Monday, November 16, 2015

A Boy's Dreams Come True on His 7th Birthday Celebration

"They have to believe in their ability to achieve." 

This was a line from the book Lasting Gifts You Can Give Your Children which I read last week. It was authored by Arun Gogna.

Reading this part of the book made me smile because I know that I had been doing my best to help my children believe that they can achieve their dreams even when their dreams seem too big for their age. This is especially true with my eldest son who celebrated his 7th birthday last month with a solo piano concert and a recital as pianist in the Holy Mass.

Yes, you read it right. My son just turned seven years old and he already had his first solo piano concert. 

He has been tinkering with our little keyboard since he was a baby. But it was when he was a few months away from his 5th birthday that he started taking our keyboard seriously. I would notice that whenever we would come home from daily Mass, he would play some songs on our keyboard/digital piano. He was trying to play the songs he heard in the Mass. He kept on doing this until he was be able to play the song right. He would simply watch the pianist in the church and listen to the songs. I also noticed that once he already knows how to sing a song, he can play it in the piano.

This went on until the man who serves as pianist in our parish church became a close friend of ours. He then started spending a few minutes after each Mass teaching my son how to play the songs in the Mass. He and my son became friends right away. He was impressed at how fast my son learns after a few demonstrations.

One day, my son declared that he wants to also serve as pianist in the Mass just like our friend, Tito Ed. I told him that I'm confident he can also serve as pianist in the church. But he needs to learn all the songs in the Mass first.

That moved and inspired him to achieve what I didn't expect. In a couple of months, he learned to play at least one version of the songs sang in the daily Masses we attend! He was 5 years old then. He was playing songs mostly oido or by ear.

He continued this practice until he was 6 years old. Then, friends advised us that he is ready for formal piano lessons. So, last summer, after his 6th birthday, we hired a piano teacher for him who comes to our house two to three times a week to teach him. Thus, he learned to read notes as well and to play the piano using both notes and chords.

His passion in playing the piano grew stronger with each passing day. He would play the piano many times a day. Sometimes, he would not stop practicing a song until he gets it perfectly. Then, he would ask me to take videos of him playing that song on the piano.

A few months ago, while I was already planning for his 7th birthday celebration, I asked him how he wants to celebrate his birthday. I asked him if he had a particular theme in mind. I had a clue of what he might want but I wanted to hear it from him. 

"What theme would you like to have for your party this year?" I asked.

"Piano," he said. 

I smiled. My guess was confirmed.

Then he added, "I want to have a piano concert on my birthday." 

I felt my heart leap when I heard him say that. When I heard him rattle off details of what he wants for his birthday celebration, my blissful smile became a nervous smile.

He described how he wants his cake to look like. He said he wants tarpaulins in the venue too. He also enumerated the songs that he plans to play during his concert. It dawned on me that he was serious. 

I took a leap of faith with him and I assured him that he will have his wish for his birthday celebration. On top of that, I asked him if he wants to have a Mass where he will be the pianist as part of his birthday celebration. Of course, I already know what his answer will be. But it gives me joy to see his face light up as he hears from me that I can make that possible for him.

The joy on his face and the excitement in his eyes were priceless! I was nervous deep inside but I tried my best to only show my excitement.

I want my eldest son to know that I believe in him and in his abilities because that's the truth. What made me nervous was the fact that he is only a child and being a child, he is not as consistent, disciplined and skilled as an adult yet. But instead of dwelling on the negative, I chose to help him move towards the fulfillment of his dreams. I chose to empower him and believe with him that though his dreams are quite big for his age, it's possible to achieve them. 

I'm so glad I supported my son in pursuing his dreams! He did his best to prepare for his recital and concert. And by the grace of God, he did really well! He impressed all of us with his performance during his 7th birthday celebration, including the priest celebrant, the servants in the church and our guests.

His recital as pianist in the Mass where he played the piano beginning with the entrance song to the recessional, opened the door for him to play in the daily Masses in our parish and eventually in the Sunday Masses during the Children's Mass in the days that followed.

Last night, I got a message from the Liturgical Head of our Parish. He asked me if Yanthy can play the piano during the Anticipated Mass because the other pianists were not available. I asked my son first. His reply made me truly happy because he said yes without hesitation and without batting an eyelash. More importantly, he said yes with a big smile on his face and excitement in his eyes. I admired him more for his passion. He actually just got home from practicing with the children's choir. I was thinking that he might want to nspend some time playing with his brothers. But he happily seized another opportunity that was presented to him.

Looking back, I'm grateful that I have given him wings to soar, reach his dreams and to live it out.   

I was exhausted in organizing and preparing for his 7th birthday celebration. It drained me both physically and emotionally. There were days when my eldest son simply wants to play with his other toys and would not take his piano practice seriously. It didn't help that those days were the days near his birthday celebration. It was stressful for me because I have made all the necesary preparations which included organizing a sacred ceremony, no less than the Holy Mass. I did my best to help him grasp how privileged he is to be allowed to serve in the Mass despite his age and lack of experience.

Thus, when everything went well and as I watch him play the piano in the Masses where he serves right now, I thank the Lord for helping me and my son get to this point. Right now, we're still on a high from all the good things and good breaks that are coming his way. There are challenges too like he still moves a lot and plays even during the Mass but my husband and I are hoping and praying that as he gets to serve in the Mass more often and with constant reminders from us, he'd be able to better control himself and his movements.

"Offer wings to your children" says the author of the book I just read. I just gave Yanthy wings and he looks wonderful using them in the service of the Church!

How are you offering wings to your children? How do you communicate to them that you believe in them? Feel free to share them in the comments.

P.S. Watch out for my post where I will detail how I prepared for my son's piano concert-themed birthday party.

This post is part of the GHF blog hop.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Earn Extra Income While Advocating Hands-On Parenting

I have good news for you at the start of this brand new week! 

But before that, let me share a short story when I was still a first-time mom almost 7 years ago.

When I had my first child, one of my small finance goals is to earn extra income while being a full time mom to our eldest. I started with small goals so that I would feel motivated each month. Since I love to write and I was given the opportunity to contribute to publications, one of my goals then was to write at least 1 art​icle each month and have it published. Then, as I got more used to writing freelance, I made bigger goals for myself and made it two to four articles each month. Earning additional income for our family through one of my favorite hobbies while being a hands-on mom to our eldest child made me happy and fulfilled.

But writing articles can also takes up a lot of time. Our eldest son grew older and he slept less often. Eventually, he outgrew nap time. He's awake most of the time after lunch. Thus, it has become a challenge for me to write articles because I usually did this task while he's asleep.

I also gave birth to two more children so my hands are usually full (figuratively and literally).

Another way by which I earn not from home but outside the home is by giving talks, trainings and workshops. This kind of work pays higher compared to writing but it requires me to be out of the house and to look for someone else to watch over my kids while I am working. Thus, I decided to conduct workshops and trainings less frequently because I want to invest more time building the foundations of my marriage and my relationship with my children.

As my circumstances changed over the years, I searched for new ways to earn from home that did not require a lot of my time or that required me to be away from my kids. Even though I wanted to stay home most of the time with my kids, I also wanted to contribute to the family income because our family has grown bigger. This led me to come up with a digital program or an online coaching program called iHOPE. I decided to use my expertise as HR practitioner and my experiences as a parent to develop a program that will enable me to help other parents to have a richer and stronger relationship with their children. I was happy to come up with a product that enables me to be hands-on with my kids, earn from home and be of help to other parents and families. 

I launched this product on my 40th birthday a few months ago. :) You can read about what moved me to have the courage and confidence to launch it then here in my previous post. 

Today, I want to share with you the opportunity to earn extra income each month through our Hands-On Parent while Earning Affiliate Program. Do you want to earn extra income each month without you doing a lot of work? Is this something that will benefit your family?

If your answer is YES, you need to keep on reading.


If you know of parents who may benefit from this program and who are willing to invest in their relationship with their children, I invite you to register to become one of our Affiliates. You can earn a commission every time a person to whom you shared our program to decided to sign up for it or to purchase our product. 

For example, if one of the people you shared our program to through email purchases the iHOPE Coaching Program, you earn a commission. If for example, you promoted the iHOPE Coaching Program in your Facebook Account and one of your friends signed up for it, you earn a commission.

Your commissions accrue and once it reaches the minimum amount for payout each month, you will receive payment from us for helping us spread the word about our life-changing program. 

By doing this, you not only partner with me in encouraging more parents to become hands-on with their kids, you also help me help more families to be stronger. You're helping me help more children to become happier and more parents, fulfilled! Now, while you are advocating hands-on parenting, you earn at the same time. Isn't that great?

You can register to become one of our Affiliates by clicking this link. The details of the Affiliate Program are in the Terms of Use. Just hover your mouse over these words and click that link and you will be taken to the page where you can read all the information about our Hands-On Parent while Earning Affiliate Program.

Should you have any questions about our Affiliate Program, feel free to email me at with subject Affilliate Program.

You may also read more about the iHOPE Coaching Program here.

I look forward to having you as our fellow Hands-On Parenting advocate and Affiliate!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

6 Ways to Maximize Your Visit to the Manila International Book Fair (#MIBF2015)

The 36th Manila International Book Fair is here again! Do you have plans to visit the book fair? Book lovers like me usually look forward to this yearly event and mark our calendars so we don't miss it. There are many exciting things that happen every year at this fair: book launches, storyteling sessions, book signing, meet and greet with authors and illustrators, seminras and workshops and BIG discounts from publishers! 

Photo source here.

I love going to the bookstore. The prospect of finding good books to read make my heart beat faster. hahaha Thus, going to the MIBF where there is a sea of books makes me feel ecstatic. ;) 

So, with two days left of the book fair, how do you make the most of your trip to SMX? Let me share some ways based on my previous visits in the past years.

1. Get FREE tickets to the MIBF through the bookstores or publishers who will be exhibitors at the fair. You don't need to spend on tickets. Publishers and bookstores usually give away free tickets either at their branches or you can download from their websites. We got our free tickets this year from Fully Booked BGC. 

For example, you can print this ticket from OMF Lit and present it as your FREE pass.

Here are some links where you can download FREE tickets to MIBF 2015.

Adarna House
CSM Publishing
St. Matthew's Publishing

2. Make a list. Make a list of topics where you plan to get new books. Then, check out what books (old and new) you'd like to get for these topics you have in mind. Or if you have book titles already that you are interested to buy, make a list of book titles.

3. Check out publishers for promos and events. Once you already have a list of topics or book titles, I suggest that you check out the websites or social media accounts of the publsihers of these books on your list. That way, you would know if they have promos like discounts or book bundles for the books that you like. You might also find interesting activities related to the books in your list like book launch or book signing, meet and greet with the author or free pass to special events by the publisher for those who will buy copies of their books.

Here's an activity by Scholastic for the Geronimo Stilton series.

Check out my post about Geronimo here.

Here are some examples of promos you might want to avail of.

Source: OMF Lit's Facebook Page.

Here are some book launches you might find interesting.

The official book launch of this book by one of my brothers from CYA
will be on Sunday. Grab a copy if you are a leader! Launch price is P325!

This is the first book of my friend Jomar Hilario.
It will be launched on Sunday together with other new titles
from Shepherd's Voice Publications. Take advantage of its P250 launch price!

4. Get the exact location of the publishers whose booths you want to visit. Get their booth number as well as their location. You can find this at their websites or social media posts also or at teh entrance of SMX where this is usually posted. This helps you plan your route around the book fair. Believe me, if you haven't been to the past MIBFs, you can easily get lost and overwhelmed and forget where you want to go or what you really want to buy. This brings me to my next suggestion.

5. Set your budget. After considering the promos, you need to edit your list of books that you want to buy based on how much you are willing to spend for your visit. It might be difficult to stick to your budget once you are already at the book fair (especially if you are a bookworm like me) but having a budget would at least caution you or remind you not to buy too many books or all the nice books that you will see. What you can do is make a list or mental note of the nice books you'll see and plan when to buy them. Make them part of your next shopping list or wish list for Christmas for example. You can also ask the publishers or sellers if they will have future sales and promos in their stores or branches. This will give you an opportunity to save up for these future promos.  

You can get this discount couplon when you post a photo
of yourself at OMF Lit's booth. 

6. Enjoy the experience of going around the book fair. The place might be crowded especially during weekends but you can still enjoy going around the venue by taking your time to browse through aisles and aisles of books and other educational materials that you will see at the MIBF. 

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Saturdate with My Sons and Geronimo Stilton

I got an invite to the launching of the Geronimo Stilton Academy Pawbooks. This is a new workbook series based on the popular series Geronimo Stilton. I was happy to get this invite because my eldest son loves Geronimo Stilton. So, I confirmed with the organizer right away and told her that I'm definitely coming with my eldest son.

I shared this information with my son and told him that attending the launch will be our date. It has been part of my schedule to date each of my sons at least once a month so I can spend one-to-one time with them. My son was also happy to hear the news and he looked forward to our date.

The weather was bad on the day of the launch but we still went to Powerbooks at Greenbelt 4 on August 22. The event was from 3 to 5 PM. We got there a little past 3 PM. 

Our original plan was that while my eldest son and I are having our date at the event, my husband and two younger kids will also have a date nearby, either in the bookstore or they will eat ice cream somewhere. But since we found out that they can also stay, they joined us. So, it was now a family date! 

We got a big bag of Geronimo Stilton products as soon as we registered. The canvass bag we got contained two sets of workbooks: Vocabulary Pawbooks from levels 1 to 3 and Comprehension Pawbooks from levels 1 to 3 also. It also had Geronimo buttonpins and a copy of Mockingjay by New York Times Bestselling Author Suzanne Collins.

The event was already starting when we arrived. They were playing a game wherein the participants need to find words and letters from old newspapers that they can form to match the titles of the books in the Geronimo Stilton Series. My son and I still got to join. We had some fun playing even though we didn't win. 

The other game that was played was ensaymada eating for the parents. The parent who is able to finish his/her ensaimada first wins a set of books from the series also. I didn't win but I enjoyed eating the ensaimada. hahaha 

There was a parenting talk after the games and prizes were raffled off in between the games the talk. We didn't win in the raffle but it's alright because being together at the event was already a win for our family.

Book stamping and picture taking opportunities followed after the talk and raffle. Snacks were also served while people were lined up to have their books stamped and their photos taken with the mascots. Even the snacks were according to the theme. Snacks had cheese on them because Geronimo and his friends love cheese.

While waiting for our turn to have our photos taken with Geronimo and Thea, my husband and younger sons roamed around the bookstore to check out copies of the Geronimo Stilton books. The first copy that our son had was Space Mice. We bought it at a time when he was very interested on outer space. This time, we were looking for the first books in the series. Sadly, there were no copies available. But we discovered that Scholastic sells the books in the series in packs or bundles too. My husband saw a pack for the books from 11 to 20. He discovered that we would save a lot if we buy the books this way instead of buying them per piece. So we asked if they have a pack or bundle for books 1 to 10. The staff we talked to said that this pack was out of stock but she was kind enough to inquire from the other branches. She found out that there is an available stock from SM North Edsa and that she said they can request it to be transferred to their branch and we can buy it from there. We were delighted! We had that pack reserved.

After having snacks and having our books stamped and our photos taken, we checked out other books for my younger son who loves Thomas the Tank Engine. I was looking for Step 1 into Reading books for him with stories about his favorite character Thomas. We didn't find any Level 1 books but we found two Level 2 books. I still bought them since the books are still easy to read for kids his age. Now, everybody is happy.

My eldest son who is 6 years old could not get his hands and eyes on his new workbooks. He wanted to read them even while in our vehicle on our way home. He also wanted to read that night but we said he will have to wait until morning. True enough, he was seen reading these books most of the time in the days that followed.

I told him that we will start answering these workbooks after he's done answering his Grade 2 English Grammar worksheets (the ones we are using in our homeschool). I said this to motivate him to work faster on his worksheets before starting on a new one.

Several days after the launch, I got a text message from the Powerbooks staff that our order is available for pick up at their branch. I informed my husband right away so he can make time to buy it for our son.

Finally, our son got his hands on the much-awaited book bundle last weekend and kept reading book after book in the days that followed. Actually, he said that he already read 5 books in just a single day! I told him that I will check if he understaood the stories by making him answer the workbooks. 

We started using these workbooks last Monday and I am really glad that we discovered these workbooks. My son is happy to read and answer the workbooks because the lessons were based on his favorite character Geronimo Stilton. Of course, when my son is happy to do his lessons, I am also happy because I don't need to force him to answer his workbooks.

When he was much younger, one of his favorite characters was Lighting McQueen from the movie Cars. I also used activity books then which were inspired by this character. He also enjoyed using these books and he was usually eager to answer them. I also bought him flash cards with the Cars theme for he was still a toddler then.

Then, when I had my second child, I used the same strategy but this time I bought materials inspired by Thomas the Tank Engine or anything related to trains, unlike with his older brother which were related to cars.

Are you struggling to get your kids excited to read books or to learn something related to their lessons? I strongly suggest that you find a related material that is based on your child's favorite character or interest. That will surely spark your child's interest. I have been doing this for years now and both of my children are responding well to this strategy.

How will you know which characters interest them?

Here are 2 ways:

1. Ask them. If you are not sure or you have no clue, just ask them. It's that simple. But you will not know unless you make time to ask and wait for their answer.

2. Listen to them tell stories. Kids like to include their favorite characters in their stories. They also like to talk about their favorite characters at least once a day when given the chance. Again, this goes back to my previously shared tip to parents to converse with their children. Make time to listen to them and to encourage them to keep on talking and telling stories to you through your verbal and non-verbal responses.

So, don't let this day pass without you doing any of these two tips I shared! Then, look for something that you and your child can use that is related to his interest!     


The Stilton siblings will be at the MIBF 2015 (Sunday). Catch them at National Bookstore's booth.

Photo source here.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

What is Your Child Most Grateful For?

I came across a Facebook post of a friend and thought that it's an interesting read. Since my eldest son and I are already finished with our homeschool lessons and he was already playing with his toy cars, I thought of asking him at least the first question in case he's in the mood to answer.

He was hesitant to answer the first question at first. Then, he would whisper his answers into my ear. I encouraged him to say them out loud but he just laughed. 

Anyway, he seemed game. So, I proceeded in asking him as many questions as he was willing to answer. I copied and pasted the questions on a Word file and typed in his answers. I wanted to remember his answers to these questions at this time of his life. He's currently six years old.

His answers gave me a lot of insight to what was going on in his mind and more importantly in his heart.

I believe that it was a wonderful way to cap our afternoon after completing our homeschool lessons. But little did I know that his answers to a couple of questions, particularly question number 8, would bring happy tears to my eyes.

As I've mentioned earlier, while he was playing with his toys, I was asking him questions. He was relaxed and in a good mood. I wanted to seize the opportunity to know him more through these questions. I just kept asking and typing answers as he blurts them out.

But there was one question that made me stop and ask him to come near me so I could kiss and embrace him.

It was this question.

"What are you most grateful for?"

Without batting an eyelash or looking anywhere, he said these words while looking at me...

"Being with you!"

Wow! I was speechless. I just felt the tears roll down my cheeks. Then, I drew him close, kissed him and embraced him. I told him, in my broken voice, that his answer made me very happy. I also added that being with him is one of the things I am most grateful for in my life.

Three words. Three powerful but loaded words from a six-year-old. Suddenly, I felt overwhelming joy for making the choices I have made in the past 7 years of my married life. I'm so grateful too that my eldest son appreciates my decision to be present to him and to his brothers, that it makes him happy and grateful, that he likes me to be with him. Wouldn't all parents want to hear that from their children? I think parents would want to hear that from their children regardless of their ages.

He was and still is one of the reasons I have chosen to work from home and to prioritize my Mommy duties over my work duties. I sometimes get frustrated when I don't meet my personal deadlines or when I am not able to do certain things I am passionate about because there are still MANY things that I need to attend to as a wife and as a mom. Yesterday, however, all those frustrations simply melted away. I felt like I was just handed a BIG REWARD that no amount of money can buy. 

I don't know about you but when I became a parent, so many things in my life changed. It was like my life was overhauled. I personally chose to stay home with my kids most of the time. I prioritized spending time with them over spending time with other people including my friends because my kids are still very young. I thought that my true friends would understand my new priorities and if they are parents themselves, the more that they would understand why it is extra challenging to go out of the house with small kids or a baby in tow, especially when you don't have a helper or nanny to help you out and you don't know how to drive.

So my days were mostly spent being with my kids... Attending to their needs, singing to them, listening to their stories and songs, reading to them, teaching them many things, praying with them, playing with them, cuddling with them, eating with them, etc.

Being a hands-on parent is no easy job. It's exhausting especially if you have more than one child to attend to. But it is also very rewarding like what I experienced yesterday. 

I was grateful that I took the time to ask those questions to my child and that I patiently waited for him to answer. I got to know him more. I gained insight into how he sees himself, what makes him happy, what makes him sad, what his dreams and plans are, what he wants to teach other people and many more.

There was another question that he answered that made feel really loved by my son. 

I asked: "If you can help one person today, who will that person be? And what will you do to help that person?"

He answered, "You! I will help you by playing with Geordan. (Geordan is his baby brother.)"

Isn't that sweet? 

Pondering on his answers confirmed what I have read many times in numerous articles and books. Children want our presence more than our presents. I'm glad that yesterday, my eldest son proved that to me to be true. He did not mention any toy I gave him or any play center that we visited. I'm grateful that my son has learnd a valuable lesson from the choices I have consistently made over the years and that is: People are more important than material things. 

Yesterday, I discovered that my son values my presence more than the toys that he likes to have or the places he wants to visit. I'm delighted to know that something as simple as being with a parent can make him happiest and most grateful.

Photo source here.

How about you? Do you know what your child is most grateful for? I encourage you to take some time to ask. You might want to use the same list of questions I used. Who knows, you might also get a very wonderful surprise like what happened to me! Here is the link to the article I was referring to in this post.

If you want to be with your child more often and you are dreaming of working from home or having a home-based business but are not sure how to transition to this kind of lifestyle or what you need to do to make it happen, I can help you through my coaching program called iHOPE. You can read more about it here.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Does Your Child Run To You?

He ran to me! 

My 8-month-old baby ran to me from the other end of his crib. He is just starting to walk. He can only make a few steps on his own before he would fall again. 

Last night, he ran to me with so much excitement and joy!

His joy was evident and contagious! His smile and excitement were contagious! I could see it in his eyes. I can see it in the way he smiled and moved forward with eagerness. I could see it in his outstretched arms.

Look how big my baby's smile is!
We can see his two lower teeth (his first two teeth) already!

He fell before reaching my hands at the opposite end of his crib but it's okay. His spirit was not dampened. He was simply happy to see me there... present to him... watching him... cheering him... encouraging him... lovingly gazing at him and celebrating his every step.

He was happy, confident and brave enough to run even though he is still struggling with this new skill simply because I was there. My presence spurred him to do something that is beyond his current skill set. I am pleased that this was the effect of my presence to my son.

I am blessed to have these moments with my baby. Actually, I had been so blessed to have these kind of moments with all of my children.

I had been home since I got pregnant with my first child. Thus, I was there to witness and celebrate almost every single day and moment in their young lives.

Then, it dawned on me that my children will not always run to me. So, it's good to seize each and every opportunity to embrace them every time these opportunities come.

I realized that as our children grow older, they will run to us less often. I have seen this in my eldest child who is now 6 six years old. He still runs to me a lot but now that he's older, he runs to many other things as well and to other people. He runs to his toys and his books. He runs to his playmates. He runs to things that make him curious and that excite him or make him happy.

But he still runs to me many times each day. He runs to me to show me the products of his wild imagination. He runs to me to show me something he built using his building blocks or wooden blocks like the very detailed car park building, house or robot he designed. He runs to me to show me his drawings or art works. He runs to me to share something new he has discovered or learned. He runs to me to show the worksheets he has answered. He runs to me to share his accomplishments like the "books" he finished writing and illustrating. He runs to me to share his stories, his plans and his dreams. He runs to me when he is excited, happy, hurt or afraid. He runs to me for help. He runs to me when he has questions.

The same is true with my younger child who is 3 years old. He runs to me to do most of what his big brother does and so much more. He runs to me when he wants to listen to a story or read a book. He runs to me when he wants a kiss and a hug. He runs to me when he wants to be defended or protected. He runs to me when he wants to learn or know something. He runs to me when he wants someone who will listen to him. He runs to me when he wants to sing and dance. He runs to me when he wants his picture taken. 

My children run to me because of many reasons. When they were still babies like my third baby now, they run to me for milk most of the time. They run to me for assistance in doing many things. But as they grow older, they run to me less because they had been learning to do things on their own and to discover new things on their own. But I love that they still run to me to share their new learnings and discoveries afterwards.

I think that running to me has become their default because I have done three things consistently over the years that made them behave this way. And if you want your children to run to you as well, I suggest that you also do these three.

3 Things To Do So Your Children Will Run To You

1. Make running to you an option. Your children wouldn't consider this an option unless you make it known to them that this is something they can do. Let them know that they can run to you through your words and through your actions. Call them or tell them that you are there and that they can approach you. If your children are not used to running to you, encourage them. Don't force them. But keep inviting them. 

2. Be consistently present to your children. You need to be present to your children most of the time especially when they need you the most. That would powerfully convey to them that they can run to you when they want to or need to. Your presence is the most poignant proof that they really can run to you. Your presence will give credibility to your words that they can come to you. When you are not consistently present, they may think that you will not be there next time they want or need to run to you.

3. Make them want to run to you. There are many ways to make your children want to run to you. But these are all rooted in how you make them feel when they run to you. I do not claim that I do all these perfectly all the time. But I do strive to make my children feel this way as often as I can. 

Here are some ways:

  • Make them feel welcomed. We parents are always busy and it can be very           challenging for us to make them feel welcomed all the time. I have learned that when we are busy, it's alright to be honest with them by letting them know what we are currently doing and why we are doing the task at hand. But it's also crucial that we still make them feel welcomed most of the time and when they are still little so that when they are older, they know that they are welcomed. Mom/dad is just busy at the moment. When you have deposited much in your child's emotional bank account and made your child feel welcomed early on in his/her young life, your child can accept more easily the times when you will tell him/her that you are currently busy doing something and that you will spend more time with him/her later when your current task is done.
  • Make them feel loved. You can make them feel loved with your words. The way you speak to them also communicates your love. Make your actions or gestures communicate love as well, including your facial expressions when they turn and run to you. Children notice a lot of things. You'll be amazed to discover what they usually notice if you take time to ask them and listen to their answers. So do your best that your words, tone of voice, facial expression, gestures and actions all communicate love. 
  • Make them feel important. Children feel important when their parents make time for them and the things that matter to them. If your kids are still small, their play time matters to them. Their stories matter to them no matter how trivial these stories are or even when they do not make sense to you. Your presence and willingness to make time to listen to them and to their concerns make them feel important. Your willingness to help them when they need assistance on something or when they have questions communicate to them that they are important enough to be heard.
  • Make them feel happy. The wonderful thing about children is that it is easy to make them happy. The simplest things make them smile, laugh and bring them joy. A lot of times, if we just allow ourselves to spend more time with them, we will also catch their joy and find humor in ordinary things or situations. When we regularly make time to pause and make them happy, we teach them to associate happiness with our presence or company. That makes them want to run to us more and often.
  • Make them feel safe. One way to make them feel safe to run to you is by being open to them and their feelings. Let them get used to expressing themselves to you whether they are experiencing positive or negative emotions. When they know and have experienced this with you over time, then they will automatically run to you because they know that it's okay to be honest with you. They are safe to be themselves when they are around you. They will feel comfortable with you. Your presence will be a source of comfort in times of trouble and distress. 

Our children will eventually grow up and need us less but if they experience having you as someone they can always run to for anything, they will remember you not only with fondness and gratitude but they will continue to run to you even when they are already adults and parents themselves.

Does your child run to you? What moves your child to run to you?

Do you want to be remembered by your child as the kind of parent he/she can always run to? 

I believe that most parents want to be present to their children but are struggling to do this because of financial concerns. If you are serious in becoming a parent whom your children will always want to run both in good times and in bad, I invite you to take a look at my coaching program called iHOPE with Teresa Gumap-as Dumadag. It's a 3-Step Success System that can help parents like you to become present to your children while at the same time earning money for your family. You can read more about this here.

Friday, August 14, 2015

From Vision to Reality: The Hands-On Parents while Earning (HOPE) Summit

It started as an idea... an idea that did not leave my mind until all the relevant details were so clear to me, I could almost touch them.

I believe that this idea was God-inspired for it was well-aligned with my vision and mission in life. The idea was planted in my heart and was rooted in my life purpose.

What started as an idea blossomed into a beautiful vision. The details seemed to jump out of my head and heart in the days that followed. 

Excitement filled my days as I started to pursue this idea and worked towards making my vision a reality. But my days were not always sunny. I was not always hopeful and sure. There were days when clouds of doubt slowed me down or hindered me from moving forward. There were also days that were so dark, I felt like I was running blind. 

What helped me carry on was my certainty of WHAT I want to see turned into reality (MY VISION) and WHYs I want it to happen. Because my reasons for working hard to make it happen is very clear to me, I was fueled with passion even in the most trying circumstances. My WHYs for choosing to pursue this vision and dream enabled me to remain committed all throughout. 

I did not stop believing that it's possible to turn my vision into reality even in the midst of adversity. 

And so it happened. Maybe not exactly as I originally imagined it to be... But the event I imagined unfolded before my eyes almost as I envisioned it to be. 

As Arnold Schwarzenegger once said, "If you want to turn a vision into reality, you have to give 100% and never stop believing in your dream."

Photo source here.

My reasons for wanting this event to happen far outweighed the challenges that came my way. Thus, instead of letting them to become obstacles in my path towards my dream, I used these challenges to push me to work harder to turn my vision into reality. My WHYs were burning fiercely inside my heart and my VISION was so clear, attractive and exciting that I couldn't help but be pulled towards it even on days when my eyes seemed covered with dark clouds.

I love this quote from Steve Jobs.

Photo source here.

Today, I'd like to take time to thank every one who helped me turn this idea, this vision into reality. I'd like to thank the companies and brands who chose to believe in me and my advocacy and chose to support parents who want to be hands-on with their children while earning for their family.

First, I'd like to thank my friends from Sun Life Financial, particularly my advisor/agent Jackie who introduced me to the wonderful people of PLDT. Through the help of Jackie and Eden, PLDT home became the venue sponsor of the first ever Hands-On Parents while Earning or H.O.P.E. Summit. I am honored to have these companies as co-presentors of the H.O.P.E. Summit together with my own company Full Life Cube.   

Second, I'd like to thank JV All Events for sponsoring the photo and video coverage of the HOPE Summit's morning session and giving me a discount for the afternoon session's coverage. I first met their owner when I was planning for my second child's first birthday party.

Third, I'd like to thank my friends and fellow members of the groups I am a part of who chose to be part of the HOPE Summit by being speakers and guest panelists: Martine De Luna of Make It Blissful, Ginger Arboleda of Manila Workshops, Jomar Hilario of Ideas That Prosper, Katrina Ambion of Mommyfide PH, Denise Bernardo of Indigobaby, Angeli Del Rosario of The Beadlady and Cherry and Jay Castillo of Foreclosure Philippines. Thank you to all of you for sharing your wisdom and inspiring stories to the parents present at the HOPE Summit.

Thank you also to Indigobaby and The Beadlady for the items you provided for our raffle.

I also thank Chef Jon Chua for agreeing to be one of our guest panelists and Chef Raquel Chua of Mama Chows for sponsoring our morning snack during the event. Mama Chows has been sponsoring the snacks in my previous events but it was my first time to meet the couple behind this company last weekend.

I also thank my friend Angelo Yaneza of Balai Pandesal for choosing to sponsor the afternoon snacks during the HOPE Summit.

I'd like to thank Arts by Ayerie for providing the lovely keychain and bag tag giveaways during our event.

I'd like to thank the following sponsors for the freebies and gift certificates they provided:
  • Bert Lozada Swim School
  • Gymboree Play and Music Philippines
  • Halo Philippines
  • Kids Acts Philippines
  • Kindermusik with Teacher Suzette
I also want to thank the companies/brands who chose to support the HOPE Summit through their booth sponsorship, giveaways and raffle items. 

  • Filway Marketing
  • Fluffy Pwets
  • GPG Bulilit Bookstore
  • Heart Shapers Videos
  • Mom and Milly 
  • Moringana by Organica Asia
  • OMF Literature
  • Shepherd's Voice Publications
All these brands helped me make my vision of having a bazaar of products that support hands-on parenting and family relationships become reality.

Aside from having a bazaar of products and services at the summit, I also envisioned the following:
  • a room where kids can wait should they need to go with their parents;
  • a breastfeeding area;
  • and organized activity for the kids while waiting for their parents.
All these were realized and I'd like to thank PLDT for providing us with an extra room and Ask Sheryl Today for facilitating the arts and crafts session for the kids.

I'd like to thank Smart Parenting Online for being my media partner again for my event. I'm very grateful for their support for all my previous events and I'm honored that they choose to promote my events in their website.

Last but not least, I'd like to thank the parents who went out of their way to attend the HOPE Summit. I was moved when I discovered that some of them are not from Metro Manila and that there was even a parent who came all the way from Mindanao to attend the workshop. Hearing their stories during the small group sharing inspired me as well.

I am amazed at how all these people and brands/companies helped me make the Hands-On Parents while Earning Summit possible! Truly, when we are clear on what we want, we attract into our lives the very ingredients that will make our dreams come true and turn our visions into realities.

I believe that that's what happened to me as I organized the HOPE Summit.

Are you also holding on to a vision? That vision could be your future. Hold it close to your heart and let it fuel your every move.

Let me end this post with this quote:

Photo source here.
Photo credit: All of the HOPE Summit photos (except the group photo) used in this post were taken by Christopher Salgado.

Check out Hands-On Parent while Earning on Facebook for more photos during the HOPE Summit.