To all who have kids now, you will agree that you love your kids more than anything else in the world, right? Of course y’all say yes! Well, the thing is, how do we show that love to our children? And how do you think will it affect them later on as they grow older?

Each parent have their own parenting style (is that the right term?) , even my mom and dad have different ways and now, at the age of 21, I can see how those differences actually affected me ( I think). As we grow up, we develop our own ideas on what is good or not in everything, from the simplest things to the most complex ones and it’s safe to say that it goes the same on how we see ourselves rearing our kids.
Here are some examples on differences to parenting and some effects (all of this are based on personal experiences, ok?):
My mom loves us so much that she doesn’t want us to do anything that she thinks is too hard for us. She thought us household chores (of course, we will need that. it’s for our own good) but for some reasons, she never let us wash our clothes or ironing jobs. I thought she doesn’t trust our works that’s why, but it’s not. She just don’t want to see us doing those hard job. Aside from those simple task, most of the time she also do the decision making for us. That’s a whole different thing from washing clothes, I know. Well, she thinks those are the best things for us and all we need to do to obey. Like ‘she loves us so much and she doesn’t want us to have a hard time in almost anything’. She will literally do things to make it easy (as in super easy) for us, but she knows the limitation of course. She can offer ideas on how to make our project stand out from the rest but will never do it for us. At least we’re learning, right? She let us decide for those small things, but for huge things like what school to go to or what course to take? No.

On the other hand, my father does it differently. He’s busy with work most of the time so we don’t really spend much time with us. He grew up in La Union, a province in the northern part of Philippines in a very traditional family where to woman stays in the house and the guy works to provide (that’s one reason why my mom stopped working). His style is more on the opposite of what my mom does. He wants us to do everything on our own so that will learn for ourselves. That’s a good approach if you want to raise independent people. You let them try, you let them decide, they’ll surely learn how to weight to pros and cons later on and that will make them more productive.

I’m no parenting guru here, just my opinion.

Well, because we grew up more with our mom, we didn’t learn much from my father’s way. I mean, he probably wants us to be big and something, but.. I don’t know. Usually, he talks to us like a manager talks to their subordinates, but much more intimate (because we’re his kids) and not that informal. Maybe it’s just me or it really seems awkward whenever we have those ‘conversations’. I remember him trying to start a conversation but I don’t know how to respond so I just smile. I don’t know.

Hmm, another parenting example is from my uncle. He used to spank my cousins a lot, he hit them even for simple things (like not returning the hammer, or not erasing the writings on their white board). I grew up seeing how often they got hit, I got hit once or twice too.

From what I observed from my cousins, it instill this kind of fear on them, on different intensity or level.

The eldest, a girl, is conscious that her actions may not be acceptable to her father’s standards. Well, it did not stop her from doing the things that she wants but most of her decisions are based on how her father will look at it, like what to take for college. My uncle wanted her to be a military nurse (at that time, Nursing is so IN for high school grads) so, even though she really wanted take up HRM or Tourism, she took what her father wanted. In the end, she was blamed for not getting to work in a hospital (Filipinos will know how hard it is for a REGISTERED NURSE to get a job in any hospital in here). Sometimes she would also cry to me, asking if she’s not “important” , or is she easy to forget (I know we are pertaining to relationships here, but I THINK it rooted to her childhood experience where her father wanted male children, or gave more favors to her other siblings who are both males) – she is questioning her self-worth. During that time, she’s also making a lot of bad decisions, and I’m not sure if it could be because of that as well.

The second, a male, got most of his fathers qualities. Well, most of them are the good parts, of course (maybe because he is innately one of the jokers in the family and he keeps us smiling and laughing and he have this discipline – something that is common to guys in our family but hard to find nowadays.) but one thing that I noticed is he also have this things for hitting. It’s not to hurt though, gigil lang – biglang palo pag nanggigigil.  Sometimes, when he scold our younger cousins, he use that too – but with more control. Maybe because he knows how it feels to be spanked (I remember there was a time when my uncle used the buckle of the belt for hitting – whiw). He also established that image of “the one to be feared” or “don’t mess with me” kind. It contradicts the fact that he’s our joker (for those of us with same age range, but for youngre ones, not always).

The youngest, another male, is their father’s favorite. He did not have those unusually  things ( I think) , he’s just like the normal teenager who do what he wants and talks back when needed. He’s the only one with guts to actually talk back to their father, knowing that he can take it, no matter how hard it is. When he knows he’s right, he’s gonna say it, he’s gonna do it.

See, even in a single family the differences on how children are treated will have a huge effect on them. Even if you use same method for each, they will take it differently ’cause each of them is still an individual.

I have more experiences and observances from different people but I guess I’m gonna end it here.

I’m having my own kids now and I hope I will an effective parent.
How about you, how do you handle your kids?
Any ideas or parenting styles you wanna share?


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