By Coco, United States
When I was a child, I enjoyed learning and had a breezy personality. However, my parents often quarreled with each other due to their inharmonious relationship, which led to the coldness of our family. Therefore, we three siblings couldn’t feel the warmth of family. Besides, we often were laughed at by neighbors and couldn’t lift up our heads in the village. Bored by these troublesome things every day, I had no heart to study. At that time, I only wanted to grow up soon, and then went out to work so that I could have a quiet environment of my own. At the age of 17, I gave up my study and went out to work. I successively worked in factories and small restaurants; sometimes, I had to work all night, and every day I worked like a dog. By contrast, my classmate, who was also given birth in an ordinary family, became a government official because of good grades and also bought a house in our county. Every time when he drove back to the village, he would gain much admiration; he became somebody and the pride of our village. And I was very envious in my heart.
Afterward, many people of my age in the village went abroad to make a fortune, and some of them even became overseas Chinese. So I also followed the hot trend and went abroad. In a foreign country, I still made customers drinks in a restaurant. Apart from the tiring work, I had to watch others’ expressions. Whenever I was tired from my work, I would complain that it was because I was poorly educated that I had to do this hard work. I thought: My whole life will be just like it is now. If I have children, I must do my best to provide them with good education so that they can enter universities to get high degrees and then find good jobs, living a rich life.
Therefore, since I became pregnant, I had particularly paid attention to antenatal training. I bought many BB nursery rhymes and CD records to nurture my unborn baby, and also bought many swallow nests to eat, hoping that I could have a clever, beautiful, and lovely baby. Surely enough, my efforts were not in vain. My daughter was naturally clever and beautiful, as well as obedient and sensible. When my daughter just turned 3 years old, I wanted to send her to kindergarten, but didn’t win her an opportunity to go to the nursery class of the kindergarten. I had no choice but to buy many English books to teach her at home. Though I didn’t have a good financial condition, I still bought the education insurance for her to prepare the university tuition in order that she could be well educated and become somebody in the future. To let my daughter lay a firm foundation and not lose at the starting line, when she was 5, I began to find various tutoring centers for her and was strict about her study and homework; In addition to getting her homework finished well, I also taught her to do the math problems of double figures multiplying three figures. And I even required that she must have neat and standard handwriting; if she failed to meet my requirement, I would ask her to erase it and write again. Sometimes, I got her to erase too many times that she lost her temper and said crying: “Mom, I have written so many times and I am tired. How come you still let me erase it? If you do again, I won’t write anymore.” Even so, I wouldn’t compromise, and still insisted that she must write well and learn by heart. Only after finishing the work could she have the dinner and go to sleep. Sometimes, when she was going to have dinner, it had been 8 or 9 o’clock in the evening, and she took sulks and would not eat. In spite of this, I wouldn’t give in to her.
In order that my daughter could enter the university smoothly, I considered entering her for art training classes, thinking that if she was accomplished, she would surely gain extra marks. At the very beginning, I sent her to a painting class, but she just attended classes for six months, and then she was unwilling to go because she didn’t like it. I had no choice but to give up. Then, with the thought that it was a good thing for girls to learn dancing, I sent my daughter to a dancing class, but after learning some days, she still wasn’t interested in it. After that, I tried to persuade her to attend a singing class, and still, she said she had no interest in that. Seeing that my daughter wasn’t interested in anything, I was very anxious and questioned her: “There are so many interest classes, which one do you like? Can’t you be uninterested in anything? You don’t have a good grade, nor can you learn this or that. What else can you learn? Other kids all can learn it well, why can you not? How come you are so immature and disappointing?” Being roared at by me, my daughter felt wronged and cried out.
Seeing that my daughter looked unhappy under my pressure, I also felt heartbroken. Thinking that I didn’t have a happy childhood, I wondered whether I should not control my daughter like this and should give her some freedom. But if I didn’t control her strictly, could she get a good grade? I could remember: One day, my cousin’s daughter visited my home. She said that apart from doing the homework, she had to read five books, copy words 100 times, and could only play for 30 minutes every day. If she couldn’t finish, her mother would drag her out of bed and scold her when she came back from work at midnight. She said she didn’t love her mother anymore. Hearing her words, I first felt miserable, feeling it was not easy for a child to grow up in such an environment. But then I thought: My cousin’s daughter has a good grade; it turns out that it is the result of my cousin’s strict education. Though the child will suffer a little, it is worthy. My daughter doesn’t have a good grade, the reason of which maybe is that I am still not strict enough. It seems that I need to be stricter with her. Therefore, I continued being strict with my daughter and required that she should be on the top three in every examination. In order to let her put all her energy in studying, apart from letting her do all the homework, I often borrowed books from the library for her to ensure that she read at least three books every day. In addition, I also asked her to practice keeping a diary. However, my daughter didn’t make any progress. Instead, her studies were suffering, and she even failed in the exam. Money had been spent and suffering had been endured, which didn’t bring the result I had expected. I felt hopeless and really didn’t know what to do. But I still dared not relax, and went on educating my daughter in such a way.
Gradually, the strict education made my daughter change: She was afraid to speak to me; she often burst into tears for no reason, became very emotional, and had a worse and worse temper; many times she scolded her younger brother with the strict words I said to her; sometimes, she suddenly screamed, as if venting her dissatisfaction; sometimes when she came across an acquaintance in the street, she also kept in silence. She became very rebellious. Seeing my daughter became what she was, I felt very sad in my heart. In the past days, she was lovely, breezy, and sensible, and often chatted with her classmates’ parents. At that time, people all praised my daughter for her breezy, conversational and confident personality. However, all these positive and bright states were gone. Once, when I asked the teacher for my daughter’s condition of study, the teacher said my daughter’s English was very good. Then, I was very confused because I had never heard she speak English at home. Until then, I came to realize a bit that maybe my strict way of education really had problems.
Just when I was in confusion, I accepted God’s work of the last days in January 2017. At a meeting, I told my trouble in educating children to brothers and sisters. A sister also said that children in these days were stressing when they attended school. The endless supplementary courses all year round deprived children of their happy childhoods they should have enjoyed, and also brought many suffering to their parents. A brother said: “In truth, when people are given birth, God has already preordained the fates of them. Their appearances, calibers, personalities, and level of education, as well as their jobs and marriages in the future, are all decided by God. All these can’t be achieved according to their parents’ demands.” And then, the brother led us to read two passages of God’s word, “From the moment you come crying into this world, you begin to perform your duty. You assume your role in the plan of God and in the ordination of God. You begin the journey of life. Whatever your background and whatever the journey ahead of you, none can escape the orchestration and arrangement that Heaven has in store, and none are in control of their destiny, for only He who rules over all things is capable of such work” (“God Is the Source of Man’s Life”). “But when it comes time for people to raise the next generation, they will project all their unrealized desires in the first half of their lives onto their descendants, hoping that their offspring will make up for all the disappointments they experienced in the first half of their lives. So people indulge in all kinds of fantasies about their children: that their daughters will grow up to be stunning beauties, their sons dashing gentlemen; that their daughters will be cultured and talented and their sons brilliant students and star athletes; that their daughters will be gentle, virtuous, and sensible, their sons intelligent, capable, and sensitive. They hope that be it daughters or sons, they will respect their elders, be considerate of their parents, be loved and praised by everyone…” (“God Himself, the Unique III”). And the brother continued to read a passage of man’s fellowship, “Some people always want to make their children successful, so they force them to read books, attend colleges, and learn knowledge and skills. Is it right to do so? How do you think parents are supposed to treat their children? All parents expect their children to be successful. If you have a child who is not somebody but nobody, what will you do? If you still want him to be successful, aren’t you tormenting yourself? He is nobody, not somebody, but you always want him to be somebody. The viewpoint and disposition are not right and should be changed.”
A sister fellowshiped, “What everyone’s birth and future will be like can’t be controlled by anyone. Children’s gifts are all bestowed by God; whether they are clever or not can’t be changed by their parents, and whether they can go to colleges also can’t be decided by their parents.” Afterward, the sister fellowshiped about her experience: Her mother, before believing in God, expected too much of her and was strict with her, hoping that she could be successful. But the fact was just the opposite. After her mother believed in God and had some knowledge about God’s sovereignty, she gave up her desire and was willing to obey God’s sovereignty and arrangement. Later on, her mother changed the way of educating, and her attitude also changed.
As I listened, I thought: These words of God and man’s fellowship precisely described my heart voice. I also want my daughter to be successful. Because of my lack of education, I suffer very much in my lifetime. Therefore, I try every possible means to make my daughter study, and I scrimp and save for her to attend tutoring centers, trying to make her be accomplished so that she can have a good future. But things go contrary to my wishes. My daughter not only doesn’t make any progress in her studies, but develops an inflammable temper under the pressures. And she even has no confidence when speaking. Through today’s fellowship, I come to know that our fates are all controlled by God’s hand. How many children I can have and whether they are rich or poor in the future can’t be decided by me. Recalling the experience of these many years, I have always been wanting to change my fate, but no matter what I do, I can’t change it. Then I pin my hope on my daughter, and want in vain to change my daughter’s fate. I am too ignorant. Now, it seems that my way of educating my daughter is really wrong.
When I thought about many facts around me, they could also prove that we indeed can’t control our own fates. To learn more knowledge also can’t decide whether people have happiness in their lifetime. For instance, my uncle engaged in the restaurant business, working hard from dawn to dusk every day. What he wanted was to let his son study well and have a good job rather than suffer like him. However, after my cousin graduated from university, he also worked in a restaurant. Another example was my aunt. She had a poor financial condition, but her daughter had a good grade. When her daughter was going to attend university, they needed 100,000 yuan RMB. The relatives felt it was a great thing that their family produced a university student, so they were all willing to send money to my aunt to support her daughter to go to university. As a result, after graduating from university, my aunt’s daughter just found an ordinary job, with a salary of only two or three thousand yuan every month. Through these facts, I realized that there was a difference between expectation and reality, and that it was the best to let children have a healthy and happy childhood in both body and mentality. I should see things according to God’s word, commit my daughter to God’s hand, and obey God’s sovereignty and arrangement. Perhaps, only by doing so can I put down the “stone” in my heart and get released.
Afterward, brothers and sisters found another passage of God’s word to communicate with me and pointed out the way of educating my daughter and getting on with her. God’s word says, “A lot of things really result from the parent always assuming their place as such and taking themselves too seriously; they always see themselves as the parent, the elder: ‘Regardless of when, you won’t get escape from your mother’s (or father’s) control; you’ll still have to listen to me. You are my child. The fact of this doesn’t change, regardless of when.’ This viewpoint makes them miserable and wretched, and makes the child miserable and exhausted. Isn’t this the case? Is this not a manifestation that one doesn’t understand the truth? How is the truth to be practiced in this case? (Letting go of your pride.) … Actually it’s simple. Just be an ordinary person: Treat your children, treat those in your own family the same as you would an ordinary brother or sister. Although you have a responsibility, a fleshly relationship, nevertheless the position and perspective you should have is the same as with friends or ordinary brothers and sisters. That is, you can’t control, you can’t restrain your children, and always try to keep in command and have complete control over them. Let them make mistakes, let them say the wrong things, let them do childish and immature things, do stupid things. No matter what happens, sit down and calmly talk with them, communicate and seek” (“What Should One Possess, at the Very Least, to Have Normal Humanity”). Through reading God’s words, I knew that during the process of educating my daughter I also had the corrupt disposition. I always stood in the position of a mother and required her to do things according to my plan; only if she couldn’t achieve my standard, I would scold her and lecture her, not allowing her to make any mistake and always wanting to keep her under my control. As a result, this wearied my daughter and me. Then I understood that I should commit my daughter to God and not stand in the position of parents to control her.
Later on, I began to practice according to God’s word, no longer forced my daughter to study, and no longer stood in a high position to control her. Instead, I talked with her calmly, and often read God’s word, sang hymns, and had meetings to fellowship God’s word, together with her. After a period of time, I saw my daughter became happier. Once, I tried to have a heart-to-heart talk with her, and asked her: “When you were very young, you were well-behaved. Why do you become what you are now? When is your unhappiest time after you came to America?” she said: “Mom just let me learn this or that and force me to learn what I dislike. If I don’t listen to you, you will scold me and beat me, having no understanding of my heart at all.” I said: “Now, mom has believed in God and I promise that I will never scold you at will. Mom did badly before, and I will change in future. You shall change with me, OK? In your studies, it is OK to do your best. As for dancing, I don’t demand how excellently you will. You can treat it as doing exercise and gaining knowledge, and learn what you can.” At my words, my daughter smiled happily. …
With the leading of God’s word, I am even more able to communicate with my daughter calmly. I have more knowledge about her and also know to respect her ideas. My daughter has recovered her confidence, become breezy and lively as before, and also changed her attitude toward study. The most I am proud of is that my daughter serves as a young interpreter when my family need to communicate with foreigners in doing some things. I am really thankful to God. It was God’s word that changed my wrong viewpoint and made me have a right understanding about knowledge and education. I will never “kidnap” my daughter’s childhood according to these wrong viewpoints. I have learned to let go, and learned to obey God’s sovereignty and preordination. My daughter and I all gained joy and happiness. Thank God! All the glory be to Almighty God!