By Song Ling
Children’s Excessive Consumption Brought Their Mothers Annoyance
One Sunday, I was chatting with several mothers in Lan Bei Park.
Aunt Liu said helplessly, “Yesterday my child spent a few hundred yuan on four dresses. Today she is going to eat at a restaurant with her friends. She doesn’t feel any regrets for spending money, as if it were got without pains. No matter what I say, she won’t listen, and when I talk too much, she will get peeved off. Alas, I really cannot control her.”
“My daughter is the same. She spends money like it’s water. When she sees clothes that she likes, she will buy them, and her wardrobe gets stuffed full of clothes. I’m frugal and even unwilling to buy a dress or shoes, while she spends three or four hundred yuan on a dress. What’s worse, she can’t bear any criticism of this, and even blames me for nagging her that she doesn’t speak to me—she is too immature. This really fills me with anger and helplessness.”
When these words were finished, several girls around my daughter’s age in beautiful clothes came over with bags of various sizes, and one of them muttered: “Ah, my mother is really a nuisance. She is always complaining that I spend money recklessly. Even if I buy a dress, she will hinder me …”
Hearing this, I gave a deep sigh and thought, “Children today are throwing away money by the handful. It’s really difficult to control them. Why can they not think what their mothers are thinking?” Speaking of my daughter, I felt even more suffering …
The Storms Where I Quarreled With My Daughter Who Lives From Paycheck to Paycheck
1) The Storm Caused by My Daughter’s Treat
One day, my daughter returned home from work with bags of various sizes, and as soon as she came in, she quickly ran over to me and said with a smile, “Mom, since you’re free now, would you please give me a hand? I’ve invited eight or nine friends to eat seafood at our home tonight.”
Hearing that, my heart couldn’t help but clench, and I thought, “Seafood? How much does it cost? It’s not only expensive but isn’t worth the cost.” I, who was always frugal, really couldn’t accept this. Then my face darkened, and I, glaring at my daughter, couldn’t help nagging her, “You’re throwing money away again. You don’t know how to live your life at all. See how you will live in the future. All that you bought is seafood—are you showing off that you’re wealthy? …”
Before I could finish speaking, my daughter said unhappily, “Am I not just inviting my friends to dinner? However, since I entered the door, you start pulling a long face and nagging. Do you think the tastes of our youth are the same as yours?” My daughter blamed me for scolding her, and then she angrily turned and entered the kitchen. Although she ignored me, seeing that she had much seafood to cook and considering that her friends would be coming soon, I had no choice but to help her in the kitchen, but my anger didn’t fade away.
The following day, I and my daughter started another quarrel …
2) The Storm Caused by My Daughter Buying Snacks
When the door opened with a squeak, my daughter arched her back and toed quietly into the house carrying a large bag of snacks. As she didn’t see me, she started confidently and boldly walking toward her room.
Just then I came out of another room and disgruntledly said, “How come you bought so many snacks again? It’s a waste of money and eating too many snacks is bad for your health …”
This startled my daughter, and seeing me look awful, she quickly entered her room and closed the door. I could only sulk before the door.
3) The Storm Caused by My Daughter’s Express Delivery
I slammed the express parcel in my hand down on the sofa, which was my daughter’s fifth one I got in a day. I angrily said to myself, “All you do is spend money recklessly. People say you live from paycheck to paycheck monthly, while I think however much you make each day is however much you spend. You have no thought of saving at all. You’re too immature!”
At night, when my daughter came back, I started scolding her, which was a part of my everyday life, “You are always buying things online, such as clothes, shoes, cosmetics…. There are so many things kept by you. Could it be that you’ll be full after just having a look at your wardrobe instead of having meals?”
Hearing me say this, my daughter answered back, “You always take charge of everything I do. I’ve grown up now, and I have my own thoughts and choices. Don’t always control me according to your own ideas.”
After I heard my daughter say such things, anger surged inside me, and I said, “You’re too immature. Do you think that you are your own person since you can make money? Even though it is earned by you, you can’t spend it recklessly. If I were not your mother, I wouldn’t care to pay attention to your business …”
After that, my daughter was unwilling to talk to me even when she was at home, and she looked downcast all the time, as if she had been greatly wronged. Our relationship became ever more distant, which left me feeling really uncomfortable. I thought, “Grown-ups never listen to their mothers, do they? Why can’t my daughter understand me? Does she still take me as her mother?”
God’s Words Helped Me Find the Root of the Problem
After pouring out my suffering to those mothers, what I got was their helpless sighs. Then I walked home with a heavy heart. Thinking of how my husband wasn’t at home and how my daughter was unwilling to talk to me that we simply became like strangers under the same roof, I felt bitter. At that moment, I recalled that I was a believer in God, and that in treating my daughter I hadn’t truly come before God to seek His will. So, I called to God in my heart, “O God! My relationship with my daughter has turned to deadlock. I think that my scolding her is for her own good, but she doesn’t understand my good intentions. God, please guide and help me to find the root of the bad relationship between me and her.”
After coming back, I prayed to God again about my difficulties, and then saw 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?” (from God’s fellowship). God’s words thoroughly revealed my state. I came to understand that although I believed in God, because I didn’t understand the truth I still often revealed my hot-headedness. When I saw my daughter did something displeasing to me, I felt that she showed no respect to me and had no place for me in her heart, so I became angry toward her and lost my temper, never considering her feelings. Although I felt some regrets for doing such things, whenever I saw that she spent money freely, and that she not only didn’t listen but talked back to me when I scolded her for this, I couldn’t control myself and began to lecture, restrain and control her as a mother, not giving her free space. This caused our relationship to become ever more forced and left us exhausted. I then thought of how God, like a loving mother, time and again gives us corrupt mankind tolerance and mercy. God expresses the truth to save mankind, but He never forces people to accept it or put it into practice, but instead He gives people the freedom of choice. God time and time again endured and forgave my disobedience and gave me chances to repent, while I, who had been corrupted by Satan and often made mistakes, actually demanded that my daughter listen to me—I was indeed very arrogant and irrational.
God’s Words Loosed the Knots in My Heart and Dispelled the Misunderstanding Between My Daughter and Me
When I sought how exactly to do in order to resolve the misunderstanding between my daughter and me, I saw these words of God, “If both sides lived by normal humanity, and if they were able to reach possession of the truth, with both sides putting themselves in each other’s shoes, and taking into account each other’s difficulties, from the perspective of normal humanity, and both sides standing on an equal footing when they interacted, spoke to each other, and did things, would this stop the estrangement developing between them? What causes what the unbelievers call the ‘generation gap’? Isn’t it that the older generation acts high and mighty, and the younger generation doesn’t like them doing so, which produces the estrangement, and leads to the generation gap—isn’t that how it comes about? If parents don’t act high and mighty, and the children can open up to them, and treat them as intimates, could there still be the estrangement between them?” (from God’s fellowship). God’s words showed me the path of practice and I realized that in God’s eyes my daughter and I are both created beings and that our status is equal, and therefore we should show respect to each other. I should let go of the position of a mother, communicate with her calmly, and tell her my innermost thoughts. When something happened, I should put aside my own thoughts and listen to what she was expressing. I thought of how, although her spending money recklessly was not right, that was because she was influenced by the social trend of this age where people all pay great attention to what to eat, wear and play. As she just entered into society and thought she could make money, she followed others in buying things and also bought what she liked, thus spending money freely. Therefore, I should patiently guide her to establish a correct outlook on consumption. My blindly scolding and restraining her could only make her feel disgusted and conflicted, and even made her think that there was a generation gap between us because we were from different generations, and that I didn’t understand the young generation’s way of living. Coming to this realization, I knew how to treat my daughter in the future.
Before long, my daughter bought many things online again, including masks, biscuits, instant noodles, spicy bars, etc. Seeing this scene develop, I wanted to lose my temper and scold her for throwing away money, but at the sudden thought of God’s words I had read before, I knew that I should put aside the position of a mother and learn to confide in her calmly. So, after praying to God, I said to her seriously, “The way I did things in the past is wrong. I always believed that since I’m your mother, you should listen to me. So, I acted high and mighty, said something to restrain you and tell you off, which caused us great pain. I won’t let that happen again. Besides, I want to give you some advice. When buying snacks, you’d better choose something that’s good for your health. Snacks such as instant noodles, spicy bars and so on contain various additives, so they are quite harmful to your health. You can buy some fruits or something like that, which are good for your health and skin. When buying clothes and makeup, you can choose some that suit you. This way, you won’t follow the trend of buying a pig in a poke. It’s not easy for you to make money. If you purchase something that’s useless for you, isn’t it a shame that you waste the money? Now you’re still young and there will be lots of things you’ll need to spend money on, so if you spend wisely, your later days won’t be difficult. Therefore, you should try to save some money so that you won’t worry about it every month.”
After I had finished calmly, my daughter came up in surprise, and said in a low voice with her head tilt, “Mom, how come you changed the way you speak today, not scolding me? When you told me to be thrifty and not to waste money, actually I knew this was for my own good, but because you spoke with a forceful tone, I didn’t want to listen. I feel it easy to accept your way of speaking today. I shouldn’t have lost my temper at you, and it was all my fault. Mom, it’s so great how we get along with each other this way. From now on I will listen to you and learn to spend less …” My daughter and I nodded and smiled happily.
In the days that followed, when I saw my daughter doing things that were not to my liking, I would pray to God and get along with her according to God’s words. Furthermore, I read God’s words to her, and told her about the authority of God’s words and about how God works to transform man. Gradually, my daughter changed, and our relationship became closer and closer. One day, my daughter said with concern, “Mom, because you are a little hyperglycemic, I bought some sugar-free food. Remember to take them.” Seeing that my daughter knew to buy something good for the health and showed me care and consideration, I felt very pleased.
Through this experience, I genuinely felt that relying on corrupt disposition couldn’t help me resolve any problem, and instead it could only make things get from bad to worse. Now through treating my daughter based on God’s words, we not only can get along harmoniously with each other, but also have a common language. Thanks be to God!
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