Good day Rose! I started reading your book Raising Pinoy Boys and I am totally impressed with the knowledge you shared to us, your readers. I grew up in a conservative family and I thought of following the lead that my parents have set in molding my younger brother and me. I am about to start my family. With a very strange culture nowadays, I am somewhat worried that I will not be able to raise my kid in a manner similar to what my parents applied to us. With a strong influence of media, it is a big challenge for parents to raise loving and God fearing kids. When I started reading your book, I was happy to find something I can use as a guide in raising my own kids.
May the good Lord bless you more with knowledge that you may impart to us, your readers.
Mervin – via email
Hi Mervin. I’m glad to hear that you find the book useful. It’s normal for parents to be worried about their children. We are so invested in them, they are our mini-me’s, our future legacy in this world. And this brings about the pressure in raising the best children we can ever have.
When I talk to successful people, they are very certain about their answers and command such confidence in explaining their businesses, profession and the other things they’re involved with. Ask them about their children and something switches on in their eyes. Parents are vulnerable when it comes to their kids. There are two general categories I observe among parents: a.) Very proud parents who can enumerate all their children’s achievements starting pre-school until their last promotion at work; b.) Disappointed parents who feel helpless because they’re very uncertain about what their children are getting into.
In both cases, even category A parents, there is still that concern about their children’s future. It’s because all parents just want the very best for their children. Come to think of it, if there are people we honestly wish to overtake us in terms of achievements, they’re our own children.
You said that you want to raise your future children in a manner similar to how your parents brought you and your brother up in a conservative way. I’m happy to hear that because I always hear complaints about how they were brought up by their own parents. At least, you’re happy with yours and happiness is always a good starting point.
Don’t worry too much about the media and the present state of the world in general. Sometimes we get too caught up romanticizing about the good old days and fearing present days. I always hear parents say, “Iba na ang kabataan ngayon!” I heard that when I was little girl, when I was a new mom and I keep on hearing that up to now. I’m sure I will continue to hear that in my lola days. And this is what I say to that: Of course! They should be. The world is alive and change is essential. In the same way, you will not be able to apply exactly the parenting techniques your parents applied on you. You will have to tweak and adjust accordingly.
However, there are certain things that can be held constant. These are our core values. That’s what you focus on. Core values are what we are willing to sacrifice for and sometimes even willing to die for. They are not material things but ideals that we stand for. Examples are freedom, security, spirituality, love for family, respect in the sanctity of marriage, service for others, etc.
Get to know your own core values. I’m sure your parents’ core values were successfully inculcated in you and that’s why you want to emulate them. Make these values your guide in living your life and raising your children, before you get caught up in the latest trend in parenting. You and your wife should design your parenting so that you instill these values as your children grow up. Make your family traditions celebrate these values. Be present and involved in your children’s lives but know when to back off to allow them to solve their age-appropriate problems.
For the meantime, I wish you luck in starting your family. While your wife is pregnant, make her feel loved and cherished. Enjoy your new kid as they come but never forget your marriage. A great marriage is one of the best gifts you can give to your children.
SPECIAL BIRTHDAY GREETINGS
Today is the birthday of my favorite person in the world, The Honey, Marvin. Between the two of us, he’s the less worried parent. He’s almost always happy and smiling showing his bedimpled face, motivating our sons to do their best and not be too worried about failures. Oftentimes, he says that his true measure of success as a father is when his sons continue to look up to him, no matter how big they grow. I think the boys’ birthday greetings will thrill him:
1.) Happy birthday Pa, you continue to be my peg for having a successful life. – Martin;
2.) Thank you for not just telling us how to live, but showing us how it’s done. Happy birthday Pa! – Enrique;
3.) To the peg of the man who “made it,” happy birthday! – Anton.