Transformation of Tiger Mother: Give Kids More Room

By Qingxin, USA

My husband and I are both Christians, and after getting married we had a son and a daughter. With the care and protection of the Lord, we lived very happily. When my daughter was one and a half years old and my son was six months old, my husband and I entrusted them to the care of a relative of ours, bought a little restaurant, and ran it ourselves in order to make money to give our children a better life in the future. Through our management, business slowly became good, but then we had a multiplicity of tasks to do every day. Because we were so busy with the restaurant all day long we became exhausted in body and mind. After some time, my husband got a chronic ulcer and needed to start watching what he ate. I thought: “It was because we aren’t well- educated that we failed to find good jobs and now have to labor hard in the restaurant.” At that time, I secretly made a resolution: I would nurture my children and make them well-educated so that they would have access to decent and cushy jobs, and wouldn’t have to toil like us.

a child is painting

After five years of struggling, we went to buy a house in the best school district around in order to provide a good learning environment for my children. If the school district hadn’t been the best, we wouldn’t have bought the house, no matter how good it was. After the house was bought, we brought our children back. In order that they could have a wonderful future, I often surfed the Internet to look through material on educating children and some parents’ experiences of educating their children. What’s more, I enrolled my children for a variety of arts and sports classes, such as piano, karate, Chinese, swimming, drawing, and so forth. After that, I set a schedule for them and made many demands of them: After getting home from school, first do their homework, next have dinner, then attend a class, practice playing the piano for half an hour, take a bath, do some bedtime reading, and update their diaries. They had to finish all these before going to bed. In addition, I asked them to do some extra homework, besides the homework their teachers had given them. For example, when my children were in second grade, I made them do the third grade homework. They weren’t willing to because they found it too tough, and sometimes even complained and cried. Nevertheless, I didn’t consider their feelings but time and time again, earnestly and kindly, told them this was building a foundation for their future.

At a parent-teacher meeting, a teacher praised my son for doing well in his studies, especially in math and writing. The teacher said that my son’s writing was excellent, and that she was glad to teach such a student. Hearing these words, I felt very proud, thinking: “My son is mediocre in the arts and sports classes, but he does well in his studies, so I’ll ask him to put more effort into studying, write more in his diary and write more stories.” By contrast, my daughter didn’t show any marked improvement in her studies, but her piano teacher told me that she had musical talents and advised cultivating her in this area. The teacher said she would also focus more on her, and would write music specially for her. Moreover, the teacher said that it would take one year for her other students to achieve the same as my daughter had in three months. Although my husband told me that the teacher just said this to make money off of us, I was still very happy and proud. For the sake of nurturing my daughter, the teacher and I agreed to lengthen her class time. And I would supervise her while she did more practice at home. Though her schoolwork was nothing special, we could cultivate her musical talent, and in this way she would have a beautiful future as well.

However, my children didn’t appreciate my painstaking care. My daughter was often weary from practicing the piano too long. All day I was busy with the restaurant and so couldn’t supervise her practicing at home. So I bought a small electronic organ and put it in the corner of the restaurant. She liked playing it but didn’t like practicing over and over every day. She preferred to play around and got lazy once I went away. That made me annoyed. In order to make her practice more effective, I supervised her practice at home at night after work as much as I could. No matter how exhausted I was, I was very happy as long as she would seriously practice. In order to make them both do more practice, I tried every way possible. Sometimes, I coaxed them; sometimes, if coaxing didn’t work, I would press them to do it; sometimes, if pressing didn’t work either, I would become hot-tempered and even lecture them loudly. I thought: “I work hard to earn money to allow you to go to school and watch you to practice at night. Isn’t my being so hard for the sake of you? Why do you not show some understanding?” At that thought, I’d feel so upset and weep, and they’d also cry, but more from a sense of grievance. But, seeing me unhappy, they would obediently practice for a while.

Every day, I was busy in the restaurant during the daytime, and in the evening I had to supervise my children practicing the piano and doing their homework. I always felt extremely tired, and sometimes I would feel that I was about to collapse. As a result, I became more and more impatient: If they didn’t practice according to my requirements, I would lose my temper with them. I knew that treating children like this wasn’t good, but I couldn’t control myself. I felt very pained and perplexed. I didn’t know how to educate them properly, much less know when this cycle of suffering would end. All the time I thought: “What is the meaning and value of continuously living like this? If the meaning of life is having precocious children, a happy family and a successful career, why do I feel exhausted mentally and physically? Why don’t I feel the slightest happiness but only pain? What’s been going on with me? What on earth do I want?” In my pain and confusion I even suspected that I might be suffering from depression.

feel very pained and perplexed

In early September, 2017, my suffering made me frequently pray to the Lord. I said things like: “Oh, Lord! I’m in such pain. I know losing temper with my children isn’t right, but I can’t control myself. Oh, Lord! What should I do now? May You lead me out of my pain.” After my prayers, I opened the Bible, hoping to find answers from the scriptures, but they failed to resolve my pain and confusion. On the Lord’s day, I went to the church to attend meetings and listen to sermons, but I couldn’t feel the Lord’s presence and just felt sleepy. I had no choice but to repeatedly sob to the Lord in my heart about my predicament.

About two weeks later, I got acquainted with a sister named Lily. During conversations with her, she talked to me about many prophecies in the Bible regarding the Lord’s return and about some issues, such as how Christians should welcome the Lord’s return, and so on. I sensed that the sister’s fellowship was very enlightening. The more I listened, the more interested in it I was. Later, she fellowshiped this with me, “The Lord Jesus was crucified to do the work of redeeming mankind and we’ve been forgiven our sins because of believing in the Lord; nonetheless, satanic corrupt dispositions are still deeply rooted in us. So, we remain living in sin and leading lives of unceasingly committing sins, confessing them and committing the sins once more.” Not until then did I come to realize why I couldn’t be tolerant and patient with my children, but often blew up instead. It turned out that I was bound by sins and that my satanic corrupt dispositions had still not been cleansed. The sister continued fellowshiping, “Today, God has become flesh again to do the work of judgment, beginning with the house of God. Through expressing truth, God has revealed all Satan’s corrupt dispositions within us one by one, and has also pointed out to us the path of practice to break away from sins and attain salvation. As long as we read more of God’s words and practice according to them, we’ll shake off the bondage of Satan’s corrupt dispositions and live out the likeness of true human beings.” Through a succession of meetings and fellowships with the sister, I gradually became certain about God’s new work.

Then the sister invited me to take part in an exchange with new believers from various countries overseas. In the meeting, a sister shared her experience of educating her child. I felt it was similar to my own experience. And a passage of God’s words she shared with us at that time touched me very much: God’s words say: “Once a man has status, he will often find it difficult to control his mood, and so he will enjoy seizing upon instances to express his dissatisfaction and vent his emotions; he will often flare up into rage for no apparent reason, so as to reveal his ability and let others know that his status and identity are different from those of ordinary people. Of course, corrupt people without any status will also frequently lose control. Their anger is frequently caused by damage to their individual benefits. In order to protect their own status and dignity, corrupt mankind will frequently vent their emotions and reveal their arrogant nature. … Some exercise restraint in their anger, while others are more rash and flare up with rage whenever they wish without the least bit of restraint. In short, man’s anger derives from his corrupt disposition. No matter what its purpose, it is of the flesh and of nature; it has nothing to do with justice or injustice because nothing in man’s nature and substance corresponds to the truth.”

These words of God made me feel very ashamed: Wasn’t I often like that? Whenever my children didn’t listen to me, I always stuck to my role of strict mother in the way I cajoled and supervised them. I demanded that they live and study according to my plan. When they didn’t fulfill my requirements, I lost patience and they lost my love. I was often unable to control my mood and even lost my temper and expressed my dissatisfaction when I felt like it. It turns out that all this was a result of Satan’s arrogant nature. In the past, I always thought that the reason for my anger was because my children did something wrong or didn’t study hard. But at that moment I came to know that it isn’t their fault but is caused by my satanic corrupt disposition. Because I often get angry with them, imperceptibly I have harmed them and made them suffer, and I have also been tormented greatly. Only then did I feel indebtedness to my children and decided to take the blame and not treat them angrily any longer.

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