Parents have long believed that the success or failures of people are attributed to their childhood. As such, they exert every effort to nourish their children in the first few years of their lives. As it turns out, doing so should be stretched not only until children are old enough to attend kindergarten but until they reach the age of seven.
According to world-renowned parenting and character formation expert Michele Borba, the first seven years of a child’s life is crucial to developing his or her character and values. Therefore, she reminds Filipino parents of the importance of these essential years in child-rearing.
Borba has gained renown and popularity among parents all over the world for her practical, research-based advice for strengthening character, fostering compassion and developing emotional intelligence in children of all ages.
Her experience in the field has produced over 22 books including “Parents Do Make a Difference: How to Raise Kids with Solid Character;” “Strong Minds and Caring Hearts;” “Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues that Teach Kids to Do the Right Thing;” “The Big Book of Parenting Solutions: 101 Answers to Your Everyday Challenges and Wildest Worries;” and “UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in our All-About-Me World.”
The US-based expert visited the country to share her knowledge on the topic during one of fast food brand Jollibee’s series of talks for parents and educators. Held at the Samsung Hall in SM Aura Premier, the even was dubbed, “Unselfie: Developing character among today’s all-about-me generations.”
One of her key teachings is to “develop a close, mutually respectful relationship” with children, which should be established during their formative years. It explains why parents should continuously nurture them during those years for them to grow up into well-rounded adults.
“Studies find that kids are most influenced by those persons toward whom they feel the strongest attachment and deepest respect,” Borba said.
“They are also more likely to copy these individual’s moral beliefs… Just make sure the relationship is mutually respectful: you treat your child with love and respect, and he treats you the same way in return,” the expert continued.
She emphasizes that this ideal relationship is one that takes time building and one that parents should put effort in establishing. Borba recommends that parents should dedicate “one-to-one personal, uninterrupted time” with the child regularly to build this mutually respectful and loving relationship.
Another key point in Borba’s talk was creating warm family memories.
Parenting may differ culturally, but according to the expert, there is one universal factor that everyone can cherish all the way into adulthood: warm family memories.
“The values my parents modeled—perseverance, compassion, acceptance, and believing in myself—are the same ones that guide my life today,” Borba intimated.
“You don’t need research to prove your influence: just one moment of catching your child imitating your behavior or repeating your words or emulating your values should confirm that you do make a difference.”
In conclusion, Borba reminded parents, “Good parenting is about how to help our children live their lives to the best of their abilities—and that in itself is an immensely powerful role.”