Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Baa Baa Black Sheep Have You Any Wool?

I was a stubborn kid myself. But my mom prayed a great deal and worked real hard to turn this stubbornness to perseverance so that I won't let myself be vanquished by any form of negativity. By then, I always knew that passion and persistence were not synonymous to ignorance and stubbornness. -Auj Lazaro

Auj says...
Is that my mom or me?

Suddenly, I feel my mom's voice and sentiments with my own. As intensely happy as we were both in meeting each other about a year ago, we are now as intensely mortified and direful of each other as days pass by. Pio, afraid of how mad I can become and me, afraid of how he will turn out to be. Do not get me wrong. I am impressed with the toughness that the boy shows but I don't think he won't learn much from being just a consistent, defiant prick. Consistent -- yes, this is a good thing. Prick -- never a good one.

Regardless, here are some propositions I can make for parents who may be handling a kid as stubborn and crazy as this one.

If any of these work for you, then let us know. It would be a great consolation for us to hear 'they' actually work. At least for you.

1. Lead by example. Simply put, walk the talk. It is important that we influence our children with ways that are positive.

2. Discuss and present your values clearly. It is important that your kid knows your stand on some relatively important issues. The power of good character is not just taught but also caught. The values we need to instill in them should be internalized by them by teaching and telling them why we believe in such values. In each day, there are innumerable hours to grab as a good chance to have your child be engaged in a moral talk.

3. Show respect to one another. By showing respect to your partner for one, you teach the kid how to be respectful as well.

4. Instill good manners at home. Make good manners a Golden Rule to be kept and obeyed at home. For this is where simple and huge social graces start.

5. Eat together without the TV on as often as possible. Child experts say that mealtimes are the best time to talk to your child. This is one value system I am grateful for that my mother's family has instilled in me. To talk things over while eating reinforces a strong sense of belongingness and concern in the family.

6. Plan things to do together. It makes the kid feel valued when you allot a special day for them. It reinforces too a strong sense of relationship building.

7. Maintain good literature at home. The greatest of teachers and mentors have used the means of story telling to motivate, inspire and teach little children. When reading is instilled in children, new insights are encouraged and this gives way to values formation as well.

8. Start develop empathy by letting them appreciate even the non-material rewards.

9. Always capture the 'teachable moment." There are numerous situations where you can teach your kid lessons on the importance of being responsible, compassionate, kind and empathetic.

10. Assign responsibilities. This would make them start to have a sense of balance of their desires and needs in their lives.

11. Always be clear about your expectations and make them accountable. This may be hard to understand for them but this is your way to let them know of your care and concern for them so that they may live and become people of good and upright character.

12. Keep them busy with positive activities. Channel their excessive energy into activities like the music, the arts, or church -- activities, no matter how simple, that would develop obedience, altruism, care and cooperation. This would also further their sense of accomplishment.

13. You have to be able to learn to say NO and mean it well. They may not be easily aware of this, but this could be your most loving act to them -- to be able to stand firm on something and steer him away from possible potentialities of harm that life may bring on them.

14. Do not ever cover up for their mistakes. The more that you will shield them from getting hurt or from any practical consequence of their action, the more that you will keep them far from learning personal responsibility.

15. Be careful of what your child sees and watches on tv. Monitor the materials that he watches and plays with.

16. Do not ever forget that you are the adult. It is important that your child knows that you are his friend but it is also very important that he knows that you are a parent. This means you have all the right to enforce the necessary limits to control their bahavior.

By the time Pio gets to read this post, I hope he has his own 7 year old to handle too. That is if he learns how to read first.

Like a true mother, I wished you nothing but love and affection. And I dream of nothing else but for you to grow up as strong and dignified as I was trained to be. As if you are my very first child.

Dori says...

One striking thing common in our growing up is having our mothers as dominant figures, yet one huge difference is in our rearing from your mom having an iron hand to mine having a loose rope. It certainly takes a combination of this extremely different child rearing to make some sense out of raising a very challenging kid.

I hope Pio realizes as he grows older how blessed he is to have us coming from two opposites of perspective, presenting him with the best and worst of both worlds.

As he becomes older, here are the thoughts I could only hope and pray will dawn on him:

That life does not end with PSP and watching DVD all day. He has to at least learn to read real soon.

That money does not just spew out of the ATM machines automatically. He has to stop complaining when there's only a few bills coming out when it's close to payday.

That Timezone as his favorite reward is earned when he does something right, but there is as well subsequent reprimand for every misdeed he commits. The Golden Rule he must absorb early on.

That he is in a crazy world and we are simply guides for him to muster enough faith to do on his own.

That life will present him with a lot of unfairness and we are here to help develop his strengths and support him at his weakest.

That he learn to honor his parents and realize that is key to success.

To you, my son of a gun, thank you for continually challenging me to become a better person and mom. For teaching me endlessly what PATIENCE really means.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

My Days Of Zen

Auj says...

Recently, I have been possessing this feeling of deciding to live a simple life. And it was in some self-help blog that I read this: that the desire to live a simpler life would usually just be about owning and wanting little.

To own a little necessitates a pragmatic approach -- it is simply about decluttering my life and eliminating what should be eliminated. On the other hand, to want little is focused on what we think.

To honestly and sincerely say that you want little is a daunting task. Most of the time, this feeling takes us a bit farther away from certainty. To cut the psychological attachment to owning and wanting much requires more than a gradual process or a set of specific strategies; since this needs an immense shift in thinking, a deep shift in the way you live your everyday life and how you come up with the major decisions.

Depth, Emotion and Meaning. We need these three tools around for us to watch our vision come to life. Without these three, we lose that drive of passion we need. I have gotten to be more specific as I grow more mature everyday. I am not afraid anymore for desires to overwhelm my life because I know now what matters to me the most -- only the things that are contributory to my life's aims.

Lesson learned: You know you are matured when it becomes easier for you to say "No" when you are sure that it is not going to be part of your vision of the bigger picture.

So why do I want little lately? Aside from the more average sounding reasons of saving money and eliminating process, I want to lavish my time from the offset of times that I do not have so much work. Suddenly, I treasure sleep so much as if it is as important as receiving my paycheck weekly. And I need it to pack me up with new energy. I appreciate embracing now as something even more relaxing than getting a full body spa.

Lesson learned: To want little is just fine for as long as it still bears such great meaning and purpose.

The benefits of all these, I experience the most with our current traveling gigs. Learning to just pack the essentials or noticing how much different it is when you are in a tranquil environment.

Lesson learned: Maybe this is why I have been having the desire to visit temples lately even if I am not a Buddhist.

I have started with tiny victories. The world is a classic beast who always wants us to want more without even a solid reason. And hence to be persistent with the quest for living simple and in peace, we must embrace what is positive and be with plus-like minded individuals who are also wanting to cut themselves free from the usual leash of the world.

Lesson learned: Now I know why I don't get swept away anymore with the act of purchasing that most of us people lose ourselves in. This is because I get lost more in meaningful activities than in acquisition. I am now interested to do things that matter than buy things that could matter too.

Above all, I learned that wanting little is not about entirely depriving myself of what could be important to me, but in obviating all the clutter that gets in the way of my life. And this all accounts to being honest with myself.

Dori says...

"Be kind to the planet.
Be gentle on your wallet.
Rejuvenate your life."

- From Put Your Life In A Diet

If there is one thing that we strongly and similarly advocate, I believe it’s this travelling light in life and striving to be detached from worldly acquisitions. I agree it’s never easy to let go of the urge to acquire and be deliriously happy, albeit fleeting. But at the end of the day, when we lie down at dawn (it’s always past midnight) and sleep eludes us and our restless minds suddenly shift to being reflective, spiritually stimulated and intellectually incapacitated, there is this insurmountable joy to learn that with so little, we can be so much..

To realize that it only takes an inner dialogue shift and feeding our subconscious mind we are capable of impossibilities so long as we ask according to the Lord’s will.

  • To understand that our life’s journey is about learning how to balance and focus on the essentials to make it fruitful.
  • To say that I’m a truly happy person just by being truthful about how I feel all the time and not hide under a mask.
  • To find out that life is indeed like a box of chocolates, that it could be fun not knowing what you’re going to get, just let faith make you run, as did Forrest Gump.
  • To eagerly anticipate the day ahead having a clear picture of your life’s purpose and setting free from worries.
  • To embrace voluntary simplicity, making sound choices when and where to be thrifty or extravagant, having a generous mindset, being close to nature.
  • To soak into gratefulness about working from home, the precious time spent with the people who make your life worth living, the gift of sleep with so much work at hand, cooking from scratch, liberally hugging the one you love, challenging yourself to teach a dyslexic kid how to read, the perks of travelling to explore and ease burnout.. there’s so much to be thankful for.
  • To differentiate having a poor man’s attitude from living a life of simplicity and non‑deprived lifestyle.
  • To become a fan of DIY (Do-It-Yourself) store and learning to fix stuffs around the house and teaching yourself new skills that tickle your interest.
  • Most importantly, to live deliberately and consciously, giving you the freedom to love, and obtain peace of mind, more quality time, and enjoyment of everyday life.

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