Saturday, September 26, 2009

Prepare your children for the future today

"Prepare your children for the future, today"
Sun.Star Davao, Sept. 26, 2009

As a parent, do you believe in doing everything for your children or do you give your kids choices and let them experience the results of their decisions?

This important question was posed to me and fellow parents during the recent “Kumon Philippines’ 2009 Education and Parenting Seminar Series” held at the SM City Davao Cinema 1.

More than developing the child’s skills in Math and Reading, Kumon endeavors to instill what it calls Life Skills, which include time management and discipline, while the child is still young. Kumon believes that by building on these Life Skills, children have the ability to grow and become productive members of their community.

With the theme, “Prepare Your Children for the Future, Today”, the free seminar aimed to support parents in equipping their children academically and in developing their character.

The well-attended event hosted by charming TV personality and preschool teacher Patty Laurel gathered over 200 parents.

It tackled three modules, namely: “Current Issues in Education” by De La Salle University-Manila professor Dr. Lilia Dino Bautista; “Importance of Math and Reading” by Kumon Philippines Instruction Division Leader Olivia “Yoyie” Angeles; and “Parenting our Children Today” by Philippine Mental Health Association national executive director Regina De Jesus. An open forum followed after the talks.

The more than 2-hour seminar discussed today’s issues in education and also tackled the importance of engaging and connecting to children within the learning environment. It likewise discussed “how parents and educators can help shift children’s perception of the learning experience from a “chore” that has to be done, to an opportunity for children to shine and revel in their own potential”.

I was glad that I went to the very enlightening seminar. I especially learned a lot of new insights from the final talk, “Parenting our Children Today”.

Like most parents, I am sometimes guilty of being a ‘good’ parent as described by Dr. De Jesus in her talk. The mother of three shared that the so-called ‘good’ parents believe they must do everything for their children to the point of assuming responsibilities for them.

Dr. De Jesus warns that by doing this, parents deny their children opportunities to learn the concept of mutual respect. Kids will become dependent on parents, which could lead to poor self-esteem and self-confidence.

In contrast, responsible parents are more concerned with building their children’s feeling of responsibility and self-confidence. Such parents allow their children to commit mistakes because they know that it is only through these experiences that they will learn what life is all about. For Dr. De Jesus, the latter kind is what each parent should achieve to become.

In addition, no matter how busy we are with our careers and schedules, Dr. De Jesus encourages parents to spend at least 30 minutes with each child to discuss everyday activities and go over school lessons. She said that it has been proven that “when parents are actively involved in their child’s learning years, the academic performance improves significantly”.

Dr. De Jesus likewise advises parents to “find time to nurture their relationship as husband and wife and engage in activities that both can enjoy doing without the children”.

And, what is one of the best things that we can do for our children on a daily basis?

It’s quite simple and doable, actually. “Hug your children!”, Dr. De Jesus smiles. She explains that the human touch like kissing and hugging activates dopamine, the ‘happy hormone’ which makes us feel happy and good.

According to Dr. De Jesus, parents should let their children feel that the family is a sanctuary where they can be heard, accepted and problems can be solved.

“Let us get our acts together and start working on our most cherished dream: to raise healthy and responsible children and have a happy home life”, Dr. De Jesus enthuses.

E-mail the author at Visit

No comments: