Publisher's Note

  • Publisher’s Note

    It was 22 years ago when I arrived in Canada and chose Calgary, Alberta to be my home.  Leaving my family and friends behind, it was a new adventure for me to be in a new country without knowing anyone.  That was the time I looked for a Filipino community paper and never found any, [...]

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Page added on June 24, 2018

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Parenting by Example

By Consuelo (Chit) E. Munar

“Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.” – Robert Fulghum

The most rewarding experience one can ask for during one’s entire lifetime is becoming a parent. Giving birth to a child comes with several responsibilities as well as problems concerned with its upbringing. Finding the correct approach of raising a child can help it face and prevent any future unforeseen happenings with confidence, courage and determination.

Effective parenting helps in promoting good emotional and physical health in children. Children brought up under their parents’ gentle and kind care are in better position to protect themselves from any harm or injury in the future. Furthermore, good parenting will help children stay away from poverty and if so faced, they will know how to come out of it successfully. The best benefit of good parenting is that it optimizes a child’s potential, wherein the child grows up and becomes a productive member of society and country.

A basic premise of good parenting is one that takes many parents by surprise. It is that children learn attitudes, behaviours, lifestyle choices, prejudices, likes and dislikes, compassion and generosity by osmosis. They learn by watching and listening to their parents. Children, in most circumstances, do what their parents do. Parents own behaviour and attitudes are copied by their children, who look up to, admire, and mirror their parents ways of embracing life.

Parents, then, need to take seriously, what it is they are modeling since they are the greatest example for their children. Most parents want to raise children who are responsible to themselves and others. Individual responsibility is initially taught through practices that involve a child’s care of self (brushing teeth, grooming) and of their personal possessions (picking up toys and clothing). Eventually, responsibility expands within the family unit, then overflows into the school setting and community. At the same time, children will be observing the responsible habits and routines of their parents and their attitudes regarding these.

The greatest impact on a child’s acceptance of his own circumstances is the manner in which a parent models attitudes towards life. A child will be watching how her/his parents handle life’s ups and downs. Parents who provide a perfect scenario of life experiences for a child will not give opportunity for her/him to learn how to handle disappointment, how to really appreciate the good when it happens and try again when it doesn’t, how to develop resilience and determination and to press forward with optimism.

Children also benefit from faith-based beliefs modelled by their parents and grandparents as they search for guidelines for life choices and deeper meaning. Fostering a sense of spirituality in children helps expand their understanding that there is a width and depth in life beyond their limited childhood world.

Modelling a broader perspective benefits a child while he/she moves beyond her/his own family into the world of school. Parents can model attitudes of acceptance towards those who are different than the immediate family. As children begin to befriend others from various cultures and faiths backgrounds, their parents will either offer an attitude of tolerance toward differences in appearances, abilities and backgrounds or an attitude of prejudice.

Parental modelling is at its best when expressed through embracing the joy of living. Life has its ups and downs and is not free of disappointments and tragedies, however, a child can learn from her/his parents how to look for the positives life has to offer.

Parents also have the opportunity to expose their children to the fine arts, making these a part of family life. Children may eventually choose to personally participate in the beauty and self-expression that drama, music and art provide. A parent who loves to read will be modelling one of the greatest joys of living for her children.

Parenting is a “do what I do” endeavour. It calls one to be the best they can be for the sake of their children. It increases one’s integrity and honesty toward living.









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