With all the technology and tools parents can use in this day and age, you’d think these work to our advantage when it comes to child rearing. Truth be told it’s harder now. I mean sure manual labor that comes with being a parent is probably easier because we have things that make it far less complicated than it used to be (i.e electronic sterilizer versus sterilising via boiling water). But bringing up a child in this fast-paced, social media inflicted world is tough. The pressure of being the perfect mom we all see online can sometimes get to us when in fact as real moms we’re happy to celebrate the small victories parenting presents us every single day. Ultimately our goal is to give guidance to our kids so we can raise them to be better than us.
Every parent only wishes what’s best for our kids and oftentimes it’s the protection we give that validates this. Di ba?
If there’s one thing I’ve been teaching my kids since day 1, it’s to give opportunities for them to be able to do things on their own. At an early age they’ve learned proper hygiene by taking a bath and washing their hands frequently everyday. They may see it as nagging (but I’d like the term, reinforced learning better) but letting them be independent and training them to do things that no one else can do for them is one of my many pabaons for them.
I remember last year I started to mindfully teach my kids particularly my bunso, Juro on how to properly wash hands at the age 4. He didn’t quite understand then why I was guiding him (more like watching him like a hawk heehee) whenever he washes his hands. I would remind him to take his time, to lather up, rinse off well and wipe properly. I guess I was just paranoid with all the illnesses and diseases one can contract with dirty hands. Another thing is I wanted him to learn the art of doing things right even if it’s as simple as washing hands–another provision for life I teach my kids.
Now that both my kids are back in school, I know they’ll learn more things academically and socially. I want them to feel confident to do what is asked of them in the classroom and to mingle with their friends that’s why I make sure they’re protected the moment they step out of home.
We currently have no helper at home which means I do most of the chores and ask for my kids to help around the house. It’s challenging and tiring really. Waking up early in the morning to prepare their baon, driving them to school, doing the dishes, the laundry, cooking, cleaning and the list goes on. Aaaah the life of a homemaker and mother hahahuhu. I’m not ranting ha because this is my reality. Though it’s challenging it’s something I don’t really mind doing everyday. Again, challenging but doable.
So like what my parents did when my sisters & I were growing up, I trained my kids to be able to do things for themselves. To do their homework and prepare their school bags the night before, to make their bed when they wake up, to clean up after themselves, and take a bath on their own among other things. Not only has this helped us survived having no extra set of hands but doing things on their own is a great way for them to be ready for life.
This provision is something I’ve picked up from my own parents who never gave an excuse for my sisters and I. They taught us how to fend for ourselves and that getting something you want takes a lot of work. Despite having a helper or yaya growing up, my mom would ask us to help her with chores. I learned how to do the laundry, clean and cook when I was about 9 or 10 years old. I remember complaining because I had to do these routinely every day. I would even wish for more helpers so I can skip the chores altogether! Hahaha. Now looking back I am grateful for having learned these skills early on because they made it easy for me to become domesticated after getting married. I didn’t have a hard time transitioning and now that I manage my own home, it’s easier for me to face everyday challenges homemaking and parenting brings so thanks mom and dad!
I mean sure it’s easy to tell them to do what’s right and not do what’s wrong. To follow instructions and to listen to their teachers in school. To be nice to their friends and classmates. To obey us their parents. But learning how to be responsible for themselves can be a challenge. And this is a process they have to go through every single day so they can eventually be better at it.
I know my kids won’t be kids for long. Eventually they’ll grow and they’ll see the world as their oyster but I hope the lessons I impart to them will help them realize it takes a lot of work and skills to get them to places and let them be who they want to be. Which is why I’m slowly integrating nuggets of wisdom I’ve learned from my parents so they won’t feel susceptible nor naive when it’s their time to face the world on their own.
I hope when they’re adults they’ll be ready to fend for themselves, to not be afraid to make mistakes, fail, fall yet try and start again, to have the confidence to make the right decisions in life, to be surrounded with good people who can lead them to be the best versions of themselves. Huhuhu I’m kinda emotional as I write this because I know I’ll look back at this post years from now and know that I’ve tried to give my best to raise my kids right.
This post was inspired by Safeguard’s video featuring Norman King, the first Aeta to graduate from the Philippines’ premier state university. Watch the video to know what his mom’s pabaon is. Warning though, get ready to cry because it’s so heartwarming and inspiring.
What are the lessons you learned from your mom that you’ve been imparting to your own kids?