Sunday, July 27, 2008

What Type of Parent are You?

Just this morning, the Little Lady had another one of those crying episodes. She’s turning 7 in a month’s time and I wonder if she is undergoing another transition the way she does every single year, coinciding with the month preceding her birth anniversary.

Her Dilemma

It all started when she’s trying to draw this morning. With her early schedule in school, it’s been a while since she made her last artwork. After one attempt, not quite satisfied with what she made, she asked me to draw for her.

I told her to try again, like I always do, when she can’t get things right the first time. She kept on insisting, but I said she can do it on her own. Then out of the blue, she burst into tears and blurted “But I can’t draw like you. My drawings are ugly!”

We’ve been through this before. In fact, this is the fourth time. She tries to compare her work with mine; setting the same standard for herself.

A part of the Leo-Virgo borderline personality in her is slowly emerging. She’s starting to show signs of being a perfectionist. I also noticed that she’s becoming more sensitive or ‘onion-skinned’ [from the Filipino term balat (skin) sibuyas (onion)] lately.

It’s easy to explain why a work of an adult is different from the work of a 6 year old. But making her accept it is the hardest part of all. You know how kids are; they don’t get convinced that easily.

Mom Says

So here’s my explanation:

“When I was your age, I can’t draw like you do. It took me years before I was able to make the drawings that I do today. But you, you’re only 6 and yet you can already make beautiful artwork. You have your own style and people love it as it is. Don’t try to copy my drawings, because that will mean losing your style. Always try to be unique because you are special in your own way. There is only one you, in this world.

But I can’t do it. It’s ugly.

Who says your drawings are ugly? Only you. How will you expect others to see its beauty, when you don’t believe in it? You always have to believe in yourself before others can believe in you. What you have is a gift from God. When you don’t appreciate and use that gift, one day He might take it away.”

This may sound too “duhhh!” for a 6 year old. But I’m glad this 6 year old understands. I try to treat her as a mature individual on matters that will shape her mindset for life.

What Matters Most

I am more particular on building the right kind of self confidence in her. The kind that does not result in false pride; but the kind that will steer her towards achieving great dreams in the future and will always remind her to believe in herself and what she is capable of, even when others don’t.

In addition, I would like to quote my winning entry in Smart Parenting Baby Magazine’s August 2004 Q&A:

“What is the one trait or quality you would like your child to possess when he grows up and why?

I would like my daughter to grow up an optimistic person; someone who sees the good in everything. Her positive outlook will make her resilient in facing life's difficulties and struggles; building strength of character, perseverance, and the virtue of patience in the process. And because she believes that every individual possesses innate goodness, what she sees through her profound concept of what is good will help her encourage those who lack self confidence and uplift those who have a poor sense of self, by helping them realize their positive qualities. She will then develop altruism, selflessness and the gift of hope that will always be with her in whatever she does or whatever situation she faces.”

So What Type of Parent am I?

I guess it would be generic to say that I’m the kind who only wants the best for my child. Don’t we all wish for the same?

But I guess in my own terms, I’m the kind of parent who prioritizes more on equipping my child with all that she needs; with more importance on these key areas - psychologically, emotionally and spiritually.

Just like a soldier who will face a thousand battles later on,
I’m preparing her for life.

Should she dream of becoming a Philippine president in the future, I wouldn’t worry about how she will achieve that. I’ll be more worried about the kind of president she will turn out to be, if I don’t instill the significance of good values now.

This is my official entry to the Pinoy Parenting Blog Carnival (PPBC) 6th Edition hosted by Happy Family Matters.

Related Post:

Child Discipline, My Style