富裕,至少目前如此。很不幸,父母们良好的意愿可能产生家庭分裂的后果。
  “兄弟姐妹之间无密秘,”艾茜说,“他们一生都在合计每人从父母那里得到了多少,因此,只给一个孩子提供帮助可能会被当成偏心眼,即使其他人经济宽裕。这样做就把孩子与父母以及孩子们之间分裂开来。
例子:当梅勒妮的女儿朱丽叶要求梅勒妮免去她一万元的换房时的借款时,梅勒妮惊呆了。作为一名寡妇的她告诉朱丽叶,她负担不起,而朱丽叶当时却抱怨说,父母数年前支付了她妹妹上大学的全部学费;而她自己赢得了全额奖学金而没花她父母一分钱。为了息事宁人,梅勒妮决定免除这笔借款。艾茜预言道,这样做一定会引起其他儿女要求她给予同样多的钱。如果她不同意则会引起不满。 #p#分页标题#e#
逐渐改变:艾茜说,无论你决定绝对公平还是“按需分配”,你都要划清界线并设定时间限制,还要坚持下去。艾茜推荐使用这样的策略来作为慷慨解囊的典范,父母及祖父母都可采用。亨利设立了一小笔基金以便他活着的时候,每年每个成年的孙子可获得二千元。有一个限制:这笔钱被严格用于娱乐活动,如渡假、听音乐讲座或购买新滑雪板。他的慷慨给我们树立了标准。
 

3. 不要意气用事

 
离婚与再婚使家庭结构更为复杂。“当孩子二十多岁及三十多岁的时候,继父母的出现是不受欢迎的。”艾茜说。幸运的是,时间和新增加的事物可以修复这一裂口。
例子:艾斯达五十岁第一次结婚的时候,心想和丈夫共同建立一个家庭。但是,丈夫已成年的孩子们拒绝接受她。 在一次气氛别扭的餐后,当继子和继女故意怠慢她的时候,她含泪退回到卧室。“他们对我不够了解,以至如此恨我,”她说。
  可是,当第一个孙女出生的时候,艾斯达爱上了这个小女孩,而小女孩也喜爱她的祖母。在以后的几年里孩子们看到了艾斯达天生的爱心和善良,他们渐渐地对她热情起来。艾斯达也不太在意他们对她的轻视。
逐渐改变:时刻记着继子继女是你所爱的人的后代,他们可能也具有许多优良品质。保持冷静,他们最终会来到你的身边。
 

你的目标,他们的生活

 

  如果你的孩子的现状与你的期盼不相符合,你仍要承认,作为父母你不是一个失败者。一但你做到了这点,你会对孩子不加评判。时刻记住:他们认为你也不是十全十美的。所以最好的方法是;互相接受。你主要说:宝贝,欢迎来到成人世界。即使你没能成为我期盼的样子,我仍爱你。他们说:谢谢爸妈。虽然你们有些罗索,但还是我的父母。我也爱你们。

译文:New Rules for Parenting Grown-Up Kids

Why you may not want to give your 20-something advice, and other thorny issues explained


"I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want, and then advise them to do it." --Harry Truman

Jane Isay might be willing to go that far, but not much further. After interviewing 70 parents and grown kids for her book, Walking on Eggshells: Navigating the Delicate Relationship between Adult Children and Parents, Isay advises parents to "keep their mouth shut and their door open" (although not too wide, lest they move back in). That guidance has resonated widely with parents of a certain age who have been mystified by their 20-somethings' tentative steps into early adulthood. Herewith, other "rules" she discovered (and how to break them without an argument).

Rule 1: Keep your advice to yourself

Your children will resent your instruction, Isay says. Why? "Many of us have kids who are graduating to full-blown adulthood later than we did," she says. "So when we see them struggle through their 20s, we feel compelled, out of love, to help them. But they may perceive any advice we give as being critical of their slow start." Parents who are still "helicoptering"--that is, hovering over their child's every move--magnify this perception.

Case in point: Doris, a schoolteacher wonders why her son, a 38-year-old contractor, visits her only occasionally, even though he lives just a mile away. When he was a boy, Doris told Isay, "it was obvious to me that I made a big difference in his life." Today, she still calls often to counsel him about how to expand his business or solidify his relationship with his girlfriend. "It's hard. I just want to help him," she says.

According to Isay, Doris "needs to back off" from giving unsolicited advice or risk even greater estrangement.

Break it gently: If you can't resist, dispense your wisdom in a neutral way, Isay suggests. "Couch it in terms like these: Some people might think… Have you ever considered… That kind of language is judgment free," she says. "Before you leap in with advice, remember this: It's not so bad to make a mistake. You learned from yours, they'll learn from theirs."

Rule 2: Be clear about the terms under which you give money

Today, many comfortable middle-age parents want to share their good fortune while they're still alive with kids who, because of social and economic changes, may not be so well off, at least early on. Unfortunately, parents' good intentions can produce divisive results.

"There are no secrets among sibs," says Isay. "All their lives they've been adding up what each has gotten from their parents, so offering to help only one child may be perceived as favoritism, even if the others are comfortable financially. And that divides kids from their parents and from each other."

Case in point: When Melanie's daughter Julia asked her to forgive a $10,000 loan she'd provided for Julia's home improvements, Melanie was stupefied. A widow, she simply couldn't afford to, and told Julia--who then complained that her parents paid for her sister's entire college tuition years before, while Julia was awarded full scholarships and cost her parents nothing. To keep the peace, Melanie decided to forgive the loan. Doing so is bound to lead to requests for similar amounts from her other kids, Isay predicts, and resentment if she doesn't grant them.

Break it gently: Whether you decide to be absolutely equitable or dole out money "each according to his needs," set boundaries and time limits and stick to them, says Isay. As a model of generosity that can be used by both parents and grandparents, Isay recommends adopting this tactic: Henry set up a small fund so that each of his adult grandkids would have $2,000 a year to spend while he was alive. There was one stipulation: The money was strictly for pleasure--a vacation, music lessons, or a new pair of skis. "His generosity sets the standard

Rule 3: Don't take it personally

Divorce and remarriage add layers of complexity to family dynamics. "Stepparents who come on the scene when the children are in their 20s and early 30s are not welcomed," says Isay. Fortunately, time--and new additions to the family--have a way of repairing the rifts.

Case in point: When she married for the first time at 50, Esther imagined she would be getting a family along with her husband. But his grown kids refused to accept her. After one particularly strenuous dinner, when both her stepdaughter and stepson snubbed her, she retreated to her bedroom in tears. "They don't know me well enough to hate me so much," she said.

But when the first grandchild arrived, Esther fell in love with the little girl, and the baby adored her grandmother. As the kids witnessed Esther's natural love and kindness over the next few years, they gradually warmed to her. Esther, in turn, became less sensitive to their slights.

Break it gently: Keep in mind that your stepchildren are the offspring of the man you love--and they are likely to have many of his good qualities, too. Keep your cool and they'll come around eventually.

Your Goals, Their Lives

If your child is not living up to your expectations--yet--you have to recognize that you're not a failure as a parent. Once you do that, you won't be so judgmental of him. Keep in mind: They may not think you're perfect, either. So the best you can do is accept each other for who you are. You're basically saying: Welcome to the adult world, honey. I love you even though you're not what I prayed you would be. And they're saying: Thanks, Mom and Dad. You're a little annoying but you're my parents. And I love you, too.

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a couple of 一对
back up 支持
be determined to 下决心做。。。
be fed up with 厌倦了。。。
be likely to 很可能。。。
be no exception 没有例外
before long 不久后
by chance 偶然
by no means 不可能,绝不,一点也不
call for 号召
call off 取消
catch up with 赶上
come across 偶然遇见
cope with 处理,处置
cut short 打断某人谈话
deal with 处理,处置
except for 除了。。。以外
face to face 面对面
fall behind 落后
fall asleep 入睡,睡着了
fall sick 生病了
family name 姓
focus on 专注于。。。
get along with 与。。。相处
give birth to 使。。。产生,使。。。发生,
gvie sb a lift 让某人搭车
get off 撤销,下车
get rid of 放弃,抛弃
get used to 习惯于
given name 名字
heart and sole 全心全意
hold on 坚持,不要挂电话
hold one's breath屏住呼吸
in spite of 尽管
in the event that 如果。。。发生的话
keep fit 保持身体健康
look forward to doing sth. 期待做。。。
lose heart 失去信心
make a living 维持生计
make up 修护,补偿
mistake sb for sb else 把某人当做别人
more or less 或多名少,差不多
nickname 昵称,别称
office hours 办公时间
on time 准时
on vacation 放假
out of time 没有时间
pick up 挑选,拿起,顺带
rain cats and dogs 倾盆大雨
rather than 喜欢。。。而不是。。。
regardless of 不顾。。。
resign one's post 辞职
result from 由。。。引起的结果
result in 导致。。。结果
round the corner 即将到来
run across 偶然遇到
run out 用完,用光

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