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I Have Found the Right Way to Help My Extremely Shy Child
Editor’s Note: The education of children is a pretty thorny issue in today’s society, which had also bothered Shiyu. In order to change her timid and cowardly daughter, she had tried a lot of methods, but none of them worked. Both her daughter and she ended up living in pain. Later, she finally found the right path in God’s words and the two of them experienced a pleasant change.
By Shiyu, Hong Kong
“Mommy, I made a new friend in school today …” Looking at my cheerful daughter, I smiled with my heart because I knew how hard it was for her, who was timid and cowardly, to say such a simple word. If it were not for God’s guidance, I’m afraid my daughter still wouldn’t talk to me today, much less would she take the initiative to make friends with others …
After My Daughter’s Birth, I Begin to Make Plans for Her Life
“Waah …” With a cry, a new life was born into this world. “Congratulations! It’s a girl,” said the doctor as she held my daughter and brought her over to me. Seeing how adorable my daughter was, I was filled with excitement—I’d always wanted a girl, and now this dream finally came true.
When I was a child, my parents didn’t pay attention to cultivating my talents or interests, and I read little and had few interactions with other people, which I thought resulted in me growing up to be a perfectly ordinary person who had neither talents nor social skills. I didn’t want my daughter to be like me when she grew up, so I secretly began to make plans in my heart: I must raise my daughter to be a well behaved, well mannered, and sociable person who is admired and looked up to by others. As long as she can be successful, my life will be worthwhile.
My First Attempt to Change My Daughter’s Character Ends Up in Failure
But things didn’t go as planned. As time wore on, I found that my daughter was very timid, so much so that she would hide behind me as soon as she saw a stranger. This made me feel worried: She is so timid now, so will she grow to be as unsociable as me in the future? If so, how could she get a foothold in society? No! I can’t let her fail before she has even started.
Learning that preschool education could help children fit into community life and promote their learning skills, I immediately signed my daughter up for English class and art class, and planned for her to learn ballet. Besides, I often took her out to engage with other people so as to develop her social competence. But to my surprise, as she gradually grew up, she began to rebel and still didn’t like to socialize with people. Sometimes she would have tantrums and refuse to go to school. Thinking of how I had expended so much time and energy but achieved nothing in the end, I felt very angry. I thought: “Haven’t I done so much for the sake of your future? How could you be so disappointing?”
My daughter’s refusal to cooperate made me more and more irritable, and whenever she had a tantrum, I would scold her loudly, “I’m doing this for your own good. How could you be so disobedient?” Frightened by my harsh tone, my daughter burst into tears. At the sight of her weepy eyes, my heart would soften. Later, however, no matter how hard I tried, she still refused to fit in the life I had arranged for her. This made me very frustrated and I could only comfort myself by thinking, “She is still too small. Maybe she will change for the better when she gets older. As she comes into contact with more people, she will naturally become bolder.”
The Problem Gets Ever Worse as My Daughter Grows Up
One day after school, my daughter’s teacher called me into her office and asked, “Kaiyi doesn’t play with her classmates at school but just sits there alone all the time. Is she like this at home? She never tells us when she needs to go to the bathroom, and neither does she answer our questions. I’d like to know how you interact with her at home.” I didn’t know how to answer the teacher’s questions but just felt so embarrassed. I thought: “Over these years, I’ve been trying so hard to raise my daughter to be talented, but not only hasn’t she changed in the slightest, but she even couldn’t get along with others properly.”
As we were walking home, I scolded my daughter angrily, “I’ve told you so many times that if you want to go to the bathroom, just tell your teacher. You are a big girl now. Isn’t it embarrassing to wet yourself? You can talk to your teacher no matter what happens at school. What is there for you to fear?” Subjected to my sudden reproach, my daughter felt wronged and burst into tears. Seeing the fear in her eyes, I realized that losing my temper wouldn’t solve any problem, but would only make her more and more timid. The people around me often advised me, saying, “Your daughter is too cowardly and she cries all the time. You really need to educate her. As the saying goes, ‘A fond mother spoils the son.’ If she doesn’t obey you, just give her a stern telling off. Sometimes force is the best way to solve problems.” Hearing this, I felt really bad and wondered: I’ve already tried my best, so why couldn’t I change my daughter?
God’s Words Guide Me to Find the Root of the Problem
When I was helpless and in pain, I accepted God’s work of the last days. I came before God and called out to Him, “O God! I’ve tried everything to solve my daughter’s problem, but it was all to no avail. I’m feeling very depressed and don’t know how to educate her. I ask You to help me.”
In a meeting, I came across this passage of God’s words: “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…. At this point hopes for life spring afresh, and new passions are kindled in people’s hearts. People know that they are powerless and hopeless in this life, that they will not have another chance, another hope, to stand out from others, and that they have no choice but to accept their fates. And so they project all their hopes, their unrealized desires and ideals, onto the next generation, hoping that their offspring can help them achieve their dreams and realize their desires; that their daughters and sons will bring glory to the family name, become important, rich, or famous; in short, they want to see their children’s fortunes soar. People’s plans and fantasies are perfect; do they not know that the number of children they have, their children’s appearance, abilities, and so forth, are not for them to decide, that their children’s fates do not at all rest in their palms? Humans are not the masters of their own fate, yet they hope to change the fates of the younger generation; they are powerless to escape their own fates, yet they try to control those of their sons and daughters. Are they not overestimating themselves? Is this not human foolishness and ignorance?”
What God’s words revealed was exactly our current conditions. As parents, we all want our children to become outstanding and successful people who are held in high esteem by others, so we force them to grow according to our own will, trying to control their fates in our hands. However, not only do things not turn out as we hoped, but we even end up bringing too much pressure and harm to our children. I recalled that ever since my daughter was born, dominated by this satanic view “The daughter becomes a phoenix,” I projected all my unrealized desires onto her and began to make plans for her future, aiming to raise her to be a well-mannered and outstanding girl so that she could be admired by others and tower over others. But unexpectedly, my daughter was born timid and cowardly and didn’t even dare to talk to others. In order to realize my dream, I signed her up to all kinds of classes and took her out to interact with other people, trying to improve her courage and cultivate her talents. When my daughter failed to live up to my requirements, I lost my patience and got angry with her, with the result that she suffered a blow and became even more cowardly, and I myself also lived in pain and complaints because my desires hadn’t been satisfied. I couldn’t even rule my own fate, but I actually tried to control my daughter’s future by relying on my arrogant disposition. I really had overestimated myself. At that time, my heart was filled with indebtedness to my daughter and I told myself that I could no longer treat her as I had before, but should change the way I educated her and practice in accordance with God’s requirements.
Doing My Best and Obeying God’s Will
I then read another passage of God’s words: “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’s words remedied my mistaken point of view. I used to think that it was because I hadn’t been well educated and nurtured as a child that I lived a common, ordinary life after I grew up. But God’s words clearly tell us that what occupation one pursues, what one does for a living, and how one’s IQ is are not based on school education and one’s upbringing, but are determined by God’s mastery, predestination and arrangements. When I considered it, I realized it was truly the case. Many people were introverted and ordinary as children but grew up to be successful; some were both sociable and highly educated, but always ran into a wall in their careers and spent a lifetime as ordinary people. It can be seen that fate is not something that any of us or our parents can decide, and our future is even less determined by our talents or education. Instead, they all depend upon God’s mastery and predestination. Coming to this realization, I found a way—I could no longer educate my daughter in my own way and try to change her fate. What I should do is entrust her into God’s hands, do what I can do and obey God’s will.
Later, when my daughter refused to talk or greet others, I would guide her with patience by saying, “Kaiyi, I don’t know why you dare not greet others. In fact, there is nothing to be afraid of. If you greet others, they will feel happy and like you.” But my daughter still remained irresponsive to my words. Seeing this, I said nothing more, for I knew my job was to fulfill my responsibility as a mother, and that as for when she would change, that was not something I could decide. To my surprise, when I was willing to let go of myself, my daughter actually started to greet others. Though her voice was a little weak, it was already good enough that she could do that. My neighbors all praised her for being well-behaved, and whenever she heard this, she would jump up and down around me joyfully.
Returning to My Old Ways to Treat My Daughter, God’s Words Help Me Turn Around
I thought my daughter was starting to change for the better, but things didn’t turn out as I had imagined. Because my daughter didn’t dare to ask the teachers questions in class, her academic performance got worse and worse. I felt very anxious about this and constantly exhorted her, “If you have anything you don’t understand, just go ask the teachers. Otherwise, they wouldn’t know your difficulties, and then how could your grades improve?” However, my daughter just turned a deaf ear to what I said. I remember once when she brought back a paper with only 9% mark, the anger inside me immediately surged up and I yelled at her, “Would it kill you to speak? You didn’t understand what the teachers taught, but you never asked them. If you don’t learn anything now, what can you do in the future?” Another time when I picked up my daughter from school, her teacher seemed very unhappy and said to me in a reproachful tone, “Is there something wrong with your daughter? She hardly ever talks and when she doesn’t understand something, she never asks us. Now she even hasn’t mastered the alphabet. As a parent, you should care more about her. Maybe you can take her to see a shrink.” After we returned home, I was filled with anger and wanted to lose my temper with my daughter, thinking “How could she have no progress? Why does she still not dare to speak?” Feeling unable to control myself, I immediately prayed to God, “O God. Please calm my heart. I don’t want to treat my daughter with anger, but I just cannot control myself. I clearly know that her fate is ruled by You and that I cannot control it. But at the thought of how she dared not ask the teachers about what she didn’t understand, I would just want to lose my temper. I don’t know why. Please help me understand. Amen!”
Afterward, I saw these words from God, “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.”
Pondering God’s words, I came to realize that it was totally driven by my arrogant nature that I wanted to lose my temper with my daughter. I was forcing my daughter to meet my demands and standards from my position as a mother. Actually she needed a normal process to make a change, and I shouldn’t be overly hurried. I, however, never considered her actual difficulties or tried to learn about her true thoughts, nor had I ever given her any genuine care or help. As I thought of my daughter’s frightened look when I got angry with her, I felt incredibly upset and truly saw that educating my daughter by my arrogant disposition not only made myself miserable, but also brought harm to her. I then made a resolution that I would never live by my corrupt dispositions but would strive to live out the likeness of a Christian. I should learn to treat my daughter properly, give her more love and patience and truly fulfill my duty as a mother. So I made a prayer to God, saying, “O God! I give thanks to You. It was Your words that enabled me to recognize my satanic arrogant disposition. I will try my best to pursue the truth to transform myself and no longer treat my daughter by relying on my corrupt dispositions.”
After the prayer, my heart felt much more bright and liberated. In the days that followed, when dealing with my daughter’s problem in study, I no longer chided her, but instead frequently encouraged her by saying, “Kaiyi, it’s OK to ask your teachers about what you don’t understand. If you don’t dare to, you can pray and call out to God first, asking Him to give you courage before you go to your teachers.” After hearing what I said, my daughter nodded her head. Gradually, I found that my daughter became a little braver. When there was something she didn’t understand, she could take the initiative to ask the teachers. Seeing such a change in my daughter, I knew it was all the result achieved by God’s work. Meanwhile, I also learned about my daughter’s difficulties. She was also eager to break free from her cowardice, but she often chickened out because she was too timid. Hearing my daughter sharing with me her trouble, and then thinking of how I had treated her before, I felt greater rancor for what I had done.
When I Change, My Daughter Also Changes
Since then, no matter in study or in daily life, when my daughter didn’t dare to speak because of timidity, I would always encourage her and guide her before God, telling her to rely on and look up to God and be brave to overcome her cowardice. Whenever she heard me say this, my daughter would nod her head in earnest.
Some time later, one day when I picked up my daughter after school, her teacher said to me smilingly, “Kaiyi has made great progress this month. Now she is willing to play games with other kids and she also made a good friend. During class, she even dares to raise her hand to answer the questions. Let’s work together and give her more encouragement.” Hearing these words of the teacher, I felt very happy for my daughter and, at the same time, I kept thanking God in my heart because I knew it was all due to His great power that my daughter could achieve such a change.
Time flew by, and soon my daughter was starting first grade. Every day after school, she would share with me what happened at school. In daily life, my daughter and I often chatted with each other just like friends and we seemed to have endless things to talk about. Moreover, she was no longer afraid of interacting with strangers and she even made many friends. I’d never imagined that my daughter would become so cheerful and I knew it was God’s deeds that made her what she was today. I offered my thanks to God for His guidance from the bottom of my heart.
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