How to Educate Children: I Find a Good Way

By Cuiping, Malaysia

“Mommy, I hate you, I hate you! I don’t want you as my mommy anymore!”

My daughter’s cries stabbed into my heart, and I couldn’t get her resentful glare out of my head. I just didn’t understand it. I’d done my best to teach her and this was what I was getting in return! How exactly was I supposed to be educating her? I felt so anxious and confused about it, and everything I’d done to educate my daughter over the previous two years replayed in my mind …

How to educate children - child cry
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I Place All My Hopes on My Daughter

When I was little, my family was very poor, and after I finished middle school I left education and went out to work performing manual labor. Whenever I saw people who were both knowledgeable and educated working in big companies or in banks, those white-collar workers who not only earned big bucks but who were also held in high esteem by others, I would feel so envious, and I would think that those words I’d read in books, that “Knowledge can change your fate,” and “To be a scholar is to be at the top of society,” were right. I thought to myself: “This is my lot in life, to live a life of suffering and exhaustion. When I have my own child, I’ll never let them live such a hard life as I have. I’m going to raise my child so well and get them into a well-known college, and then they’ll have a bright future!”

After my daughter was born, I devoted all my care and attention to her. I’d heard that drinking the colostrum of a cow could make children more intelligent, so I bought some for her to drink; I’d heard that the best time for a child to start learning a foreign language is when they are three years old, so when my daughter turned three, I sent my daughter to a special nursery that taught foreign languages. Although it cost a lot of money, I thought about how my daughter would be able to speak perfect English and how beneficial it would be to her future job prospects and to getting a foothold in society, and I decided to save money on my own food and expenses in order to provide this education for her.

Every time I took her to the nursery, however, she never wanted me to leave, crying and wailing that she wanted her mommy. The teacher would take her in, but she would cling with both hands to the front door of the school, not wanting to go in. Seeing my daughter behave this way upset me a great deal. I really couldn’t bear to inflict this suffering on her, but when I thought of how being three years old was the best time to start learning a foreign language, I thought that only by her suffering this now could she go on to get excellent grades in the future. And so, I would grit my teeth and suppress my own emotions whenever I handed my daughter over to the teacher, and then I would turn and leave with her heart-rending cries in my ears. Later, the teacher told me that imparting educational knowledge to children while they were still very young was very important, and that children at the age of three should begin to learn how to write. Therefore, after my daughter came home from nursery each day, I would take her slowly through learning how to write. Because my daughter was studying at nursery and playing games with her friends all day, she would already be tired when she got home, and she wouldn’t want to study anymore. I would teach her how to write certain words over and over again and she still wouldn’t be able to write them. Seeing that she couldn’t pick this up, I began to get a little anxious, and I shouted at her, saying, “You must learn how to write these characters today. You can only go to bed once you’ve learned them!” But no matter what I said, my daughter just didn’t want to write them, and just sat there crying her eyes out. It pained me to hear her cry so. I thought of how she had to bear such pressure to study when she was only three years old, so I wondered whether I was being too severe to make such demands of her. But then I thought: “There is such fierce competition in society nowadays, and every parent is doing all they can to improve their children’s grades in order to give them bright futures. My daughter cannot be left behind! As the saying goes, ‘No pain, no gain.’ I’m only doing this for my daughter’s sake. When she gets into a good college when she’s older, it’ll all be worth it, and she’ll then understand all my good intentions.”

So that my daughter could learn even more, I signed her up for supplementary classes. From Monday to Friday, she had extra classes on general subjects, and on weekends she had extra classes in Chinese and English. I thought that if I did all I could to get my daughter to these classes, then she would have a good foundation in all subjects, but to my surprise, the teacher said that my daughter’s math grades were just as poor as before. She told me to get my daughter to take extra classes in mental arithmetic, otherwise she would not have a good foundation in this subject, and then she would struggle even more in the future. The teacher’s words got me all in a panic. My daughter was four now, and in another two years this golden time to study would be over. I absolutely had to make the best of this time to educate my child. And so, on weekend mornings, I would give her two mental arithmetic classes and, in this way, all of my daughter’s time was taken up by my study arrangements for her. I even made her work every evening through exercise books that I’d bought for her.

woman consoling her crying little daughter
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Over time, I saw that my daughter was becoming more and more irritable, and she would often have tantrums and would refuse to go to school. Sometimes, she would get so irate that she would even smash things on the floor, and she would glare resentfully at me and yell, “Mommy, I hate you, I hate you! I don’t want you as my mommy anymore!” My relationship with my daughter became increasingly deadlocked, but despite this, I still thought of all the ways I could to coax her and encourage her to go to school. Each time I saw my daughter cry in such a pained way and saw her reproachful looks, I would feel so upset and also very distressed. I thought to myself: “I’m making her study for her own good. I don’t want her to be as poor as me when she’s older. But why is she always so disobedient?” Forcing her to study every day was exhausting and it caused me a lot of pain as well. She was becoming more and more irritable and was being put under so much pressure—how exactly was I supposed to educate her?

Under the Guidance of God’s Words, I Find the Root of Our Pain

Just as I was in pain and feeling helpless, a sister preached to me God’s work of the last days. She would also often have heart-to-hearts with me and would resolve my difficulties and problems using God’s words. One day, I told the church sister about my difficulties educating my daughter, and she said to me, “God has expressed many millions of words in the last days. His words are abundantly rich and can resolve all our difficulties. We must pray and rely on God, seek the truth in His words and trust that God will lead us to resolve our difficulties.”

She then read two passages of God’s words that related directly to my problem: “There are still many satanic poisons in people’s lives, in their handling things, and in their conduct and dealings with others—they are almost without a shred of truth—for example, their life philosophies, their ways of doing things, and their maxims are filled with the poisons of the great red dragon, and they all come from Satan” (“How to Know Man’s Nature”). “As far as children go, all parents hope that their children will receive higher education and that they’ll someday get ahead, have a place in society as well as have both a stable income and influence—that way they can honor the family line. Everyone has this point of view. … Everyone wants their children to go to a prestigious university and then pursue advanced studies, thinking that after getting degrees they’ll stand out from the crowd. This is because in their hearts, everyone worships knowledge, believing that ‘The worth of other pursuits is small, the study of books excels them all.’ On top of that, competition in modern society is particularly fierce, and without a degree you’re not even guaranteed to be able to put food on the table. This is how everyone thinks about it” (“Only by Knowing Your Misguided Views Can You Know Yourself”).

The sister then gave fellowship, saying, “God’s words clearly expose our wrong ideas and views. As we are educated and are taught knowledge when we are little, we are subjected to ideas and views that arise from Satan, such as, ‘Knowledge can change your fate,’ ‘To be a scholar is to be at the top of society,’ ‘Distinguishing oneself and bringing honor to his ancestors,’ and ‘No pain, no gain.’ We believe that, once we have knowledge and a good education, we can then find a good job and have a bright future, and that other people will admire us and hold us in high esteem. Moreover, we see others who are highly educated not only getting good jobs and being able to afford everything they need once they leave college, but they also win the admiration and esteem of others, and this makes us idolize knowledge even more and believe that knowledge can allow us to change our fate. Under the control of this kind of idea, we expend all our efforts and rack our brains in order to educate our children. Some people spend a huge amount of money to sign their child up to supplementary lessons, some people buy their child all sorts of learning materials for them to refer to and practice with, and some people even give up their own jobs so that they can coach their child full-time, and so on. We expend so much time and energy in order to raise our children to be knowledgeable and educated, so that they can stand out from the crowd when they’re older and have a bright future. But what does all this actually do to the child? Children’s younger years are the years of innocence and artlessness, and yet we take their playtime away and force them to overload on study day after day. This goes completely against the normal rules of a child’s maturation, and not only does it fail to improve the child’s grades, but it also causes great harm to both their body and mind. It is often seen on the Internet, for example, that some children cannot bear the pressure their parents put them under to study, and they end up running away from home; some are under so much pressure that they are diagnosed with depression in their early years; some children cannot endure such a heavy burden and they end up hating all the world, and they even go so far as to cripple or kill themselves…. These are just a few examples of what can come from putting one’s child under too much pressure to study. Your daughter is only four years old, and it’s because she’s under so much pressure to study that she has become so irritable and is growing more and more distant from you. You are also suffering so much that you can hardly talk about it and you are mentally and physically exhausted. From this, we can see that all these ideas and views that Satan indoctrinates us with are wrong, and if we rely on them to educate our children and we make them study as hard as they can, then both our children and ourselves end up with nothing but pain and hurt. Sister, as parents, it is only right and proper that we educate our children. But placing our children under so much pressure and forcing them to study every day can only bring about the opposite of what we intend!”

After listening to God’s words and the sister’s fellowship, everything suddenly became clear in my mind: So the reason why my daughter and I were living such a strained life was because I had been living by the fallacious ideas and views of Satan. I thought about how I myself had no education and about how earning money through manual labor was not only hard and exhausting, but that it was also looked down upon by other people, and so I had become determined to make my child study hard, believing in the ideas of “Knowledge can change your fate,” and “To be a scholar is to be at the top of society,” and that only by being knowledgeable and highly educated could one have a bright future and stand out from the crowd. I therefore threw all my energy into my daughter’s studies; when she was only three years old, I began to make her learn how to write, and when she turned four, I signed her up to all kinds of supplementary classes and put so much pressure on her that she lost the happiness she should have had as a child. At such a young age, she was bearing such a heavy burden of study that she had developed an irritable temper, and had even grown distant from me, hated me and had become filled with resentment toward me. Only then did I see that by living by Satan’s fallacious ideas and putting so much pressure on my daughter to study, I was not loving her but harming her. If I didn’t completely change the way I was educating my daughter, I would only cause her even more grievous harm in the future, so much harm in fact that it could become irreparable! It was God’s words that had guided me to find the root cause of this pain and to see the absurd nature of these satanic ideas and views—thanks be to God!

blonde young woman lying hardwood floor reading book
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The sister then read me another passage of God’s words: “When one leaves one’s parents and becomes independent, the social conditions one faces, and the kind of work and career available to one are both decreed by fate and have nothing to do with one’s parents. … What occupation one chooses, how one makes a living: do people have any control over whether they make a good choice or a bad choice? Do they accord with their desires and decisions? … Regardless of differences in ability, IQ, and willpower, people are all equal before fate, which makes no distinction between the great and the small, the high and the low, the exalted and the mean. What occupation one pursues, what one does for a living, and how much wealth one amasses in life are not decided by one’s parents, one’s talents, one’s efforts or one’s ambitions, but are predetermined by the Creator” (“God Himself, the Unique III”). God’s words caused me to suddenly see the light. “Yes,” I thought. “God is the Creator and we are His creations. Our fates and futures are all in His hands, and no one may change them. Whether or not my daughter will be able to get into college, whether or not she will have a good career and how her life will be like in the future are not up to me to decide, much less do they depend on whether or not she is knowledgeable or highly educated. Instead, it is all decided by the sovereignty and arrangements of God.” I thought of all the people I knew: Some had lived the life of a poor student, studying all the time and suffering, but they had never gotten into a good college; some had graduated from well-known colleges, but they were never able to find suitable employment; there were some who were not highly educated, and yet had managed to become bosses of their own factories; and then there were some who, despite having no education whatsoever, possessed some special skill and were able to find their place in society and at least achieve some small accomplishment. From this, it is evident that our fates are ruled and arranged by God and knowledge can in no way change our fates, much less can we ourselves control our fates. I had not known God’s sovereignty and had been living by the fallacious ideas of Satan, always trying to arrange my daughter’s life in my own way and making her study hard so as to change her fate—by doing this, had I not been opposing God’s sovereignty over my daughter’s fate? I couldn’t even rule my own fate, so how could I have expected to control my daughter’s? I really had overestimated myself! Once I’d come to this understanding, I said a prayer to God: “I no longer wish to live by the fallacious views of Satan and force my daughter to study. I wish instead to entrust my daughter into Your hands, O God, and submit to Your sovereignty and arrangements.”

Afterward, I spoke with my daughter about all her supplementary lessons and, after some discussion, I decided to stop the English, Chinese and mental arithmetic classes we had been doing on the weekends, and instead I signed her up for dance classes that she really enjoyed. Later on, I often showed my daughter choir videos and dance and song videos that had been produced by the church, and she really liked them, and would ask me to show them to her whenever we had the time. As time went on, the strife between us dissipated and she would only very seldom lose her temper—she was happy. After she got home after finishing her lessons, she would often hang around by me, happily telling me what had happened that day at school, and the tears, the crying, the coaxing, the shouting and the smashing things that had been our life every day before had now become things of the past. My daughter and I were so much more relaxed and free now.

I Ask God to Take My Daughter’s Future Into His Hands

One day, I went to school to pick my daughter up, and I discovered that her English grades had begun to drop. After I told the mother of one of her classmates, she said, “You absolutely must get her to take extra classes. If her grades are so low now when they’re only just studying the basics, won’t it be even harder for her to keep up in the future?” After she’d said this, I began to feel anxious, and I thought to myself: “My daughter’s grades are lagging behind now, so will this have an impact on her future studies? Should I sign her up for extra English classes?” But then I thought: “If I try to force my daughter to take extra classes again, she’ll just go back to how she was before, feeling under tremendous pressure to study without any freedom at all and living a very strained life. Our relationship would get worse as well. I really don’t want to go back to that life of pain again, but what should I do?” I felt such mixed feelings about this matter, and I didn’t know what to do for the best.

At a church gathering later on, I saw these words of God: “So when people recognize God’s sovereignty over human fate, the smart ones choose to know it and accept it…. Wherever one is, whatever one’s job is, one’s means of living and the pursuit of one’s goals bring one nothing but endless heartbreak and irrelievable suffering, such that one cannot bear to look back. Only when one accepts the Creator’s sovereignty, submits to His orchestrations and arrangements, and seeks true human life, will one gradually break free from all heartbreak and suffering, shake off all the emptiness of life” (“God Himself, the Unique III”). As I contemplated God’s words, I came to realize that the satanic ideas of “Knowledge can change your fate,” and “To be a scholar is to be at the top of society,” were still so deeply rooted within me. Therefore, when I heard that my daughter’s grades were slipping, I’d become anxious and worried and had wanted once again to give her extra classes to improve her grades, and in that way her future would be assured. I thought about how I had been fooled by Satan’s ideas and views before and had heaped the pressure onto my daughter to study, and not only had her grades not improved, but it had caused us both to live a very painful life. Satan was once again using this student’s mother to tempt me, to make me once again live by its fallacious ideas, not believe in the sovereignty of God, but force my daughter to study, and in that way continue to be controlled and fooled by it. “I am no longer willing to keep living by Satan’s fallacious ideas and to make that same mistake again,” I thought. “My daughter’s future is ruled and arranged by God and it is not something that I can change. All I can do is go by the program of study the teachers give my daughter and tutor her normally. As for my daughter’s grades or how her future will be, I just want to submit to God’s sovereignty and arrangements.” Thinking this, I found the correct path of practice and I felt so much more at ease; I was no longer worried about my daughter’s future.

How to Educate Children
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I did not sign my daughter up for any extra classes after that and, when she finished school and if the teacher had given her homework to do, I would tutor her with her homework. If she didn’t have any homework to do, I would just let her play. I also usually focused on guiding her to read God’s words, and to pray more to God and rely on Him more whenever she encountered a problem. Sometimes I also taught her to sing hymns of God’s words in praise of God. Later, my daughter also accepted God’s work, became a young Christian and began to attend the church gatherings for children. What came as a surprise to me was that, by attending gatherings and reading God’s words, my daughter became more and more cheerful and sensible as time went on. What was even more wonderful was that, after school, she no longer needed me to prompt her to do her homework! All thanks to the guidance of God’s words!

My daughter became free and liberated, and her grades improved as well. In her exams this year, she scored amongst the top grades in her whole class and her English grades were excellent too. I now see my daughter’s little face wearing a smile every day, and I cannot help but feel grateful to God from the bottom of my heart. It was God’s words that changed my wrong views, and only then did I come to understand that submitting to God’s sovereignty, entrusting my daughter into God’s hands and obeying His orchestrations was the best way I could ever have educated my daughter. Thank God!

 

Read more on our Christian Testimonies page about Parenting & Education, or in the recommended articles below.

God’s Words Guide Her to Improve Mother-child Relationship

The Secret for Kids to Grow and Study Happily

God Shows Her a Good Way to Teach Son

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