Father Tears Up Son’s Excessive Homework

It’s one thing if your child stays up willingly to study and another if he is repeatedly forced to because of his unreasonably large homework load.

In the case of the former, you may feel proud — but in the latter, very possibly angry.

That was certainly what a father in Taiwan felt when he tore up his fifth-grade son’s homework just so the overworked boy could get some good rest.

The father, who goes by Mr Lin, posted a picture of the torn books on Facebook, with the caption (translated):

Teacher, my son’s textbook and homework were torn by me; I told him to go to bed; sorry!

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Not the first time he expressed anger and worry

In a long and emotional post earlier, Mr Lin talked about the effect of excessive homework on his son.

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Mr Lin sometimes found his son asleep at his desk, with a pen still fitted loosely in his hand.

He also compared the school to a bank that charges interest on loans that are not paid back on time. That is, when a student fails to complete his homework, he is given even more as punishment.

Mr Lin Laments that this compounding effect breaks a child and robs him/her of all the happiness of childhood.

Those of you saying that Mr Lin’s actions were a little drastic and that he should have gone to speak with the teacher first … you should know that he did.

The fruitless meeting with the teacher

In the third paragraph, Mr Lin details the meeting he had with the teacher.

The meeting was a chance for him to air his grievances with the workload assigned by teacher. He also took issue with the expectations placed on students, which he deemed unrealistically high.

The teacher did not take his complaints well and told him that if his son couldn’t keep up, then he should consider sending him to a cram school. Cram schools are a form of tuition popular in east Asia, that aim to help students pass important exams.

In response, Mr Lin, who might have been irked by the teacher’s callousness, said that he was to be blamed for his son’s poor grades. He had in fact “(run) around playing” with his son for most of the summer vacation.

But that was, by any standard, a good thing, he said — because it was the most he had ever heard his son laugh.

The stranger who left a deep impression

Mr Lin’s conversation with the teacher had an unintended listener.

A gentleman who was seated close by, and who was listening to the conversation, came over.

The man apologised for eavesdropping, but explained that he could not keep himself from doing so because of all the memories it brought up within him.

As it turned out, the man had lost his son and wife in a car accident some years ago.

He told Mr Lin that he never got to spend much time with his son because he (the son) was always so busy with his studies and pursuits like playing the piano and violin.

The man lamented that if he could live his life again, he would live it very differently — for one, he would certainly spend more time traveling with his son rather than getting him to study all the time.

“If you could live your life again”

For the rest of the day, Mr Lin said that the line kept playing and re-playing in his head.

He thought about his son. He thought about how he would choose to live if he could live again.

Where that thought ended was not told in the post.

But seeing as how he had torn up his son’s homework, perhaps his intentions have already been made clear.

Featured image from Facebook.