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Panda, a common typing and binding worker in State Grid for 21 years. Own a bachelor degree of Chinese Language and Literature, and a certificate of teaching Chinese. She is pursuing a Master of Chinese Classical Literature in HuBei University, and studying the novels of Ming & Qing dynasties.
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Grow Up Together With Kong    

By Panda
2971 Views | 8 Comments | 3/22/2014 2:57:53 PM

my little home in Wuhan

Look at this picture, here is my little home in Wuhan. Behind the sofa where is Kong’s little room; my big room is on the right of sofa. The window faces south; sun shines upon the sofa. Since Kong came back to Wuhan, I haven’t been into his room to use my computer. I take my paperback book and read a Japanese fiction “The Tale of Genji”.



If Kong stays in his room too long, his mood goes out of control. He has to stay in his room to read French and to play computer games.



When we moved here to the 7th floor, Kong was 9 years old. We set up metal fences on the two windows of his room for his safety. The little room seems like a jail for the 22 years old young man now and I seem just like a jailor. I call him out for meals when the meals are ready on the table of the dining room. I also send juice or chocolate into his room. He roars to me sometimes, “don’t send things into my room!”



I went to wash my hair and buy some things outside last Sunday. I went into his room to take the rubbish out before I went out.I found Kong who was starting to learn French, I then went into his room quietly to change a new rubbish bag. He was annoyed and threw a plastic pencil box at my shoulder.



How do I deal with so rebellious boy? I go all out and keep a close watch on my baby!  I talk with him less. I do what I should do. I get up earlier than him in the morning and make breakfast for him in order to watch how long he will before he goes to school. I have lunch alone at home and prepare our dinner at noon. I inform him what will we eat at dinner from short messages. “If you don’t have dinner at home, you must inform me by short message before. If you don’t give me a short message, means you would have dinner at home.”



I generally tell him the dishes of next dinner by now in order for him to he tell me whether or not he will have dinner at home next night. If he doesn’t answer, I make dinner as planned.



My 22 years old boy who is learning boring French language, can’t roam from place to place with his beloved camera. He is watched every day by his mom and that is really hard for him. He wants to break away from mom’s control. There is only one way which is passing French examination.



He was back home at 10:00PM last night. My mother told me that Kong has a painting and a photograph published in Readers magazine (No.2, 2014, original section). My mother has received the magazine from the publisher in Zhuhai. I went to 3 newspapers and magazine shops around me, but didn’t get the book. They all will sell No. 4 Readers magazines soon. This is a large circulation magazine in China. I was glad to ask Kong this thing, but he did not answer me. I hadn’t said out my second words slightly, when he shouted at me with restless,“Be quiet!”



I found two new series of photographs on his wei blog today. He was taking photos for a girl in a flowering cherry yesterday at noon when my mother called him from Zhuhai to tell him his arts had been published. He said nothing and hung up. He had been taking photos in a concert at last night. He was so busy yesterday.



These are Kong’s recent developments. He is fierce-looking to me, but also has meek moments. When I cook curried chicken rice or something he likes, he will be kind to me. Oh, the curried chicken rice is him teaching to me. And ham cheese sandwich also.I made it after he did once before. In fact, beef noodle is his favorite. I sent him a short message at noon, “there will be scallion with scrambled goose's egg, yam with pork rib soup at dinner.” When I came back home after work, he was in his little room quietly.



It was the softest moment when he took a taxi to return home in a rainy night, he called me when he arrived at our junction. I came to the street with an umbrella, paid the taxi for him. Kong came out from the taxi without an umbrella, even arm in arm with me in the umbrella. Since Kong went to Zhuhai with grand parents at his 12, he’d never let me touch him. He talked to me in the umbrella, “What a class my little auntie asked me joining? How can I pass the French examination with just 500 hours of learning? At least need 1 year learning.” I told my younger sister his words. My sister said, “Anyway, he must go to France this autumn. You just tell him, that you will retire after 3 years and you haven’t enough money to support his study, if he delays to go to France.” The child is sensible, felt hard on the 3rd and 4th units, so change into a latter class, paid 1 more month, repeat to learn the 3rd and 4th units. He said he also can reach the examination on June.



I gave up a good journey with our female colleagues in order to keep watch on Kong’s every move. There are not so many homework, but trivial. I also gave up my plan of studying translation. But my brain always can’t be free. I often note my mind on papers, and type into my computer when my son is not in his room. If I have more free time, I would read “The Tale of Genji” which was translated by Feng Zikai. It is the Chinese translation that our teacher of Beijing recommended, the beautiful and fluent, vivid. Those hard and deep translation text books I will read slowly after Kong goes to France.



This is my situation at present. The obstacles before the eyes are the real opponents; the real problem is the most significant problem. Only when we get our teeth into the real problem, can we truly improve our situation.


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(Showing 1 to 8 of 8) 1
#2014-03-22 15:09:39 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

Cao Hui, you really paint a vivid picture of what happens between you and your son. You are really sacrificing a great deal for the betterment of your son and his future. I hope someday he will learn to appreciate those sacrifices more than he seems to at this time in his life.

When he is basking in the beauty and the culture of France, he will appreciate it and enjoy it so much more if he also understands and appreciates that but for the strength of his Mother's love he would not be there at all.

#2014-03-23 09:49:54 by anonymous9411 @anonymous9411

Cao Hui,
I have noticed a Chinese mother will go to extreme measures for the benefit of their sons. A woman I was dating over the last year from China had a son who is 26. She sold a piece of property from her city in China and just gave the proceeds to her son so he could own a fully paid large home in the US, To a western man this does not teach children to appreciate the satisfaction of working and earning a place to live on their own. It seems in our eyes to create an environment of entitlement. I feel your son is just at an age where he is torn. Should he break away and become an independent man or have his mother continue to dote on him. As he grows older he will slowly break away. It is a natural course. He obviously has a real talent for painting and photography. It surprises me since it seems like his passion that he would not want to share it with you. It may be he is feeling real pressure trying to learn French. I hope you are not offended by my comments. I know how strong a love for a child can be, but sometime we have to cut the umbilical cord. When he is hungry he will eat. Let him make his own sandwich.

#2014-03-23 10:07:17 by Barry1 @Barry1

@panda2009

May I offer some suggestions to the problems you're currently experiencing, Panda?

"How do I deal with so rebellious boy?"

Treat him as more as an adult. Don't mollycoddle him in such an indulgent, overprotective way.

"I go all out and keep a close watch on my baby!"

This is the crux of your problem in my view, Panda. He no longer is your BABY. Fifteen or twenty years ago, he was. But we're now in 2014, not 1999.

"We set up metal fences on the two windows of his room for his safety. The little room seems like a jail for the 22 years old young man now and I seem just like a jailor."

The solution to this is simple. REMOVE the metal bars from his windows. If the bolts where they were leave an ugly hole in the cement, then patch them up and paint them!

"I then went into his room quietly to change a new rubbish bag. He was annoyed and threw a plastic pencil box at my shoulder."

I don't want to mince words here, but just call it how I see it. I think dear Panda, you may have fallen into the trap of treating Kong as a "little prince" throughout his life, accommodating his every whim and wish. This is a big trap that a huge number of Chinese parents fall into - SPOILING their child.

I was married to a Chinese lady with a 22 year old just like this. When he lived with us, he was uncooperative, lazy, uncommunicative and often bad tempered. In many respects, your description of Kong sounds exactly like my exwife's spoilt son.

The son actually formed a wedge in my marriage, eventually irreparably damaging it. Had he been a normal, happy and diligent lad as I had initially expected, I sincerely believe my marriage would not have broken up.

IF what I say is true and you have in fact spoilt your son, Panda - he's in for a rude shock when he ventures into the world and finds it not so malleable and compliant to his wishes as he'd prefer. It may take years before he finally realises that in order to become a well rounded, mature man - he needs to emotionally and psychologically grow up.

"He is watched every day by his mom and that is really hard for him. He wants to break away from mom’s control"

Stop smothering him, Panda! He's a grown man now. You need to relinquish some control of him. Stop babying him.

"I hadn’t said out my second words slightly, when he shouted at me with restless,“Be quiet!”......my mother called him from Zhuhai to tell him his arts had been published. He said nothing and hung up"

This sure sounds like a spoilt person, Panda. If not spoilt - then rather rude. Sorry about that but sometimes the truth hurts. I could tell you pleasing platitudes about what a lovely, kind person he sounds to be - but you don't want me to lie to you, do you?

"I gave up a good journey with our female colleagues in order to keep watch on Kong’s every move...... I also gave up my plan of studying translation."

There you go again, Panda. Treating the young man as a child. Foregoing your own pleasure or your own desires to cater to his every whim. You should have gone on the journey with your colleagues, rather than staying at home and becoming increasingly frustrated.

Please remember - it is EASY to spoil a child in China, as usually they're an only child. It is more difficult (and much more responsible) to NOT spoil a child. Because by spoiling him or her, the parent generally takes the easy way out. Continually saying "yes", "yes", when they should sometimes say "No", "no".

I'm sorry Panda, but my overall view is that in some ways, you've been an extremely devoted and caring mother. But in other ways, you've let your child down badly by allowing him (or so it seems) to grow up into a spoilt and rather selfish young person.

In the end, the parent reaps what they sow. You now have to ruefully experience the results of your parenting methods.

On the plus side, by the time Kong is around 30, there's a good chance he may mature. So all is not lost. Just give him another five to ten years and hopefully he'll grow up.

#2014-03-23 12:48:24 by anonymous9413 @anonymous9413

@Panda, by the third paragraph of your story I was in tears. I could not stop crying while I read the whole thing. Your relationship with your son reminds me of how poorly I treated my parents in the past and the regret I have in my heart. I have since mended my relationship with my parents and I treat them like royalty whenever I see them. But there is no way to travel back in time and redo things. Your son needs to realize that we only have one chance in this life to appreciate our parents and what they do for us. You are the perfect mom in my opinion. You go out of your way to make sure he has everything he needs. I only wish your son would wake up and appreciate his mom!

#2014-03-24 12:40:59 by dancingshoes @dancingshoes

I do not think the boy of 22 years old is still in a rebellious time? Cao Hui, you have sacrificed so much and we wish Kong could be aware of the devotional love from his mom, and cherish the time being with his mother.

I guess that Kong is just feeling insecure in his life, so he is restless sometime? He has been living with his grandparents in his youth time in Zhuhai and no doubt his grandparents poured their love onto Kong but I think Kong still needs the love from his parents that was sometimes missing in the years of his growth.

My son is still young. He will go to college in 2 years soon but he is very tractable all the time. We say, the kid is just a mirror for you. My son reflects a lot of faults on me. When I was helping his school work when he was still in the primary school, I explained and repeated the math solution methods again and again to him but he did not understand, so I lost patience and shouted at him loudly, " it is so easy, you can not understand, why? why?! " He just answered , " you shouted at me so loudly, you do not feel ashamed? " I was embarrassed, and never shouted at him any more.

My kid stays very close with me. We make the deep converstaion at times. I enjoy the dinner time with him so much and he likes to share many topics with me on the dinner table. My son has a very good temper that I was irritable sometimes especially in my period, my son comforted me and said to me like this, " what a little thing that drove you mad, mom? just forget it! "

I think the best way to get along well with kids is to be their friends. Trust the kids, be their best friends and approach to their inner world and then you will know what they are thinking about, and what they need, what they fear about ... The words and deeds from the parents are very instructive. Just be patient, and take time for the kid. Cao Hui, I bet Kong will miss you very much, when he starts his study and life in France.

#2014-03-24 22:09:33 by sandy339 @sandy339

This is you little home? I think it is quite big. ...
In my living room there is a calligraphy too, it is so similar to me:)

Maybe you push your son too hard? He could go to France next year what is the matter for that? Just take it easy, I am puzzled by my daughter too, anyway I am much content what I have now,

"Only when we get our teeth into the real problem, can we truly improve our situation?"
No, Cao, this moring I went to market to buy some vegetables, they are so fresh with dirt, suddenly I felt the life is so beautiful, (haha, it is strange, isn’t?) just learn to appreciate some little stuff, lower your expectation and give a break to yourself and your son. Maybe we should change our mindset. We cann’t change the outside world, but we can make our lives easier and happier, Good Luck:)

#2014-03-24 23:41:11 by Chicano @Chicano

In Texas and other cities of USA, many parents forget about children's needs. Many grow-up in a home where the father is not around or sends support.

I recommend both of you to seek relief and attend church. This will awaken the spiritual realm in both of you.

Something is missing in your home for you it's not knowing how much to give and your son is not a grateful person.

It is very difficult to walk another road after walking on the same one for so long.

May God Bless both of you and that both of you wake-up into the real world.

From Texas, USA
Victor A.

#2014-03-27 10:32:39 by Barry1 @Barry1

@Chicano

"It is very difficult to walk another road after walking on the same one for so long.
May God Bless both of you and that both of you wake-up into the real world."

Very wise words, Victor.

Panda must be gratified to see so many people who care about her, trying to offer some good advice. I know I'd feel very moved by this.

By the way, you're from Texas? In case you're interested, Texas is a small state by Queensland, Australia standards, which is over double the size.

Let's look at some interesting facts:

Size and population of Texas: 700,000 square kms; 26 million people

Queensland: 1,730,000 square kms; 4.6 million people.

So we Queenslanders always have a laugh when watching some proud Americans on TV introducing themselves as, "Hi, I'm from Texas, the largest state in the Union, nearly three quarters of a million square kilometers!"

Our response to that is,

"Oh really? I didn't know Texas was so small!" (rofl)

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