May 15, 2018

Raising children as they age is like level-up challenges in a game


Every week, Preen tackles motherhood sans the rose-tinted glasses. Our columnists L. JulianoMarla DarwinMonica Eleazar-ManzanoRossana Unson, Chrina Cuna-Henson, and Ronna Capili-Bonifacio tell their personal experiences like it is—at times frustrating, oftentimes confusing, but always enlightening.

I once read a brutally honest account of parenting from a tired mom online. She said so many painful and truthful things about the challenges a mother faces soon after she gave birth and went on to say that parenting is hard, hard, hard… among other things. And I couldn’t help but laugh and agree! In my own opinion, I find it gets tougher raising children as they age. The challenges somewhat levels up just like in a game. Babies are super duper clingy and cry a lot, yes, but at least if you carry, sing to them, dance and nurse them, they are completely contented, blissful and then go to a deep slumber. It’s so obvious that my children are high-need babies. After all those sleepless nights with three babies, I feel as if I’ve definitely got a PhD in handling infants already. Age two gets a little tough but still very manageable. The secret is to model appropriate behavior at all times. If you want a gentle, kind and sweet little girl—you must be the person you are looking for. Totally applies to adults too, right?

It’s at the stage when your child starts totally defying you that gets to me. My son is about to turn 11 years old in a few days and I’ve never felt so challenged as a mother because he has learned the true art of saying “NO.” Yeah, they do start saying “NO” as toddlers but that isn’t a true NO. It’s more of an experimental one, I think. My son really is firm in his current stances. I could say it’s part of him being a bull-headed Taurus. We tried homeschooling for a few months and that turned our relationship really sour. To save it from going down the drain, I had to back off and try Deschooling and Unschooling instead. So far, so good. He is curious, engaged and asks questions in topics that interests him like History, Taekwondo, and World Geography. Learning doesn’t stop outside a classroom. For as long as I do not force (information that he deems as useless) or threaten him (if he doesn’t comply), he is quite pleasant to me. My personal challenge is how do I discipline him to do chores or make sure he doesn’t become a lazy, under-driven adult one day? I already know the answer to my question—it is through trust, deep respect, and creative parenting skills. Communication is always the key in all types of relationships.

I must brace myself for the teenage rebellious years if I find myself complaining now just at the start of the tween years. Perhaps, parenting is the most underrated and powerful form of mindfulness meditation.

The Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is made up of six series of yoga postures—Primary, Intermediate and four more advanced series. It’s an inside joke among yoga students and practitioners that our yoga off-the-mat-living is also known as seventh series Ashtanga which obviously depicts how enlightened you must be to even reach this state. They say that parenting doesn’t come with a manual. That’s so true. No return or exchange either!

Like they say in Waldorf teacher training, our children choose us for certain soul qualities that they need to work on through us as their parents. Yes, we are indeed living out our karmic debts in this lifetime and many more to come. So, tread lightly and breathe it out a moment at a time. We have as much to learn as our kids do.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in her private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of, or any other entity of the Inquirer Group of Companies.


 Art by Marian Hukom

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culture, Growing Up, momhood, Motherhood, parenting, Tween

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