By Lele, China
At the end of June 2017, after finishing the high school entrance examination, my daughter called to ask me about how to choose school. As soon as I heard that, I responded to her without hesitation, “I have already thought all through. The NO. 1 high school in our county is the first choice, the NO. 2 high school in our county the second and the vocational middle school the final.” “Mom, will you allow me to choose the town high school if I fail to attend the NO. 1 high school or the NO. 2 high school?” She hesitated before saying, “There are many students who have chosen to go there in our class …” But before she finished her words, I said firmly: “No. If you don’t get into the NO. 1 high school or the NO. 2 high school, you should go to the vocational middle school.” After hanging up the phone, l thought: She is so young that she doesn’t see the big picture, so I should take the helm for her. According to her ordinary academic performance, she should be able to attend the NO. 1 high school if she does what she can do; In case that she doesn’t get the score as well as usual, she will attend the NO. 2 high school; if neither of them admits her, the vocational middle school is the worst case scenario. In this way, the matter of her choosing high school was decided according to my plan.
Before long, the results of the high school entrance examination came out. My daughter’s scores were so low that she didn’t enter the NO. 1 or NO. 2 high school in our county. According to my plan, she could only go to the vocational middle school. After a few of days, her school informed that the choices on the application can be changed, so she consulted with me, “Mom, several classmates in our class have changed their choice and chosen to go to the town high school. Can I go there or not?” Once hearing that she wanted to go to town high school, I felt unhappy and said loudly, “Other people go to school from village to county, but you actually want to go to the village school. Is this consistent with common sense?” Seeing my unyielding attitude, she carefully talked this matter over with me, hoping that I would agree with her going to the town high school. However, I had made the decision already, so I didn’t agree. As her wish didn’t come true, she was unhappy all day so that the atmosphere of our family also got heavier. Later, when I asked her about her choosing school, she didn’t say a word. Sometimes she would be impatient with my question and say: “Haven’t you made all the arrangements?” In this way, the relationship between us became more and more distant.
During that time, sometimes when we went out, we would walk one behind the other, giving each other the silent treatment. Seeing other mothers and daughters walking hand in hand, laughing and talking with each other, I felt very envious in my heart, thinking: Daughter should be closest to mother, but there is a gap between my daughter and me. When will we be so close like other mothers and daughters? At that moment, I couldn’t help thinking of the relationship between her and me in the past. She was lively and cheerful, loving chatting and laughing. I didn’t know when it started, but she didn’t like talk much, or want to communicate with me what she encountered, but instead she would communicate with her aunt or grandma. Thereupon, her aunt always blamed me for treating my daughter with great harshness. Whatever it was, such as buying clothes and writing materials, learning specialties and so on, it was decided by me and I never asked about what she liked. Once, she sobbed to her aunt: “Why does my mother not like me? She always scolds me, so that I feel depressed very much at home.” When I learned of it, I felt especially aggrieved in my heart: How can she say that I don’t like her? Every parent care for their children. I controlled her in everything for fear that she would make a mistake, which was for her sake. As for her choosing school, that I thought it over was for her own good, but why did she not understand my good intention?
In helplessness, I prayed to God about the trouble I encountered. Afterward, I thought of the following words of God: “Many might well believe in God, and in appearance they may look very spiritual, but in regard to the views and attitudes of parents toward children and of children toward parents, they are clueless about how to put this aspect of the truth into practice, and about what principles should be applied in treating these matters and dealing with them. In a parent’s eyes, the parent is always a parent, and the child is always a child. Thus, the relationship between parent and child becomes very difficult to deal with. A lot of things really result from the parents refusing to budge from their status as parents. They always see themselves as the parent, the elder, and they think: Children must always listen to their parents, and this fact will never change—which leads to their children resisting them. Such viewpoints leave both sides miserable, wretched, and exhausted. Is this not a manifestation that one doesn’t understand the truth? … And many parents think they are always right. “As long as it’s for the child’s sake, what I’m doing is right.” They really have such thoughts and points of view. How could you not make mistakes? You too are a corrupted human being, how can you determine that you are without error? As long as you admit that you do not possess the truth, that you are a corrupted human being, then you have errors and you can make mistakes. You can make mistakes, yet at every turn how is it that you try to take charge of your children, and have them at every turn listen to you? Is this not an arrogant disposition? This is an arrogant disposition and a ferocious one at that.”
From God’s words, I knew that the main reason for the disharmonious relationship between parents and daughters is that parents are always putting on airs, standing in high position controlling their children and forcing children to do things according to their own will, so that children misunderstand parents. Thus, the relation between parents and children become more and more distant. Comparing myself to the word of God, I recalled carefully that when getting along with my daughter, I always put on the airs of a mother. No matter what she did, I always controlled her, asking her to do things according to my own intention. Just as this time she had some thoughts about my arrangement in course of choosing high school. With that, I blamed her in a harsh tone of voice, since I thought that my arrangement was suitable. In fact, she certainly had her idea about why she wanted to go to the town high school. But I never had a heart-to-heart talk with her, not listening to her idea or considering her feeling, but forcing her to do things according to my own meaning. From these, I saw that I was so arrogant! I always controlled her like so, which brought her great distress. Not only did she say less and less, but she also felt depressed, which lead to a misunderstanding between us. Only then did I realize that the relationship between my daughter and me coming to this point was due to myself.
Later on, I saw God’s words saying, “In such cases, then, how is the truth to be practiced? This is actually pretty simple. You must be an ordinary person, and not controlled by status. Treat your children, treat those in your own family the same as you would ordinary brothers or sisters. Although you have a responsibility, and a relationship of the flesh, nevertheless the position and perspective you should have is the same as with friends or ordinary brothers and sisters. You must not, standing in the position of a parent, hold them back, or fetter them, or try and control everything about them. You should treat them as an equal. You should allow them to make mistakes, to say the wrong things, to do childish and immature things, do stupid things. No matter what happens, sit down and calmly talk with them and seek the truth. In this way, you will be talking to them with the right attitude, and the problem will be solved. So, what is being let go here? (Position and pride.) It is the letting go of the position and status of a parent, the airs of a parent….”
From God’s words, I found a path. Though I had responsibility for my daughter, this responsibility didn’t mean restraining, controlling her or forcing her to agree with me in everything. Because everyone has his own thought and choice, I shouldn’t forcibly ask her to carry out according to my opinion, but should let go my status, telling my view to her, discussing, and seeking with her in an equal position. And meanwhile, I should also ask her opinion, listen to her true thought, and give her the right to choose for herself. Only in this way will we understand each other and get along with each other very well.
Over the next few days, I always wanted to find time to have a heart-to-heart talk with her, but every time the thing was on the tips of my tongue, yet I couldn’t open my mouth. My heart was doing somersaults: If I apologize to her, what will she think of me? Will she still listen to my words? But then I reconsidered, thinking that if I went on getting along with her like so, not being willing to take the initiative to let go my position to apologize to her, then there wouldn’t be a fine relation between us forever, and we would still live in pain. Thereupon, I prayed to God to give me courage, to help me let go the airs of a mother and apologize to her.
One day, I said to her, “Let’s go for a walk.” Linking my arm in hers, I summoned up my courage to say to her, “My daughter! Some time ago, in the matter of your choosing school, I made decisions on my own without considering your opinion. It was all my fault. I apologize truly. In the past, I always put on airs of a mother to control you and force you to listen to me in everything. If you did not take my advice, I would reprove you loudly, leaving you depressed. Through reading God’s words, I understand that I should get along with you in an equal position but not in a mother’s high position. I am willing to put God’s word into practice and change myself, no more making any decision on my own. From now on, you can regard me as your close friend, speaking your mind to me, and I will hear you patiently …” As I said it, she shed tears and said, “Mom, your words move me very much. I never thought that you would speak these words with me …” Hearing her words, I also felt very moved. I couldn’t help embracing her tightly and silently gave thanks to God.
When we returned home, I wanted to discuss with my husband the matter of my daughter’s choosing school. Unexpectedly, he said, “What you say in our family goes. Is it necessary to discuss this with me?” Hearing his words, I felt so ashamed that my face was burning. I hurriedly said to him: “It is I who have done wrong. I apologize. Both our daughter and you are part of our family, so I won’t have the final say in the future. I should listen to your opinions more.” Hearing me say so, he at once walked out of the bedroom, sitting together with us two. I first asked him to speak his opinion, and he said that he respected our daughter’s wish. And then I warmly said to her: “Both your father and I respect your choice; but before you make a decision, I want to help you objectively analyze the differences between the town high school and the vocational middle school. Then, you can make a choice according to real condition. Okay?” She nodded lightly.
Afterward, I said to her: “The knowledge of high school is certainly much more difficult than that of middle school. If you like studying and feel that you have latent force to develop in your studies, then you can choose to go to high school. In comparison, the knowledge of vocational middle school is relatively simpler than that of high school, and you can also study a skill here.” My husband chimed in: “Your mother’s analysis is correct. There are distinct differences between the curriculum of middle school and high school. You should choose the school based on your own real condition.” After she thought deeply for a while, she said to us: “Dad, Mom, I had tried very hard this year when I was in ninth grade, but I did so poorly in the examination. Hearing your words, I think I’d better go to the vocational middle school. In this way, not only will I have less pressure on studying, but I will also learn the professional skills required for kindergarten teacher, such as reciting and hosting. They are my specialties, so I will try my best to study well.” In this way, she finally chose to go to the vocational middle school.
After experiencing this, the relationship between my daughter and me became more harmonious. Later on, she started school. Every weekend when she came back, she would tell me some interesting things in her school and actively helped me cook meals and do the dishes. Seeing that she and I were so close, I thanked God from the depths of my heart. It was the guidance of God’s word that let me understand how to get along with my daughter. Therefore, our relationship became so harmonious. All glory be to Almighty God!