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    To Stop Teen From Moving Out, Chongqing Mom Flees With School Papers

    The woman was opposed to her daughter studying in Beijing. She returned 11 days later after fortunetellers assured her that the move would prove auspicious for her daughter.

    Just days before the start of the new school term, Jiajia’s dream of attending the prestigious Central Academy of Drama in Beijing teetered on the edge. Despite sailing through the application and admission process, the 17-year-old faced an unexpected hurdle: Jiajia’s mother, staunchly opposed to her daughter's aspirations, disappeared with all the necessary admission documents. 

    Undaunted, Jiajia, using a pseudonym, decided to go public with her story, penning a personal account in Renwu magazine. Her narrative not only triggered a broader conversation about parental control in China, but also seemingly led her mother to reconsider her stance. 

    According to Jiajia’s account, her mother vanished from their home in the southwestern city of Chongqing on Aug. 14 with all the documents necessary for new students, including her ID card, household registration, and admission letter. All she left behind was a note to Jiajia with just one word: “Sorry.” 

    Jiajia admitted that her mother’s intention was to prevent her from attending her dream school because she disapproved of Jiajia studying in Beijing, a city she considered far removed from their hometown. Moreover, her mother believed that pursuing a teaching career was the ideal path for Jiajia, leading to heated disagreements between them. 

    Swayed by her mother’s preference, Jiajia gave in. But hours before the application deadline, she managed to sneak out to an internet café and altered her application form, applying to the Central Academy of Drama instead. 

    According to a report in the domestic outlet Chengdu Shangbao, Jiajia was intent on moving to Beijing even without her mother’s blessing since the school had promised to take care of all the documentation. 

    However, on Wednesday, Jiajia’s mother eventually gave her approval for Jiajia to enroll in the school. This change of heart came after two fortunetellers assured her that the path to Beijing was indeed a favorable one for her daughter.

    In her story shared in Renwu magazine, Jiajia recounted how her mother exerted control over her life. She spoke about her mother’s habit of criticizing her behavior and skills, imposing dietary restrictions, limiting her social interactions, and even meddling with her medication.

    Jiajia wrote, “Under her constant control, I became overly sensitive and felt constantly on edge while at home. It seemed that any disagreement or argument would inevitably lead to her having a go at me.”

    The detailed article went viral on social media — it has more than 200 million views on the microblogging platform Weibo — prompting several netizens to share their own experiences of parental control. In June, a mother in Sichuan province opened her daughter’s sealed confidential dossier, raising concerns that her daughter’s employment record would be invalidated

    On the lifestyle platform Xiaohongshu, tags like “arguments with parents” and “Chinese parents” have attracted millions of views in recent months, with netizens sharing their experiences of feeling disrespected by their parents. 

    They discuss issues like being restricted from traveling despite being over the age of 24, getting scolded for giving impractical gifts such as flowers, and parents selling their personal possessions without their say-so.

    Editor: Apurva. 

    (Header image: Visuals from Mentalmind/VectorStock/VCG and @中央戏剧学院 on WeChat, reedited by Sixth Tone)