Out of love, parents wish to give their children all the best things in the world, but failing to teach them that life will bring them hardships may result in children who grow up to be vain, lazy, and irresponsible. When life is made too easy and comfortable for them, children are prone to become dissatisfied, ungrateful, and inconsiderate.
One family has a daughter in college. The parents run a small store and due to the emergence of e-commerce, business is declining. Sometimes, the couple do not make enough money to pay their rent. Most of the time, they don’t allow themselves to have meat for lunch because they can’t afford it. Nevertheless, the first time their daughter came home for a school break, she asked for an iPhone, saying she felt disgraced because her cell phone was out of fashion. To meet her demand, the couple took the 5000 yuan (approximately US$750) needed to pay for the store’s inventory and used it to buy a new iPhone for their daughter, leaving them a month behind on their bills.
In Shanghai, a newspaper reported that a young woman was seen dragging a sanitation worker down the street by her hair. Other workers rushed to her aid. The reporter found out that the pair were mother and daughter. The mother had been a sanitation worker for more than a decade and made only a few thousand yuan per month (equivalent to a few hundred U.S. dollars). Though the daughter was married and had children, she often demanded money from her mother, and quarreled with her or abused her if the demand was not met.
Caring for the next generation is one honorable virtue of Chinese traditional culture, but when parents’ love leads them to indulge and pamper their children, it can ruin their character, blinding them to the sacrifices their parents make on their behalf.
Translated by Jean Chen and edited by Mikel Davis.