Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Vigilant Parenting

I’ve long recognized that raising kids these days is quite challenging given the many negative influences that surround us today. But last Sunday, this truth was emphasized to me even more by God when a family friend visited my parents’ house and conversed with my brother. Both of them uttered a bad word while talking to each other and exchanging friendly banter. They were totally oblivious to the fact that my baby and I were in front of them while they were conversing. I was so concerned because my son is at a stage when he likes to imitate so many things around him including the things that he hears from people. I talked to my mom about it and asked her to remind my brother and our family friend to be extra cautious with their speech when my child is around. My mom said that she has spoken to them already in the past; but because they have been so used to speech that is peppered with bad words or curses, they forget to refrain from doing that even when children are around.

Then, I realized today that I really need to be extra vigilant even in our own home because sometimes there are family members or other people who get near my child who do not realize the impact of their words or actions to the little ones. I told my mom that I will confront them the next time I hear them say another bad word or curse in front of my son. They may not agree with my views and parenting style but I will definitely put my foot down on this issue because it concerns my son. If I need to screen all those who will visit our house every time Yanthy is there, I will do it.

I take my role as a parent seriously because I believe that it is a sacred duty entrusted to me by God when I got married and when He blessed me with a child. I want to do my best to help my son build a strong foundation, a good conscience and a deep relationship with God. More than wealth and riches, I believe that this would be my best legacy to our son. That’s why while he is young and he still has a lot to learn, I do my best to expose him only to what is good. I screen the music, shows, literature, places and situations he would be exposed to. And now, because of this recent incident, I’ll be stricter as well in screening the people who can get near him.

I strongly believe that children are like sponge. They absorb almost everything around them. They’ll just surprise you one day with new words they have picked up from their environment. Sadly, my son learned to say one bad word that he heard his uncle say. He doesn’t know what it means or that it’s bad. It simply had impact on him when he heard it last Sunday and it stuck. I hope and pray that he stops saying it and gradually lose interest in saying it soon just like some of the words he learned in the past that he stopped using for one reason or another.

They say that it takes a village to raise a child. I’m in the process of building that village. I’m choosing very carefully whom I will invite to be part of our village. I’m choosing people who can and will support the values and teachings I impart to our son so that one day, when it’s time for him to leave our village, he would be equipped to make wise decisions. He would not be confused between right and wrong, good and evil. He would be guided by truth and wisdom. I pray that in spite of the many challenges we face in raising a godly child, I would someday be rewarded by hearing God tell me that I have done well in my duty of raising a son.


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