Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Teach Your Child Values

Teach your child values instead of rules
Give them life guidelines
And not laws for fools

Your child is not yours,
Someday you’ll let go
So it’s best they have principles
That they keep as they grow

Teach your child Respect for other people
Even though some people will not earn it
It’s your child who will learn it
And it will be beneficial

When she learns to respect others
She will value their time
It will save her from tardiness
And she’ll never be left behind

Teach your child Integrity
It will help her discern
What is right when no one’s watching
There won’t be cause for concern

Integrity will teach her
To be honest and true
It will reflect in her decisions
And she’ll always pull through

Teach your child Industry
Give her tasks around the house
She’ll learn to clean, cook and wash clothes
And it’s not for her spouse

You’ll want her to be independent
As she follows her dream
You’ll be confident she’ll get by
When it’s time for her to wean

Teach your child Hardwork and Passion
And nothing great comes easy
So when faced with challenges
She will never grow weary

Tell her success is sweet
When you’ve poured out your all
Tell her never to give up
Even after a fall

Teach your child Compassion
For anyone she meets
Let her know she’s blessed
And a blessing, she can be

There are little things she can do for other people
That would give them a break
Imagine it being multiplied
And the difference it would make

Your teachings are not for the world to see
How great you are as a parent can be
Do it for your little one to ensure that she
Will be her best self when you set her free

So instead of do’s and don’t’s, let’s try
To teach them things they can apply
They’ll appreciate things they don’t learn in schools
When you teach them values instead of rules

your every woman,

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Long Distance Parenting

Do you remember your child’s first smile? …first steps? …first solid food? …first fall? …first day of school? …first achievement? …first crush? …first love? …first heartache? Oh wait, were you there?

(photo taken from the Internet about an Iraqi orphanage where a little girl who never knew her mother, drew a mom on the ground and fell asleep with her...)

I know that this is a very sensitive topic because some of the most loving, well-meaning parents may still answer “No” to these questions and I can’t blame anyone. Parents make mistakes too. So let me write this post in a child’s perspective as I have experienced. Mom… Dad… you have to be there.

It was not ok for you to go somewhere far and leave us behind to earn a living. You may say that through this means, you provide for our future, but the best future we could ever have can only be created through positive parenting. You could have ensured our future by having a great relationship with us; By being there to observe our personalities and guide our development. It didn't matter if we attended a great school. It didn't matter if we had new and expensive things. Many children of parents who stayed elsewhere have led difficult personal lives even though they had money to spend. They struggle with trust. They have insecurities; I have insecurities...

It’s never going to be a better option to leave us with relatives in a faraway place instead of at home with you and probably a nanny a few hours a day. I agree that finding the perfect nanny is like finding a needle in a haystack. …That is if we can ever find the haystack at all. Still, when we live at home with you, we still get to bond with you when you go home or during weekends. We can tell the difference and it’s better that way as opposed to not knowing the difference between you and the relatives you leave us with. You have a special effect on us. Use that while you still can.

your every woman,

Why You Should Wait: Exclusive Dating

Ever since I became Christian, I gained a lot of wisdom that could have made things better for my life if I had them when I was younger. Still, I praise the Lord for giving me a wonderful life and family, though not the way I had dreamed it would be, but perfect nonetheless. 

Now that I’m a mother, I would like to pass this wisdom on to my daughters, creating entries that revolve around waiting patiently for God’s time on a practical perspective. For my first entry, let me tell you about why you should wait for the perfect time to exclusively date.

(photo taken from http://archcapeinn.com/blog)

First, let us talk about when is the perfect time to exclusively date? Or in the Filipino perspective, when should you have a boyfriend? By having a boyfriend I mean having plans of eventually getting married and having children. I am not going to say that you should finish College first before having a boyfriend because education is evolving and you don’t have to stick to formal education to be able to follow your dreams. To be more specific, I should say it would be sometime after you’re 25 and you can say to yourself that you and the person courting you have already fulfilled your dreams –individually!
25 really? …you ask, why?

1.       Because by then, we can be certain that everything your special someone uses to surprise you would be coming from his own hard work. It’s not hard work to skip meals just so a boy can buy you gifts from allowance money and it’s a shame to receive gifts knowing that it actually came from a boy’s parents.

2.       Because it’s easier to follow your dreams when you’re on your own. Oh, forget that excuse for an inspiration. God, your biological family and your friends should be enough to see you through. Think of it this way, when you’re running after your dream to a faraway place, you wouldn’t think twice about having to leave someone behind. When you’re running after your dream while being financially challenged, you can always skip meals, sleep in, use public transportation no matter how long it takes, walk to and from home, easy. When running after your dreams without assurance of success, it’s ok, you can still run after it, fail, make as many mistakes as you can and rise up again.

3.       Because you will have the opportunity to indulge in your success after failure. You will earn enough to spend on things that make you happy. You can spend on food, clothes, gifts, travel and recreation without having to think of other people.

4.       Because it will be easier to allocate for savings and investment. Because you are alone, you can decide for yourself whether to spend your money on number 4 or save and invest. You can buy your own car, your own home, your own stocks, etc. You can choose to invest in a business that caters to what you love to do regardless of a possible failure.

5.       Because when you have lived a fulfilled life on your own, you can do away with the what ifs and the what could’ve beens. When you don’t have these loose strings anymore, your judgment for a better half would be better. Men can no longer impress you with just words and gifts. You will be swooned by a person of character, someone who has also lived a fulfilled single life.

6.       Because when both of you have lived fulfilled single lives, you will have a lot of options. You can choose to stay in the dating phase, get married, have kids, quit your job, stay at home with the family, and still have the best time of your life.

There, you wouldn’t be bothered with a “because I said so” kind of reasoning when you ask when you can have a boyfriend. I believe it’s pretty clear how you can get more out of life if you wait. What will you be missing anyway? Emails and texts asking how you are and if you’ve already eaten? Hatid-sundo na de-kotse? Movie dates, malling and eat-outs? Don’t worry, mom and dad will do that for you. Holding hands while walking, pa-sway-sway pa and the kiss that would make your foot pop? You’re not even supposed to be doing that outside of marriage and why is on another entry. See you soon!

your every woman,

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Why We Need Dads

In this day and age, we have accepted the way families can strive without dads. After all, moms can already provide for the family,do household troubleshooting, and provide guidance which is basically what dads are expected to do. However, as I was browsing through family pictures, I realized why having a dad in the family is an absolute necessity and why you should appreciate that man in your household:

1) Because children need someone to show them how dates should be.

2) Because an extra pair of thighs is necessary for a good sleep.

3) Because he's great at capturing priceless family events!

(first family bus ride)

4) Because he's great at carrying the kids... both of them!

5) Because he's great at improvising ways to take care of the children.

6) Because we need to practice applying makeup on a virgin face.

7) Because you need to know that having a mustache when you're a girl isn't so bad after all.

8) Because daughters need a faster way to dry their hair.

9) Because the kids need to look like someone other than their mom.

10) Because our dad is the best dad of all and we can't imagine life without him

Happy Father's Day to the man who is a perfect example of how all men should be. We love you so much!


Sunday, December 28, 2014

Start Right on Child Nutrition

I have a theory... that there are no picky eaters and that children who don't eat right are a result of clueless parents. Please, before giving me dagger looks on how self righteous you think my parenting is, let me explain.

I'm 30 and my hubby is about 2 years younger. We have 2 kids, a 7 year old and a 10 month old. By these numbers, you can imagine how young we had our first child and even though I did read several books about how to raise a child then, nothing beats experience.

You see, our first born is a picky eater. When she was born via CS, she was given to me for a taste of my bosom which I am confused whether it were for nourishing purposes or a photo op because it was so quick. After that, she was kept in the nursery drinking formula until I recovered. Breastfeeding failed. I tried until she got ill and I received a lot of ideas about how my daughter was allergic to my milk and was turning yellow and stuff like that that I decided to quit and do what we thought was best for her. 6 months later, when she showed signs that she wanted to eat solid food, we thought that she'd eat more if the food tasted yummy - like adult yummy. So we started with packaged cereals (I'm sure you guys are familiar with this one and probably had your taste of them too!) and juices, which she liked, but when we started to give her real food like rice and mashed vegetables, she gagged. I thought it was just because she didn't have teeth to chew the food yet so I postponed real food feeding until she was more than a year old. Since then, every feeding is a challenge, even until now. If it's not fastfood, she'd stay at the table for more than an hour thinking of a strategy on how to either trick the elders or finish her food.

7+ years later, our 2nd child was born. We were older and a lot more prepared. We've read more books and were more vocal about what we wanted. Hospital rules are different and the help of the Internet and social networking were tremendous. I gave birth to our 2nd child, still via CS, but she was with me from birth to home. Exclusive breastfeeding was successful. When she showed signs of wanting to eat solid food, the first thing that we gave her is unseasoned, steamed mashed green papaya, and she ate it! Our pedia taught us that we should've started with bitter melon which a lot of kids (and even adults) don't like, but the advice came late so 2nd child didn't like bitter melon (alone) anymore, but she eats a wide variety of vegetables. As of writing, here are the vegetables that are part of her mashed food mix:

- Carrot

- Potato
- Moringa (Malunggay)
- Chili leaves (dahon ng Sili)
- Bitter Melon leaves (dahon ng Ampalaya)
- Mustard
- Spinach
- Bell pepper
- Squash
- Tomato
- Chayote (Sayote)
- green Papaya
- Basella Alba (Alugbati)
- Ampalaya
- Corn

She eats them without any seasoning, can you imagine that? I sometimes toss in sauteed onions and garlic to excite her palate but that's it. I taste her food sometimes and the potatoes make the mix taste a bit ok for me but I wouldn't eat a whole meal of it. She eats these food mixes 3 times a day and loves them to bits!

What I have learned is that children don't have innate preferences. They take what you give them, get accustomed to the taste, and develop a preference. It is the caregivers duty to offer and develop a healthier preference. Exclusive breastfeeding is a good start because breastmilk has all the right ingredients for an infant and just enough sugar so she doesn't develop a craving for sweets.

So far, we have 2 kids whom I can tell apart. Once our 2nd child grows and we have a third kid, I may be able to prove if this theory is true, but if you have a kid who's about to eat solid food, or are having kids or are planning to have kids, please give this a try. Maybe years later, you'll be able to tell me in the comments if it were true for you. Until then...

your every woman,


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