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.


  1. Great post Auj, kids would try to get away with things as much as they can. Don't worry, Pio will realize soon enough that Mom is right. We did eventually.

  2. Hi Auj,

    As a parent myself I must say I could not agree more. These are the principles I try to parent by myself 1. Love, 2. Respect, 3. Clear Boundaries, 4. Love (there can never be too much love).

    I think the only thing I would add to that list is that as a parent it's ok to fail sometimes, we are all human after all. What is important is how your child sees you deal with that failure, are you humble, honest and apologitic, or do you try to hide it? That is also a big lesson to learn.

    It's hard being a parent, but one of the nice things is that we are all in it together.


  3. Is it just me or Dori didn't post her opinion at the same time? Help me out here--I'm confused, LOL. You guys are great writers. I wish you'd post more often.

  4. Thanks Mairi. That's an inspiring note. :)

  5. Hi Lynn,

    don't be confused. we usually do not post at the same time. but if there's one thing you can be sure of, it's that our readers will always hear both our sides. :)

    Thank you for encouraging us to write more. :)

  6. hey ladies...

    how's everything?

    happy two oh one oh


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