Wednesday, October 1, 2014


What’s your parenting style? Are you the indulgent type or an authoritarian?
Parenting is one of the most crucial influences in a child’s development. It is just one of the many aspects that factors in one’s holistic growth into a happy adult. Its effects during each stage in childhood can extend as far as adulthood. Just as parents and children have differences of their own, the manner and approach with which couples rear their young ones also vary for every family. What fits for one parent or child may not necessarily be suitable for another.

There are some who inculcate their offspring with a love for arts, channeling their creative side as part of personality development. To some couples, sports play an important role in establishing discipline and enhancing social skills among kids. The ultimate goal of making sports a part of their lifestyle should be to promote lifelong physical activity, recreation and healthy competition, which can come in handy later on in their lives. 
Jaypee and Anna Pacheco
Taken from one mom's point of view, it's highly suggested that parents pay close attention to their child's interests, identify their needs, and provide motivation and guidance. "The goal must not be skewed toward what parents expect to see or gain out of engaging their child in a particular activity, hobby or sport. Everything should be focused on your child's well-being, to teach him to realize his own goals and get a deeper understanding of how he can maximize his potentials in order to achieve," shares Anna Borlongan-Pacheco, a mom of two.

Jaypee with son, Miggy
"My husband, Jaypee, and I just want our kids to enjoy their childhood. They are very much in touch with what they want in life as of now. We don't put any pressure on them, be it in academics or in other activities. We make our presence and love felt by guiding them through their million questions on different subject matters in school, attending all their events, cheering them on, providing their needs and supporting their hobbies and interests. Because of these things, our kids have a better grasp of the meaning of family and what it takes to make a home happy and healthy."
Sporting around

Anna's kids, Miggy and Isabel, are different in some ways. Migs is the reserved and conservative type, spending his "alone" time in between reading books, biking and planting. Isabel is sociable and very expressive. She enjoys arts and crafts as much as she loves dancing and singing. Anna points out, "Sports and the great outdoors are their only common ground."

Miggy and Isabel remind me so much of the old Milo TVC's which featured little champions in the making. Like most of them, Anna's kids have evidently grown into bonafide young athletes, always in anticipation of a new sport or competition. 

"My kids enjoy a good sweat and they are very active. Both have already participated and placed in several triathlons and have maintained their standing as members of the swimming varsity for 2 years now. Aside from taking karate lessons, Migs also plays soccer, basketball, badminton and chess. Isabel, on the other hand, has just discovered a new love in synchronized swimming. Recently, she has been competing in dance sports events," shares the proud mom.

"This love of sports just came naturally to them. We didn't have to force them into trying out each activity. I guess they just found it interesting since my husband and I are also into sports. I guess children really learn by example. In a way, this is our kind of family bonding."

Personality development

Any form of physical activity and exercise promotes a holistic growth and benefits the child in different ways. Aside from keeping one strong and healthy, sports can help boost self-esteem and confidence, improve concentration and balance, and develop flexibility and social skills.

Isabel Pacheco
"In the case of Miggy and Isabel, they learned to respect each other's capabilities and value patience, teamwork and self-discipline. They have become responsible in a way that they take charge of their own time --- using it wisely for learning and fun," explains Anna.

Nurture the gift

Anna shares her parenting experience to all mothers. "Being parents, we are our child's main support system. But we also discipline ourselves by keeping to our children's own goals. We don't pressure them into winning all their competitions. We let them know that we believe in their talent and, whatever the outcome may be, we trust they'd always give it their best."

"Any parent whose children are into these competitive activities should let their kids follow their own pace and allow them to enjoy the experience to the best of their abilities. Parents can set good example by reinforcing acceptance and respect of different shapes and ability levels. Another way of extending moral support is by  promoting talent, strength and an open mind in coping with different environments and situations."

"It's just natural that parents hope our little ones will achieve success throughout their life, but we have to let them find their own place in this world and not push them to follow unrealistic dreams. Keep in mind the difference between conditioning our children to do what we love versus loving what they do. We have to let them grow into the person they want to be. Our role is to prepare them for a world outside their hobby and outside our home."
Story published on my newspaper column, Metro Mom.
A1, INdulge, Edge Davao, Vol. 7 Issue no. 142, 01 October 2014.



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