Jonathan Baldoza is a high school student at the Ateneo de Manila. One day, he was waiting at the office of Fr. Bert Ampil, S.J. While there, he chanced upon my book and ended up reading it. Surprisingly, this teenager found himself enjoying the book intended for parents. He ended up appreciating his parents more. He got in touch with me to tell me about this unexpected joy and to ask me more about my parenting. Then he wrote an article about it which was published in the official website of the Ateneo de Manila University.
I wish to share this article with you. http://admu.edu.ph/index.php?p=120&type=2&aid=9909#.ThnDY7rHgmp
What AHS students can learn from the parenting book, “Raising Pinoy Boys”
By: Jonathan Victor C. Baldoza
Whenever my mother is faced with the question: What do you consider your greatest achievement? She would usually smile and answer – in her most motherly tone – “my children,” without doubts or second-thoughts.
I must admit that every time I hear this, I feel extremely proud and accomplished. It’s not because I consider her an unsuccessful individual. It’s not because I feel she never really accomplished anything good in her life but her children. Rather, like every child, it has always been my desire to make my parents damn proud of having me as their son. Why? Not only do I love them and feel grateful for all their love and guidance, but also, I feel I need to reciprocate all the things they’ve gone through just to raise us to become the best individuals we can be.
Raising Pinoy Boys
Let’s face it – parenting isn’t the easiest task in the world. Many have failed at it, producing unhappy and discontented children. But then, a great number have done the opposite. Despite the many new challenges these families face, they have succeeded in producing children who are bright and virtuous. Take the example of Mrs. Rose Fausto, a passionate homemaker and author of the recently-released book “Raising Pinoy Boys,” which details her experiences in parenting her now three grown-up boys, all of whom she’s very proud of. (One of her sons studies at the Ateneo de Manila High School).
Whatever success I have achieved, nothing would really matter if I didn’t succeed in raising my sons well,” she says. As a career woman who enjoyed a successful career back when two of her children were still toddlers, she felt “a bit unhappy” that she was unable to spend more time with them.”
She clarifies, “I’m not saying that all mothers who work can’t raise their children well because I see some great kids who have working parents. It’s just that my own situation was such that I felt unable to give my undivided attention during their growing up years had I continued with my career. It was not totally selfless on my part because I also wanted to be with them more, to experience their day to day struggles and triumphs, and savor their growing up years. I was also fulfilling a personal need.”
Mrs. Fausto’s book is divided into eleven chapters – each containing her parenting experiences on subjects ranging from family traditions, study habits, money, the “emotional” life of teenage boys, and personal differences among the brood. One chapter dedicates itself to featuring lessons and stories from people like Tony Meloto, Chris Tiu, Lance Gokongwei and Tony Tan Caktiong.
When asked what made her write the book, she answers, “It’s a combination of mid-life crisis (which I prefer to call mid-life assessment) and wanting to offer something to those beyond my circle of family and friends. There comes a point in your life when you try to figure out what else you can do. You ask yourself, ’Am I living my life well? Am I doing God’s will for me?’”
She adds, “I realized that whenever we share our experiences, we enrich each other’s parenting. And that’s the intention of my book – to share my experiences and those of the parents of successful Pinoy men I interviewed- with the readers in order to enrich their own experiences. It is also my humble attempt to help in nation building because I believe that raising our children well is the greatest contribution parents can give to our nation and the best service we can offer to God.”
According to her, the greatest challenge that parents continually face is communication. “We all start (or at least we can say that it’s the default setting) with parents loving their children and children loving their parents. But somehow, something happens along the way and the culprit is always lack of proper communication.”
As we live in an age when social media is a tremendous, dominant force in the lives of practically everyone, this “challenge” becomes more and more prevalent among families around the world. “Ideally, the children’s first teachers should be parents; they grow up learning and imbibing their parents’ values. However, with the fast pace of life nowadays, parents find it so hard to compete with TV, internet, computer games, friends, even hired caregivers.”
She advised the children to try to use the power of social-networking to develop their relationship with their parents. “Allow your parents into your world. It’s ok to have them as your FB friends. If you don’t want them giving a lot of comments, ask them to give their comments via PM, or better yet, in person.”
She continues, “Some might find it uncool to have their parents viewing their silly status updates but having them there will give you protection. I’m sure your mom will remind you to avoid nasty words which are for your own good. And you definitely want to be the best person you can be, right? If you allow them to be your friends, you can see each other’s worlds and updating one another will be a lot easier. It’s ideally the family dinners which should provide us this venue but since eating dinner together everyday has become rare, at least the enormous amount of FB time you devote still contributes a bit to family bonding.”
Personally, the book made me appreciate my parents more. It may sound odd, but I found it an easy yet worthwhile read. It has unlocked a door that isn’t usually accessible to the ones being parented. Also, it makes me more thankful for my parents and hopeful that all parents can be like mine, or like the ones presented in the book, who gave their children the proper amount of love, care, and guidance.