A teacher advocates learning from mistakes

Updated: 2012-02-07 13:15

By Mei Jia (China Daily)

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A teacher advocates learning from mistakes

Writer and teacher Yin Jianli's stories and thoughts about bringing up her daughter Yuanyuan have been a constant source of inspiration for parents over the past 16 years.

Her book, A Good Mother Exceeds Good Teachers, published by Writers Publishing House, has been a bestseller on Dangdang and Amazon's online platforms for the past three years.

The book helped Yin make the Chinese Writers' Rich List in 2010, with 4.48 million yuan ($710,000).

Experts say Yin's book provides practical guidance, which makes it popular among parents.

"When the majority of books are either full of bragging about the authors' children or outlining big theories that have no foundation in practice, I write books that are practical and easy to follow," Yin writes.

For example, there was an occasion when Yuanyuan forgot to do her elementary school homework. "In such a situation many Chinese parents show their anger and scold their kids," says Yin, who made an agreement with her husband they would not overly criticize or push their daughter.

Instead, Yin encouraged the daughter to make up the homework, which meant staying up until midnight. As a result, she learned to arrange her time better and did not have an adverse reaction to doing homework.

Yin's principle of "no parental interference" and "giving children the opportunity to learn from their mistakes" is described in a number of real-life examples.

Readers say Yin's books improve their children's performance at school, and foster good personalities and habits.

They believe her books are not only about being good parents but also about growing as parents and individuals.

"When I'm reading books, I keep thinking about what a better personality I would have if my parents had adopted the methods Yin suggests when I was a kid," one reader comments in a review on Yin's online blog.