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Mommy Anecdotes Mommyology at Work My Mommyology's Manila Chapter

The Business of Blogging: Keep It Close To The Heart

When people asked why I started to blog, I used to say it was for work.  My Mommyology really began as a social experiment.  My business was getting into the digital marketing  and social media scene, and I thought if I were to seriously help out, I needed to understand what each aspect was all about.

Actually, my first blog wasn’t My Mommyology.  It had a different name.  And I put in maybe one or two posts before I stopped it altogether.  It didn’t even have an avatar (It’s been 4 years, I need to start using big blogging words!  Haha!).

I stopped the (first) blog because I had difficulty keeping to a single theme.  The title only reflected one aspect of my life, or who I was, and I found that it had an endpoint.  I realized early on I had to dig deeper and put more of “me” into it.  If I wanted this blog to stand out in the blogosphere, then it had to have a unique, distinct point of view (how very brand marketing no?).  However it also had to stay true to itself and last the test of time (yes, I was thinking long-term).  What was the essence of my blog going to be?  And it was then when  My Mommyology came to be.

In the beginning my only followers were my mom and probably my husband (if only because he was worried about what I was going to say about him.) 😉 The small base slowly grew to family and friends who were interested in what I had to say.

Then we went to Manila and my blog took on a whole new level.  I met the SoMoms who’ve become lifelong friends and one of the best support groups a woman could ever ask for.

Photo Credit: OcMominManila.
Photo Credit: OcMominManila.

I met Coach Pia and learned through the #betterme sessions.  And I also got invited to all sorts of launches.  I was fortunate enough to receive gifts and engagements from brands I liked, loved and curious about.

It was in Manila when I realized how “active” the blogging world was with respect to developing marketing campaigns.  We even had a session at Co.Lab with different personalities in the industry of blogging.  It was hosted by Rone of Mothering Earthlings.

In the nice shared office space that is tucked away at the heart of Pasig, she gathered together:  the #SoMoms,  Denise (of Indigo Baby Shop), Arianne (if I’m being honest I forget the name of her business!), Ros Juan (social media expert and owner of CommunePH ) and Trina of DIYCorporateMom, (who is also one of the big bosses at a top multinational).  We talked about blogging from all perspectives:  the blogger, the online business entrepreneur, the corporate marketeer, and the reading audience.

I left before this photo op!  Photo Credit:  Ocmominmanila
I left before this photo-op! Photo Credit: Ocmominmanila

Many big words came out —  Credibility. Authenticity.  Blogging Integrity.  StatisticsBlogging as a profession.  Community.  And lots of valuable insights were shared between the parties (Thank you CoLab and Mothering Earthlings for hosting such an enlightening session!)

Now many moons later, I still keep going back to this:  Our blogs are read because of the insight and the unique voice one brings to the table.  It’s what builds credibility, authenticity and eventually,  even the stats.  People nowadays believe word-of-mouth more than they do paid advertisements, which is why corporations are investing more marketing budget in digital, even if it’s a more soft-sell, long-term approach.

Proof that I wasn't dreaming up this fact.  Photo credit:  My Mom Friday!
Proof that I wasn’t dreaming up this fact. Photo credit: My Mom Friday!

It doesn’t happen overnight and is often a very slow process.  Stats go up and down.  And so in an effort to turn a passion into a profession, there’s the temptation to just “accept” all kinds of engagements and attend all sorts of events.  The short-term will produce gains, but it may hurt your blog’s total “essence” in the long-run.  Eli of The Painter’s Wife once said that the blog is your brand.  And a brand makes an impression that lasts, so you do have to take care of it.

What we forget to realize is that each blog has a community that banks on the authenticity of the writer.  Some are smaller or bigger than others, but it’s in this community where the magic happens.  People who have common interests and concerns will naturally gravitate towards those with similar / relevant concerns.  It’s only but natural as people are multi-faceted… and are entitled to change their minds and opinions about all things in life all the time (hence, we follow multiple blogs).  But if you focus on the little or big community you have, you can build a deeper rapport and therefore will be more relevant more of the time.  That will then have a ripple effect (as I have seen with some of my seasoned blogger friends on their blogs!).

To get to that point though requires patience.  And consistency.  And clarity.  If you know the whole purpose of why the blog came to be in the first place, then it’s easier to do.

In the last four years, I realized that the posts that “hit home” the most within the community are the ones closest to my heart.  They were written with the purest intentions and no hidden agenda.  Maybe that’s the lesson there after all.

If you’ve watched the movie Begin Again (and if you haven’t – go watch it!  Now!), it pretty much sums up the essence of what I’m trying to say.  If there is a clarity of purpose (I sound like my former boss!  Yikes!)  behind the blog, then everything else will follow… eventually.  We just need to give it time and keep it close to the heart.

***

To the (small) intimate community that follows My Mommyology, the friends and family that think the blog is worth the read, I’m forever grateful.  I hope the blog and the lessons learned become close to your heart as they are to mine.  Happy Four Years to us! 😉

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Mommy Lessons (on Parenting) My Mommyology's Manila Chapter On Becoming a Better Mom

A #BetterMe and A #BetterParent with the Enneagram

Once a week I still aim to share some of the life lessons I’ve learned along the way.  This is a post long overdue too!

I’ve always taken a personal interest in personality tests (yes, even the quizzes in the magazines.  I secretly do the Facebook ones too — heeheehee!).  I used to do it for me.  And then eventually it was used to understand my husbandthen-boyfriend, better.  Now I do it because I want to understand my kids, and how I can be a better parent to them.

Of all the “tests” that I’ve had to answer or use — from Myers-Briggs, to StrengthsFinder, and even the Love Language test, I keep coming back to the Enneagram most of all.

Here it is!
Source:  The Enneagram Institute

I first learned about the Enneagram from my spiritual mentor Ester.  She had a whole document, and when I read it I was overwhelmed.  So I attended some seminars on it at Don Bosco many moons ago.  The thing about that is, you’re discovering yourself and others of your type in a room full of strangers.  So while some of it was educational, a lot of it was still intimidating.  And at the end of it all, I still didn’t fully grasp the 9 different personality types.  In fact I re-took the test at different points in my life, and I got even more confused because it would shift between two or three numbers.

Fortunately, I found out that my good friend Jake is an Enneagram guru.  In fact he teaches it in his leadership classes at the Ateneo Graduate School.  Jake, Kris’ other half, is a triathlete and the producer behind shows like Green Living TV and Gameplan (which is now back and getting bigger and better!).

GameplanTV, a nominee for best Fitness Blog from the most recent Tatt Awards!
Jake is left most with the rest of the GamePlanTV hosts and co-producer Paolo Abrera.

Jake teaches it because he believes that a person who knows himself better and is more self-aware can be a better leader.  And wouldn’t the world benefit if there were better leaders out there? (Go Jake!)

Photo credit:  Conci (Blairbitchbunny)
Photo credit: Conci of The Blairbitchbunny

Ever since then Jake has been my Enneagram guru and go-to person.  And he was happy to hold an intimate #BetterMe session with the other SoMoms on it.  As pre-work, he had us all take the free online test  to get a baseline of our numbers and personality types.

Photo credit:  Jen of Next9 / Attached at the Hip
Photo credit: Jen of Next9 / Attached at the Hip

As I mentioned before, the Enneagram is a test that “divides” the way we type or classify people into 9 different personality types.  It was started by Don Riso and Russ Hudson who eventually founded the Enneagram Institute.  I don’t know much more apart from the fact that the Enneagram also shows the relationships between the types, and the underlying motivations for specific actions.  Like any other tool, the Enneagram is key to better self-knowledge and self-awareness, and is the most comprehensive that I’ve found so far.  It’s fascinating!  There’s always much to learn.

Source:  Enneagram Institute's FAQs
Source: Enneagram Institute’s FAQs

The trick is not to get overwhelmed by the lines and arrows.  And maybe think of assessing yourself (and your number/s) in 3 buckets.

Find Your Center.  Focus on the highest number first, which will be your “center”, or your default.  The test will help you determine your highest number.  If you hit two or more, read through the descriptions and see which ones resonate most with you, particularly the motivations.  One other way, Jake says is to also check physical manifestations and symptoms.  Normally head people (types 5, 6 and 7) often get migraines or bad headaches.  The ONE types on the other hand look very put together, very prim and proper.

Study the WingsFrom that which is your center, check the two numbers on its right and left.  As a “2” for instance, my wings are 1 and 3.  Meaning, I’d have to consider the good and bad traits of the 1 and the 3 as how they blend in with the personality type of the 2.  With Jake’s help, I understand now that this was where my initial confusion stemmed from.  As a younger form of myself, I related more to the 3, the Achiever.  When I became a parent, my 1 wing stood out more.  But Jake was the first one to point out that my motivation and behavior was that of a 2.  So  it’s possible that life stages and situations will make you exhibit the traits of another type, but in the end you still go back to your center.

Learn the Integration and Disintegration.  And now for the arrows.  If you look at this Enneagram diagram, you’ll see that each number has an arrow which “points” to another number in the circle.

The arrows point to a number is its Disintegration.  The arrow coming from a number is the Integration.  Capisce?!
The arrows point to a number is its Disintegration. The arrow coming from a number is the Integration. Capisce?!

In my case 2 for instance, a Healthy version of myself will integrate with the positive qualities of a 4.  As a Helper, I “automatically” give of myself and have a hard time saying no, sometimes to a fault.  I can learn from the 4 (the Artist), to sometimes put myself first.   The opposite is also true and an unhealthy 2 will disintegrate and exhibit the negative traits of an 8.  I rarely get mad but when I do, I explode — just like an 8 would.

It’s all a lot to take in, but definitely worth the time to understand.  And it’s one of those things you can keep going back to (as self-understanding takes time!).  What’s nice about learning it with an intimate group of friends, is that now you all have the same language.  In fact some of our conversations have statements like, “It’s because she’s a 6,” as the only explanation.  Or, “That is the 1 in you talking.”  It helps keep you self-aware when other people can help you using tools you understand.

Now as for the parenting part of it… the Enneagram Institute says that it’s difficult to use the testing and typing for children under the age of 14.  That’s because they’re not fully aware of who they are yet, or why they do things.  But as a parent, Liz Hill (from the Enneagram Administrative Support) says, ” the most important thing is to begin to understand how you fit with whatever type your child is — that’s where the work is for you!”  They have a whole section on parenting in their website if you’d like to check it out.

There is no perfect number or better number.  You can’t change the number that you are.  To quote the wise professor Jake:  “You learn these things so that you can be the best version of your number as you can be; for yourself and for those around you.”

Thank you “Sir Jake” as always.

See Jake and the Gameplan team’s work on www.whatsyourgameplan.tv.  Follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Mommy Discoveries My Mommyology Recommends My Mommyology's Manila Chapter

Meals in Manila

It’s a well-known fact that Filipinos love to eat.  It’s why we have so many restaurants and gastro-pubs popping up in different areas around the metro.  And really, no matter what type of cuisine or dish, it’s not hard to find some really good restaurants to choose from.

The weeks leading up to our move, I stopped cooking.  I truly had no time and energy to think about what we’d eat.  Miraculously the girls wouldn’t run out of food (thanks to everyone who was feeding us and my mom’s trusted helper for just bringing food over).  As for me, I had one meeting after another, and they were usually held with food at the center.  Many knew I was leaving, and so the question always was, “What food will you miss when you leave Manila?  Let’s have our meeting or get-together there.”

I’ve come up with a list of my favorite restos from Manila.  They’re places I would recommend to people visiting and staying for a while, and to those like us who’d leave and not come back for quite some time.  They’re definitely the places I’d want to eat when we go back for a visit…

1.  CiboCibo has and will always be a favorite staple.  I’m sure many will agree, it’s the no-brainer default I have.  It’s also because the girls love it and ask for it.  Jamie has been my date there since she was 9 months old!

Taken circa 2010.  And 4 years later, we still order the same thing!
Taken circa 2010. And 4 years later, we still order the same thing!

There’s no struggle to eat when they know we’re going there.  They’re usual orders are the Spinaci Zola, Penne Al Telefono, and a fresh fruit shake. I’d eat the Insalata di Mare (Seafood Salad) and lately, because I was trying to get Sam to eat vegetables, we started ordering the Pomodoro Bruschette.  Cibo is easy to find — it’s been in the country for over 17 years and is present in many malls.

Website: Cibo.Ph,  Facebook, Instagram, Twitter: CiboPH

2.  Wildflour – another instant favorite, and not it’s not because of their Cronuts.  Wildflour has some pretty good Mushroom Salad (yes, salad again!).  The names of their dishes escape me, but their Foie Gras spread is good as well as their whole chicken dish and steak with rice.  I wish I took pictures!  For sandwiches, their Croque Madame is pretty decent too.  Oh and so is their coffee!  It’s always so packed, I was so glad I got to eat there for lunch before we left.

Facebook:  Wildflour Cafe + Bakery FortBonifacio 

3.  Keizo –  This was the good Japanese restaurant closest to where we lived, and it was a frequent go to for our Japanese fix.  Sam learned to love the Chicken Teriyaki here and Jamie would concede to eating Miso Soup and Gyoza.  My husband and I would always get their Salmon Sashimi, Spicy Tuna  and Mixed Tempura.  The nice part about it was that whether we’d eat it at home or eat it there, we would always call first and say we were coming in 15 minutes.  Hence, there was always a zero wait-time.

4.  Il Ponticello – The nice thing about Il Ponti is that there’s always something new going on.  And I love Italian food, so it’s always on my list of places to eat or have meetings.  They have the affordable and filling lunch sets.  Now they’ve added the Porchetta, and most recently the Flat Iron Steak.  They’re becoming such popular dishes that it’s best to call and pre-order before you go.  Then when I went with the #SoMoms the other week, we got to try the Vongole pasta!

Yummy food, wonderful company... who could ask for more?  I miss you SoMoms!
Yummy food, wonderful company… who could ask for more? I miss you SoMoms!

Of course I rave about the food, but the drinks are pretty great too!  Every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights, a DJ plays.  And we enjoy it so much we don’t know how much we drink really. 😉  Nonetheless it’s always ALWAYS, a good time.

Facebook:  Il Ponticello  Instagram: @newilponticello

5.   Sentro 1771 – Sentro and the 1771 group of restaurants is always a classic favorite.  They’ve been in the restaurant business for 25 years, which means they’re actually doing something right.  My last few meetings and social gatherings were in their newest branch, Capitol Commons.  The interiors are bright and spacious, it’s very well done.  And the second floor has a lot of space for group functions (with a minimum consumable amount).

Dessert Photo Credit: Cristina Cinco
Dessert Photo Credit: Cristina Cinco

Favorites and must haves (apart from their famous Corned Beef Sinigang which is what the girls eat all the time!)Kesong Puti Salad, Macau Chorizo and Tidbits, Catfish Sentro Style, and the Seafood Bagoong Rice.  For dessert, DEFINITELY the Coffee Pie and their version of a local cheesecake, the KesoFlan.  (I am drooling just thinking about these dishes!)

Website:  Sentro 1771 Facebook: Sentro 1771  Twitter:  @Sentro1771

6.  Juju – I discovered this because it was a favorite of the Two Tots moms, and then I became addicted myself!  Half salads are quite filling, and you can have them for lunch and dinner.  My favorites are their Roast Pumpkin, Crispy Catfish, the Inasal Salad, and the Chicken Caesar.  How can you go wrong?  It’s a fresh salad (can you tell I’m a salad person?!)!  Also very good for digestion.

I’ve also tried their juices, and my favorite is the Alkazest.  It’s got grapefruit, pineapple and Coconut water.

Website:  JujuEats.com, Facebook:  Juju Eats

7.  Mamou  – I have to admit I don’t eat in Mamou very often, but we do on special occasions.  And we go for their steak.

Left:  Mamou Steak!  Right:  Truffle Pasta
Left: Mamou Steak! Right: Truffle Pasta

The weekend before I left, my family and I enjoyed a meal at their Rockwell branch.  They’d just turned three years (and their Serendra branch, 7).  They asked us if we were celebrating anything and my mom said a despedida.  So they gave us this!

How sweet! (Literally).  Thank you Mamou!
How sweet! (Literally). Thank you Mamou!

Facebook: Mamou Serendra

Now after writing this, I’m hungry.  Hungry for all of my favorite Manila eats!  At least I have a list to look back on when we do visit.  Or who knows, there may be new restaurants to add-on.

What are your recommendations that we add to this list? 🙂

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Mommy Lessons (on Parenting) My Mommyology Tribute My Mommyology's Manila Chapter On Becoming a Better Mom

A Father’s Love

The last month and a half have been crazy busy, to say the least!  And here’s why:

Boxes and boxes and boxes... again!
Boxes and boxes and boxes… again!

As some of you may already know (or may have guessed), we’re moving.  Again!  It hasn’t even been two years since we set foot in Manila once again, and yes, here we are, uprooting once more.

Many people ask why.  In fact almost everyone knew we came home because my husband wanted to be close to family.  So why the big move only after 22 months into our supposedly “home for good move”?

Well.  It really boils down to Jamie.

Remember I mentioned Jamie’s skin allergies?  Over the course of 20 months, we’ve come to prove that the cause was the ever-humid and unpredictable weather and highly polluted environment of Manila.  As the months passed, her allergies went from bad to worse.  It got to the point where I wasn’t getting any rest because I’d wake up to keep her from scratching and re-apply all kinds of topical steroids and lotions on her.  The next morning, it was always a game of “where did this blood come from?” or “what will Jamie’s mood be today?” knowing that she didn’t get a good night’s rest.

(I feel like) I’ve tried everything, including non-traditional ways that worked for other moms.  All the solutions would provide temporarily relief, but after a while Jamie would desensitize and everything would flare up again.  Thank God for our constants, Aquasana and Mustela’s Stelatopia; for without them I fear it would be worse.

We’d gotten to that point where I felt I was raising a drug addict, because the allergists had told me to give my then two-year old 10mL of antihisthamine daily, everyday, for 3 months straight (on top of the topical ointments).  For her tiny body, it was too much.  It affected Jamie’s demeanor and behavior.  She was always cranky and sleepy and totally uncomfortable.

We went to several pediatric dermatologists and allergists, who all said that she would “eventually outgrow it (or as they say “control it).”  And I believed them, having gone through it myself for half my life.  It became my default solution too.

But my husband wouldn’t — couldn’t — stand for it.  He just couldn’t bear to see his baby girl in that state all the time.  And he insisted that there should be a better solution than just waiting for her to adapt.

We had proven that it wasn’t food, or anything in our laundry, or even the usual culprits like stuffed toys (hence, Bunny was allowed to stay).  In fact, during our trips to Anvaya, Boracay and Bohol, a dip in the salt water would instantly clear Jamie’s skin up.

The clincher was when we went on our family vacation and Jamie’s eczema cleared up the day after we arrived.  It stayed clear up until the day we flew home.  I came home with full tubes of medicine and lotion because I used them 5x less than I’d normally use them when in Manila.

And so in a matter of months — weeks — from what was initially “just speculation”, became reality.  My husband told his employer that he had to re-consider opportunities in the US, because he wanted Jamie to have a better quality of life.  And it was a big thing since he was the one who wanted to move us home, and because he was (is) doing so well career-wise too.

As luck or fate or a combination of both would have it, his company decided to keep him to handle the operations in North America.  And just like that, the contract was signed and I was back in the motions of packing up.

Many people say it was a very bold thing to do – uproot the whole family when we’re just starting to settle in and get our bearings (They say it takes 2 years to finally feel “okay” after a big move with kids — and it’s true I was JUST getting that feeling!).  Not many would really make that huge a move.  But as my husband points out – it was her health.  And Jamie in her current state was no way to live.

And that’s really what struck me when I saw this slide during our post-Father’s day #BetterMe session with Coach Pia at Seda Hotel (in BGC).

Thank you Jen for making these wonderful pinboards from our session!
Thank you Jen for making these wonderful pinboards from our session!

My language of love is words.  And I’m very good at expressing myself and how I feel.  My husband is quite the opposite.  But you can see it in his actions.  Like this big move of ours.  Thankfully the career aspect of it worked in our favor, but if it didn’t, it wouldn’t have stopped him from exploring it and making it happen.  And after all, that’s what father’s are good at — making things happen.

Somehow the girls know that’s how he loves them.  Jamie clearly knows and is looking forward to “making the owies go away.”  And Sam — she understood.  In one of her emotional moments she caught me by surprise when she said, “I’m sad we’re moving but I know it’s better for Jamie.  So that’s why.”  (Of course I cried).  Somehow she knew that we’d all make that kind of sacrifice for her if she needed it most, and that no matter what, we put our family’s needs first.  Something they also learned from her dad.

Credit:  Jen of @next9 and Attached at the Hip.
Photo Credit: Jen of @next9 and Attached at the Hip.

A very belated Father’s Day — but also a Happy Anniversary!  — to my husband, the Daddy of our family.  We can’t wait to start this new adventure with you. 🙂 

:)
🙂

See you in a few. 😉

A big thank you as well to The One Core, Coach Pia, and Seda Hotels, our sponsors for this #BetterMe session!  Use the hashtag #betterme and #somoms on Instagram and Facebook to discover and gain insights on the topics we’ve learned thus far about becoming the best versions of ourselves.  I sincerely hope that you gain something from them too!

The beautiful rooms at Seda BGC.  Great for staycations too!
The beautiful rooms at Seda BGC. Great for staycations too!
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A Penny for Mommy's Thoughts Mommy Anecdotes My Mommyology's Manila Chapter On Becoming a Better Mom

Raising Children with Strong Values and Character

I picked up Sam from school yesterday and we had our usual conversation in the car about how her day went.  It was all pretty normal, until Sam said, “Mom, my classmate got sent to the time out chair today.”  I thought she was just relaying an event at school, but as I probed deeper, I found out this little girl was sort of a bully to my sweet Sam.  “She pushes and pulls me a little too roughly.  And she says she won’t be my friend because she has enough friends,” were some of the things that came out of her mouth. “She also says bad words.”

I felt my temper flare up but somehow managed to bite my tongue and breathe.  Those #BetterMe sessions were hard at work before I realized it. 😉

I didn’t want Sam to shut down and I wanted to find out more .  How she felt, what she did, if she was hurt (physically or emotionally)… Sam was very matter-of-fact about it, but I could tell she couldn’t wrap her head around her seatmate rejecting her friendship and treating her that way for no apparent reason.

That night as the girls went to bed I chatted about it with my cousin who also sends her daughter to the same school.  Apparently my niece experienced a similar incident.  When she stood her ground with this “heavy-handed” classmate who was trying to bully her into something they were instructed not to do, my niece got accused of being mean and uncaring.  My cousin said her daughter felt bad after, but was reassured that she did the right thing.

These aren’t the first set of stories I’ve heard over the year about kids with “attitudes”, or kids acting like bullies to their classmates.  And often what follows are statements like, “What do the parents teach them?” or “Why are they (the kids) allowed to get away with such behavior?” 

Now I’ve been fondly “accused” by people close to me that I can be very protective of my children.  So much so that I’d shield them from anything “bad” even before it comes remotely close.  And because in reality I can’t do that, they come home with stories and thoughts similar to those I’ve just shared.  So yes, I’ve been guilty of similar thoughts and statements — judgements if you will — too.  And quite honestly if it hadn’t been for these last few #BetterMe sessions with Coach Pia, I’d have done things differently.

About a month ago we had a session at the all-new Flair Towers on How to Raise Children with Strong Character and Values.  And the reason I bring it up is because it makes me wonder how you can guarantee spelling the difference between kids with a solid value compass and kids who “go astray”?  While I hope and pray that I’m doing something right with the girls, it’s still a thought that plagues me everyday.  After all I’m not the only influence they have in their lives anymore, and they can easily pick up and do things that are against what they’re taught.

Going back to the lessons of that #BetterMe session, one thing I felt that worked in my favor was this:

Two words.  A whole lotta meaning.
Two words. A whole lotta meaning.

The slide says it all but it’s NOT. EASY. TO DO.  I admit that my initial reaction when Sam told me would have been to shriek, “WHAT?!”  And I probably would have launched into a litany of how that was wrong versus right and what she should do or how she should fight back.  But I remembered this and instead, I asked questions.  I reserved my judgements for myself and tried to help Sam process how she felt.  There was no right or wrong, I let her say her piece and worked through what we could when I could inject my thoughts without the lecture.

The other part of the session that struck me (a month later no less!) as this was unfolding before my eyes and ears, was when Coach Pia said:

Self-explanatory.
Self-explanatory.

Unknowingly (and thankfully so, whew!), this is something I’ve been doing with the girls too.  I avoid the phrase, “because I said so”,  and I make it a point to explain the bigger reason behind the discipline.  Safety, respect, honesty, trust, openness.  I use them often and I try to say it in ways she’ll understand.

Somehow I think it stuck.  Sam had no qualms about opening up to me and saying exactly how she felt (I hope it stays that way always!).  I didn’t correct her strong words, because I knew she was saying it to me only and I acknowledged that.  I also appreciated her telling me that she didn’t retaliate because she knew it was wrong.  Despite looking like the weaker one of the two, somehow I hope I was able to reinforce that she actually was the stronger one.  And I affirmed her decision to not repeat the bad words she’d heard.

And so I go back to the judging statements about what the parents teach or don’t teach, and allow or don’t allow.  More and more, I’m beginning to think it’s not really that parents teach the wrong things or allow misbehavior to happen.  No parent in their right mind would purposely do that.  Rather, it might just be the amount of influence (or lack thereof) over their kids.  And as a disclaimer, it’s also not about quantity over quality time (because I know of parents who work full-time and have kids with strong values and characters), but as Coach Pia says, it’s really about being present.  It’s important to emphasize family time over friends time, especially as the kids get older.  The presence of parents should be felt 5x more to those of their peers.  Family influence will imbibe strong values, and will combat any other influence that peers will bring to the table.  And if all else fails, you go back to the first insight on resisting lecturing, so you are open to them and they are open to you.

Build one-on-one time with everyone (including yourself) every week as part of your routine.
Build one-on-one time with everyone (including yourself) every week as part of your routine.

I’ve to say this post has been in my drafts for quite sometime.  Life got in the way what can I say.  I’m glad it did; because yesterday’s incident helped me crystalize the lessons even more.  And while I know I’m the furthest thing from being the parent that knows it all, I’m all for learning and doing whatever it takes that will help make me a better one step at a time.

Thank you #LysolPH!
Thank you #LysolPH!

Thank you to Lysol for sponsoring this #BetterMe Session with The One Core.  Visit their Facebook page: Lysol Philippines for the latest products that can help make your home and hands germ-free. 🙂