A continuation of the “How I do’s” that make Gummy the behaved and mature girl that—modesty aside—people find admirable in my little girl.
11. If your child throws tantrums, leave her. She should learn that making a scene would never get her what she wants. When she is calmer, ask her what she wants and give it right away. By doing so, she will learn that she only needs to ask properly to receive whatever it is that she wants.
12. If there is a school activity, even if it is just a small presentation, always be there. Even if your child has a “Yaya” or nanny, you are still the parent and therefore, you must always be present.
13. Always choose your child over what is comfortable and convenient. For example, go and watch a play when your child asks for it, even if you feel like staying in and watching DVD. It is all about our children’s growth and us parents must go out of our way to give them the environment that will nurture them.
14. Be consistent in your rules and discipline. They should know that rules must be observed at all times and must not be bent. One time I asked Gummy to have ice cream at around 7 p.m. and she refused. I asked why because at that time I miss having ice cream dates with her. And then she asked me in return, “Are you tempting me Mom? It’s nighttime. We can have ice cream tomorrow.” A response like that assures me that the discipline I enforce and rules I give are already deeply rooted in her.
15. Cry if you must to reach and touch her heart. When Gummy was younger and she would come home from school with her lunch barely touched, I would cry (a scenario when my acting skills become useful). I would tell her that I woke up early to prepare her food only to come home without tasting it. I even told her that I would just give her money to buy food from her school’s cafeteria. She eventually got the point. Since then, all her baon are always finished. Just two weeks ago, I once again cried over untouched ginataang kalabasa and told her she will have kalabasa for lunch the entire week. The next day, she finished her baon. She clearly learned her lesson.
16. Eat what is served to you or go hungry. “If you don’t like the food, I will not force you but you must know that it displeases and saddens God because that is a blessing; and you hurt your mother because she lovingly prepared that,” this is what I tell Gummy. Now, Gummy is not a picky eater and she always eats what is laid in front of her not because there are so many hungry children in the world (our default reasoning) but because she knows what was put into preparing her food and she values who made it.
17. Have weekday and weekend rules and schedules. Weekdays: no TV, no YouTube, no playing games using the cellphone. On Fridays and Saturdays, she can watch TV, visit her YouTube channels, stay up late, and eat popcorn or chips on the bed while watching DVD. Sundays are only for church and God-related activities. YouTube is allowed but only for Bible stories. This is to teach her about priorities and show that rules are not always restrictive by nature. Leisure and fun activities are allowed but must be scheduled accordingly.
18. Read the Bible every night and discuss what you learn. And when a similar real life situation arises, remind her what the character in the Bible did. An easier way to remember the method is WWJD – if He were in the same situation, ‘What Would Jesus Do? ‘
19. Do not rush bedtime. Yes our children need to sleep early but it is also uniquely during bedtime period when they like talking the most—about their day, their classmates, previous experiences and even random questions. I enjoy that nightly “magic moment.”
20. To combat jealousy and materialism, be outright yet gentle that not because others have something (a toy or sparkly shoes), she should too.