1. Be patient. Since I am a full time mom, there are times when I almost regret being one. But despite all the pressures of taking care and disciplining my kids, I have learned that I need to be patient and forgiving at all times.
2. Learn to apologize. I have this usual "away-bati" relationship with my 9-year old daughter. As a parent, I can say that I am not perfect and I learned never to be too proud to say "I'm sorry” to my child when I've made a mistake. This had really made me become a better person and made our mother-daughter relationship even stronger.
3. The value of listening. There are times when we unintentionally ignore what our children want to say to us especially during times when we are too busy or tired. I have come to realize my shortcomings when I am ready to listen but my children do not seem to care and talk to me much anymore. I have learned that the more a child becomes aware of a mother's willingness to listen, the more a mother will begin to hear.
4. Acceptance. I have the tendency to always compare my kids to other kids their age, whether in terms of attitude, skills or habits. My daughter always tells me this, "Mom, this is ME, not him/her, we are not the same". Through this, I learned to avoid criticizing my kids, rather shower them with positive comments most of the time. Once I have read and I quote: "Nothing has a better effect upon children than praise". The Bible also says that "An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up" (Proverbs 12:25). Children need more of models not of critics, therefore I try my best to teach them right and be an ideal parent to the best I can.
5. Children spell love as “TIME”. A quotation by John Shedd says "Simply having children does not make mothers". When my kids wrote in a card they made for me, thanking me for loving them and always being there for them, I realized that my love and presence are what they truly appreciate most. I agree with the saying, "Too much love never spoils children”. Children become spoiled when we substitute "presents" for "presence". The time I give to my kids will surely not be wasted, for being a full time mother is for me one of the highest salaried jobs since the payment is pure love.
1. Learn to listen. Kids have their own concerns and sometimes feel stress, just as adults do. Learning to listen is probably the most important skill we can learn in life. As a parent, we should accept and respect our child's feelings by listening quietly, attentively and being non-judgmental. Try to listen when they reason out. It is important that a child's voice is valued. Pay attention when they are excited to tell you something. It will enhance their confidence when their voice and opinions are respected.
3. Patience. If there is one thing that moms wish they had more of...it’s patience. As any parent knows, raising children requires a great deal of it. I realized that sometimes we lose our patience because we are expecting our children to behave in a way they are simply not capable of...let them be kids anyway.
1. Mothers should be role models or living examples that their children can emulate. Kids especially in their early years are great imitators. They follow what they have seen and heard in school and most especially at home. I believe that the Word of God is true. He said in Proverbs 22:6 “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” As a mother, I learned that whatever you have imparted and taught to your children will manifest in what they will become in the future.
2. We should teach our children even at an early age to pray and seek God in everything that they do. I believe that in doing so they will learn that all things will be given unto them according to God’s will and purpose. I learned that with this exposure, they became prayerful and also strengthened their faith in God. There was one time that I was sick and my kids all looked worried and gathered around me. My youngest son laid his hand over my head and asked his brother and sisters to do so and began to pray for healing. I also prayed in agreement with them and later that day, I was already up and about. Praise the Lord!
JOY JESENA-MEMPIN, mother to Anna Francesca (21), Ana Isabella (17), Jose Miguel (14), Jose Enrique (7) and Ana Maria (5)
1. Dying to self can actually be life-giving. All the sacrifices we make for our children, sometimes to the point of foregoing our dreams, comforts and luxuries will eventually pay off when we see our kids grow up to be themselves, people for others, confident because we fill them with our love and attention.
2. It is never too early to teach them to make tough choices. I just had an incident with Maria recently. She refused to go to summer class, "just because"--one of those days. The day before, we had a Maria/Mama day and she begged me to buy her a doll house. I relented knowing that she seldom asks me for something, and this would be some sort of leverage for me to "buy" her obedience. She promised to behave and not give me a hard time each morning when it was time for summer class. So I reminded her about our "pinky swear". Choose, dollhouse=school or stay home=no dollhouse. I knew it was tough for her, but she understood and she made a decision. School! Yey!
3. Tough love goes a long way. We don't pamper our kids with material things such as the latest cellphones, toys and gadgets. If our girls want to buy clothes they take it out from their allowance. So, they choose the "wise buys", not the branded expensive ones. Miguel (3rd year high school) got his cellphone this month, the most basic cellphone! We want to instill in them the principle of "delayed gratification". They learn the value of hard work. I'm proud to say our kids are not spoiled and they know how to wait.
4. Laughing with your kids is the best "stress buster". After a hard day's work, a light moment with the kids always makes you forget your tiredness and your worries. All my kids are each gifted with a unique sense of humor. I am lucky to be able to share this with them.
5. Listen intently to your kids, they are God's little messengers. Enrique, our 7 year-old one night before bedtime reminds me, "Mom, we have not prayed the rosary in a long time”. Isabella, our second, sponsored our driver's daughters' school supplies from her allowance. Cheska, when she was in grade school, saw a dirty, poor old man beside the road. At first, we did not want to help him because he was smelly. But God was telling us, "Hey, this is ME in the poor man". Miguel, our middle child never fails to hug me and say "I love you, Mom". Maria, our fifth after 4 C Sections, is a living testimony that God is in control of my life. God is always teaching us something through our kids, checking us when our tempers flare up, reminding us when we are too busy to pray, makes His presence felt when we are too engrossed in our own little worlds or when we feel alone.
Happy Mother’s Day!!! Special Mother’s Day greetings to my mom Lolita, mother-in-law Ester and aunts Panching, Mila and Nene (who have loved and treated me as their own daughter)!