Fathering This Pandemic

Can we even talk about Father’s Day today? Or any other “significant events” for that matter?

What is there to celebrate when we are so beset by threats and uncertainties? Our rate of infection is still rising.  In our province, it is only a matter of time before we discover that many of us are walking time bombs, ready to unleash the virus anytime, anywhere.

These are challenging times for everyone, doubly for parents. The loss of jobs and economic opportunities are unsettling. As a father, it is hard to imagine how one could continue to provide psychological nurturance and physical safety when there is so much chaos surrounding you.

But survive we must. And to do that, it is important that we break frame, restructure our own expectations and outlook, realign them with present realities.

As fathers, what can we do to lead our families effectively during these trying times? Here are some thoughts while reflecting on the matter.  

Be mindful of your own psychological responses – We are only as good as our own level of awareness. As the head of the family, our psychological health is prime because it will set the emotional atmosphere in the home. If we are not in touch with our feelings or thoughts, we become susceptible to stress responses that are unhealthy, and soon becomes toxic for us and the members of the family.   

Enlist the help of everyone in the household – To be a father does not mean doing all the works. All the more, it does not mean giving all the commands. It means taking the lead, and creating opportunities for every member to occupy its own space and portray his/her role committedly. Now, more than ever, everyone needs to be involved and the family works as a team, with the father taking the lead. 

Establish a routine – We all need structure. When structure is absent, we are weak and in disarray. That is why we feel the threat because our “normal” is disturbed and replaced with uncertainty. As the head of the family, we need to realize that establishing a routine, personal and familial, is a necessity to provide us a psychological anchor for the day and the future.

Bend your knees – Research has shown that a father’s influence in matters of faith especially on the children exceeds far beyond any other comparison. Our whole psychological foundation is best built on prayer and faith. As fathers, our strength does not come from knowing that we are virile and capable, but in recognizing that we are frail despite our skills and position, but God gives us the vision and direction to carry through.

It is hard to be a father these days. And if we are remembered in honor for that difficulty, then let it be. Because it is also very easy to cop out and relinquish our responsibilities. So many lives have been ruined because of fathers (and also mothers) who are weak and selfish, impulsive and reckless, saving their own asses at the expense of their family’s welfare.

They value ego more than anything else. And at the tiniest friction with other’s egos, they self-preserve, leaving others wounded and hurt. And they hail their action in the name of freedom.

Yet it is in the struggle that we know our worth, not in our freedom. It is in the sacrifice that we see what we are capable of giving, not on what we have gained. It is in being a faithful father that we fulfill our divine contract, the only indispensable role we are given to enact.   

For fathers who stay, endure, persevere, sacrifice, evolve, love, and grow in the process; my toast to you. I tell you; your reward is great in heaven. 

Happy Father’s Day!

Daddy Moments

The moment a man becomes a Father, he knows intuitively that his life is never the same again. He knows he is growing into something new, scary, exhilarating, confusing, but powerful.

I am a father of four. Three wild boys and one little princess. Together, they are both a challenge and a delight to me. And the longer I interact with them, the clearer I see that no one could ever replace my role. This is one profession where I become indispensable.

My presence with them is reaping fruits.  I get to experience moments that melt my heart and teach me priceless lessons.

A few days ago, my 3-year-old girl excitedly clung to me and said, “Daddy, naa biya Daddy nag cry, kita ko.” I replied, “Oh really? What happened? Where?” “Kita ko sa phone ni Sophia. Kay nag married siya, iya daughter.”

Acting like crying, I said to her, “Oh, Daddy will also cry when you get married someday, Anak.” Hugging me tightly, she said lovingly, “Oh, don’t cry Daddy. I will not get married!”

I know she will someday, and I will cry, but hopefully it will be tears of joy.  Lesson: Enjoy as much time with your daughter today while she is not yet married.

A couple of days ago also, Kisig, my 11-year-old son got out from the bathroom and asked for a towel. His mother told him, “Why are you not bringing towel, Kisig?” Confidently, as if he really knew what he was doing replied, “Even Daddy does this!” Mom, trying to be more imposing said, “Why are you following Daddy? Because he is a role model!”

 

Lesson: Talk is cheap. We should not be worried much that our children are not listening to us. We should be worried that they are always looking at us, their role models.

During dinner time, on the first day of school, we asked our children how their day went. Kisig, the eldest, with much bravado said, “I was elected PIO.” Gabe, my 9-year-old, exclaimed, “Oh me, I am secretary.” Oido, our Grade 2 student calmly pronounced, “I am Mayor. I did not even campaign.”

My wife and I looked at Oido in disbelief. He is such a shy boy. And so, we validated his claim. Indeed, he was Mayor of the class! Lesson: Never underestimate your genes to become mayor, and be cool about it.

One last story. Gabe, our second son, was chosen to lead the Kid’s Praise of the Kids for Family and Life World Kid’s Congress held in Cebu. The day before the event, he fell from the monkey bar. He dislocated his arm and bruised badly his nose and face.

In the hospital, we asked him if he wanted to cancel his role so that we can inform the organizers. But we also told him that perhaps God allowed the accident to happen so that he can have a story to tell about God’s goodness. After contemplating for a while, Gabe said he will still lead the Kid’s Praise.

Looking at my son on stage, proclaiming how God saved him from serious injury, and declaring that he be a soldier for Him despite the pain, made me see again that my greatest role as a father is to make sure that my children love and serve the Lord, and enter the glory of heaven, more than anything else. And this I pray constantly.

Happy Father’s Day!

The Case for School

Should you send your child back to school this school year or not?

As a parent, there are a number of factors that you need to consider. First in the list is the safety of your child in school. With Covid 19 lurking around, sending them to school for a physical meet up might be too high a risk to take at this time.

What about online learning? This is feasible. Although not as complete as being present in the classroom and engaging with classmates face-to-face, the teaching and learning process can still be effectively worked out virtually.

But this entails having the paraphernalia such as laptops or desktops and strong connectivity to the internet. This might be a bane to those who cannot afford to secure these equipment and those who are not within reach by internet signals.

Another option is the modular learning. To my mind, this is synonymous to homeschooling. The student will independently work out modules at home and do a regular submission of the same to his school.

Whatever the case, I believe the school year should not be cancelled as others propose. The Department of Education knows this too well, hence, it is creatively pursuing learning modalities that will answer the constraints brought by the pandemic.

Why should schools reopen again? Obviously for many reasons. Chief among them the development of cognitive and academic skills that our children need for their success.

Many claim, especially uninformed parents, that it will not hurt their children if they stop schooling for a year or two. They are wrong. It will hurt children significantly, especially those who belong to the lower income families.

School, or formal training for that matter, develops literacy. Literacy, in many forms (reading, writing, computer, financial, etc.), can only be achieved through formal training. Without structured learning, children can hardly learn the concepts, all the more have mastery over them.

Formal training increases IQ as well. When children learn the skills and problem-solving abilities in school, they are able to navigate competently the challenges besetting them in their environment, increasing their confidence and chances for a successful life.

Now, what if my child’s formal training is stopped for a while? Will it affect his development significantly? You bet.

There is a phenomenon cognitive scientists and educators refer to as “Summer Slide”.  Studies show that a significant loss in learning particularly in reading, math, and science is observed during the summer break.

Why is this so? Because the academic discipline and habit which make neural connections in the brain strong and sturdy are now loosened by inactivity and lack of structured mental exercise. A 2-month summer break, more or less, is long enough to shirk whatever brain connections formed during the school year if the vacation is not spent well for meaningful enrichment.

Summer slide is even more pronounced among the low-income families. Research shows that today, summer learning loss can be tied to economic status. During the school year, lower income children’s academic skills in Kindergarten through 4th grade improve at close to the same rate as those of their more advantaged peers. But over the summer, middle-and-upper income children’s skills continue to improve while lower income children’s do not.

And this effect is cumulative. Summer after summer, low income kids lose roughly two months’ worth of learned skills which accounts for a huge and significant learning gap over the course of the elementary school years.

And we are talking only about summer breaks here. How much more for a year or two?

If parents can make sure that they will compensate for the loss of school with something equally potent for the learning of their children, then it is alright to let them stop, in the name of physical safety.

But if all they can allow is play the whole time, without any structured time for brain exercises and discipline, expect a lag in their cognitive development, and many other aspects of their personality.

Let the schools open now. And do every creative way to continue formal training without unnecessarily putting children’s health at risk.

TIME OR MONEY?

Would you rather have more time or much money? time-or-money

The question sounds preposterous, I know. But as far as my practice is concerned, I see that more and more people are having issues with these two things.

“There is so much to do but too little time”, is the lament of many. Or,” If I only have more than enough money, I would really be happy.” These are common expressions which tell us that there appears to be a scarcity of time and greater desire for wealth.

Yes, time and money affect psychological health. In a recent study, people who report frequent feelings of time scarcity are less happy and more prone to anxiety and depression than people who are feeling time affluent.

But what causes this rising feeling of time scarcity? Is it because we have less time now? Not at all.
Surprisingly, decreasing feelings of time affluence can be due to RISING WEALTH, according to a study. As incomes have risen around the world, so too have feelings of time pressure.

Why is this so? In economics, it is called the law of commodity. When any resource is perceived as scarce, it is also perceived as more valuable. Hence, when our time becomes more financially valuable, we may also view our time as increasingly scarce.
So, if earning more money makes us feel more pressed for time, it behooves us to change the way we spend our money. Instead of buying things, let us buy time.

To find out if this strategy worked, researchers surveyed 6,000 adults. They found out that people who spent money on time-saving purchases reported greater satisfaction with their lives.

Another experiment was performed. The researchers gave the same amount of money on a group of people and told them to spend the money in a way that would save time. On another weekend, the researchers again gave them money, but this time told them to buy a material thing like books or clothes.

Result of this experiment showed that on average, people were happier after spending the money on a time-saving purchase than after spending the same amount on a material thing, and the happiness benefits of “buying time” were explained by reductions in feelings of time pressure.

Time saving purchases; outsourcing for work, hiring additional helper, etc. is not the only effective way to make trade-offs between time and money. There are others who choose to work fewer hours, even if it means making less money. Others buy or rent places near their workplace so they could walk.</p

The same researchers made a vignette and asked people to choose between Tina and Maggie. Tina values more her time than her money. She is willing to sacrifice her money to have more time. On the other hand, Maggie values her money more than her time. She is willing to sacrifice her time to have more money.

Although respondents were split down the middle on this question, results showed that people who identified with Tina reported that they were happier than people who identified with Maggie. Implication? People who say they prioritize time over money appear to be better off.

There is nothing wrong with being wealthy. But contrary to common beliefs, wealthier people do not appear to prioritize time over money. And they report significant stress in their lives.

What this shows us is that money is both a cause and a potential solution for the time scarcity that modern life is experiencing. Although having more money is linked to feeling pressed for time, it is not inevitable. Hence, we need to rethink our spending decisions, transform wealth into well-being by using money to buy time.

Be Grateful

We should find the reasons to be grateful and count our blessings especially this new year. We need to make a conscious effort to focus on what we have and what went right because to be grateful is the secret to health and wellbeing.  For thousands of years, “this greatest of virtues and the parent of all others”, said Cicero, have been the subject of philosophers, religious, and spiritual thinkers. But beyond their conjectures, there really have been no hard scientific evidence associating gratitude to psychological and physical wellbeing. Not until recently.


Robert Emmons and Mike McCullough are two psychologists who researched extensively on the effects of gratitude towards health and emotions. They know people associate being grateful with happiness. But associations do not prove causality. The best way to know this was to perform an experiment.

These brilliant psychologists randomly assigned subjects into groups. The first they instructed to keep a daily gratitude journal or gratitude list, the other group focused on hassles, and the control group was neutral. And these are what Emmons and McCullough discovered.

In one experiment, the group of people who kept weekly gratitude journals had significantly better results on a range of psychological and physical well-being measures than the people in either of the two comparison groups. The gratitude journal people exercised more regularly, reported fewer physical symptoms, felt better about their lives as a whole, and were more optimistic about the upcoming week than the other two groups (who recorded hassles in one group or neutral life events in the other).

Participants who kept gratitude lists were more likely to have made progress toward important personal goals (academic, interpersonal, and health-based) over a two-month period compared to participants in the other experimental groups.

In another study using daily self-guided exercises with young adults, the participants in the gratitude intervention group reported higher levels of the positive states of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness and energy than the other two groups (who focused on hassles, or on how they thought they were better off than others). Also, the participants in the gratitude intervention group were more likely to report having helped someone with a personal problem or having offered emotional support to someone than those in the other two comparison groups.

In a third study, this time of adults with neuromuscular disease, a 21-day gratitude intervention resulted in better sleep duration and sleep quality, greater amounts of high energy positive moods, a greater sense of feeling connected to others, and more optimistic ratings of one’s life, relative to a comparison group.

In general, Robert Emmons found that people who view life as a gift and consciously acquire an “attitude of gratitude” will experience multiple advantages.  Gratitude improves emotional and physical health, and it can strengthen relationships and communities. Gratitude enriches human life. It elevates, energizes, inspires and transforms. People are moved and humbled through expressions of gratitude.

If you wish to cultivate an attitude of gratitude, you can try this exercise. Set aside five  minutes each night for the next two weeks, preferably right before going to bed. Prepare a pad with one page for each of the next fourteen days.  Think back over the previous twenty-four hours and write down, on separate lines, up to five things in your life you are grateful or thankful for. Common examples include “waking up this morning,” “the generosity of friends,” “God for giving me determination,” “wonderful parents,” “robust good health,” and other creative expressions of gratitude.

You can evaluate through writing in a journal the changes in your outlook, emotions, social interactions, and your general attitude towards life and events. If this worked for you after your evaluation, incorporate it into your nightly routine.

Christmas and Hope

One time, the radio station called me live on air to speak about my thoughts on our practice of celebrating Christmas even as early as September. No doubt, ours is the longest in the world!

At the onset of the “ber” months, radio stations begin to play Christmas songs. And no, it does not end after Christmas day but continues up to January and even February, when Valentines day set it. That’s the only time when households begin to keep their Christmas decorations.

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Looking closely, I see that this shows our penchant for celebrations and festivities. Being the only Christian nation in Asia, we collectively hold in the highest regard the birth of Jesus. We look forward with merry anticipation the coming of the Savior and so we brightly adorn our surrounding with multi-colored lights and vibrant decorations.

And this is good. In a country like ours, where bad news overwhelms the good, we need something with which we can pin our hopes on. Truly, when I first heard a Christmas song a few days ago, it stirred in me a sense of euphoria, of images of reunion, of giving and sharing, and of a new beginning.

And so for most of us, celebrating Christmas early becomes a mechanism where we are able to cope with life’s harshness. No, it is not a denial of what is, but it is a testament that we can choose to be happy and merry even in the midst of hardships and trials. That our optimism best serves us as we focus on prosperity rather than despair.

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But this celebration of hope should teach us and propel us to action. The warm and exciting feeling that the season brings needs to be translated into better relationships and changed lives.

Hope is like oxygen, we cannot live without it, according to Shane J. Lopez, a researcher on hope. Her research together with colleagues shows that hope leads to everything from better performance in school, to more performance in the workplace, and to greater happiness overall.

And it makes sense. According to Lopez, “When we’re excited about ‘what’s next,’ we invest more in our daily life, and we can see beyond current challenges.” Unfortunately, only half of us measure in hope. But fortunately, it can be learned. And we Filipinos obviously show it best.

Hopeful people share four core beliefs, according to Lopez. First, they believe that the future will be better than the present. They look forward on what is to come, knowing that it brings more tidings than today.

Second, hopeful people believes that they have the power to make a better future. They see themselves as capable of bringing to life whatever they desire and hope for.

Third, hopeful people understands that there are many paths to reaching a better future. These people recognize that reaching the goal may take several turns and curves and there is no single road to actualizing the goal.

Lastly, hopeful people see that these paths to the future are not without obstacles. They are replete with theme. But regardless, they maintain their vision and work out to realize them.

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Let me be the first to greet all of you a Merry Christmas. Let us all look forward with hope to that day when Christmas is not just all about bright lights and gift giving, but truly a celebration with the Savior in heaven.

P.S. We are conducting a Young Couples Christian Life Seminar on Sunday, December 17, 2017. I am inviting young couples 40 years old and below to join. In a world where marriage and family is disintegrating, we need hope. Anyone interested, email me at kitbalane@boholchild.com or text 09988851339.

Arts and Healing

Dolly (not her real name) was brought by her mom in the clinic because she did not want to go to school anymore. She was transferred to another school but the same thing happened, she only attended class once. arts-healing

I recommended that she be admitted to therapy. And part of Dolly’s intervention is allowing her to join the arts activity of the students. And she loved it. Only after a couple of weeks, Dolly began to warm up and is now arts-healing exposed to her cohorts in Grade 2 and soon will become a regular student and part of the class.

And there are still many other kids in Bohol Child Head Start who were able to overcome their shyness, separation anxiety, impulsiveness and hyperactivity, and other deficits because of the power that arts bring.

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It is very heartening to see how arts become a tool for healing. And we do not need to be traumatized to understand how arts can alleviate our emotional and psychological pains. For instance, when we are emotionally troubled, many of us tend to sing or dance these troubles away. Or, I had a close friend who was able to write a really striking and beautiful letter when she and her boyfriend split.

Still many others resort to doodles, sketches, and drawings to express the content of their minds and hearts. I have a client who until now gets easily affected with bad news that she sees on tv or the internet. To help herself, what she does is write short stories about it and through the process, get a sense of control over her thoughts and emotions.

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To understand the relationship between arts and healing, we need to understand brain functioning as well. The brain is divided into two hemispheres, the left and right. It is believed that these two hemispheres have specific functions.

The left brain is moderated by words. It communicates verbally, is analytical and critical, and able only to tell us what we think and feel. On the other hand, the right brain communicates in images, is symbolic and emotional, and can tell us what we actually think and feel.

When we use words and logic, we reach out to the left brain. But the right brain responds to stimulation facilitated by images and symbols.

Therefore, what words cannot contain and express, creative therapy, like arts, can. Creative therapy is based on the fact that the creative process of art making is healing and life enhancing. It provides a creative outlet for emotions that are too painful, intense, embarrassing, or unclear to express verbally.

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Creative therapies include visual arts, may it be in 2d or 3d, dance and movement, music, poetry, drama, writing, sand play, clay, and other modalities. The advantage of arts over verbally mediated therapies is that it is absorbing and enjoyable to do. And in the process, you get to be empowered thereby increasing self-awareness and self-esteem.

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But art therapy is not art education. They are two very different things. In arts therapy, the creative process and artwork are considered in terms of their therapeutic significance rather than their artistic merit per se. It is low-skill, high sensitivity art.

Art therapy is not arts and craft. It is not product oriented but rather it is self-expressive. It is not a purely recreational activity, it is therapeutic. In other words, the significance and power of art therapy is not on the product but on the process.

So, what are you waiting for? Unleash your creativity and relish the healing and freedom that art brings.

 

Contact Bohol Child Head Start | Like our facebook page | Arts and Healing

 

SPECIAL DADS

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I arrived for lunch last Friday with Oido, my 5 year old son, crying in his mommy’s office. I learned that she scolded him because he just barged in and accused her of something that she did not understand.

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Only when I arrived did she realize that Oido was frustrated and angry because she lost the Father’s Day card he made from his class he gave to her. He wanted to surprise me and he lost that opportunity..

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I was touched and was beaming with pride for my son. I felt so special and just embraced him and told him that I am more than surprised. And when we found the present, he showed me what he wrote on it: “I love you Daddy”.

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These are the moments when being a father feels so extraordinary. Although when it comes to raising children and being a parent, most of the attention goes to Moms. That is very understandable. Mommies are the ones who endured pregnancy, labor, nursing, and all others.

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But does this put Daddy’s role at the sidelines? Not the least. In fact research suggests that Dads are important in a number of ways. First, Daddy’s presence in a household is associated with fewer behavioral problems in children. For instance, children raised in homes without fathers are at a greater risk for delinquent behavior and committing a crime than children raised in homes where the father is present.

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Relatedly, girls raised in families without a father are more likely to become pregnant as teenagers than those who live with your fathers. There is also evidence that children who have two parents in the home are more likely to do well in school for the help and encouragement they get from both parents.

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But the most convincing evidence of how important Dads are come from research on Dads interaction with their kids. Dads’ interactions with their kids differ from that of mothers. They play differently, that is, they tend to play more physical than mothers do. And they tend to encourage children to take more risks than moms do. Does it make a difference?

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Research suggests that paternal physical play is associated with positive outcomes for children. Dad’s encouragement for risk taking allows children to do things on their own. Because most Dads tend to provide a safe and secure environment with supervision, they encourage their kids not to be afraid to try new things.

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In general, Dads are necessary for raising happy and healthy children. Their roles are very significant in the home and cannot be relegated just to anyone.

This Father’s Day, here are some more tips for all Dads out there to enhance their impact on their children. First, Dads can show more emotions and vulnerability. Let go of the stoic type and learn to be more of a feeling person.

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Second, Dads can begin to truly listen and empathize. In most households, Dad’s voice is the rule. But when Dad begins to lend a listening ear from the heart, it can make relationships much better.

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And lastly, Dads can be more affectionate. Most Dads are allergic to physical affection that is why children tend not to open up to them. But when Dads become more affectionate by hugging and kissing, and embracing their children, it melts barriers and foster emotional bonds.

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Happy Father’s Day!

Middle Child Syndrome

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I am a middle child. And yes I can attest to the effects on the personality if you were born second or third among siblings. But not all of these effects are unhealthy. As a matter of fact, research shows that middle children possess characteristics which are uniquely necessary to be successful in life.

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However, there are also real risks for middle children, especially if parents are not well attuned to the dynamics of family interaction. Being a middle child increases the possibility of being second rate in many aspects which may bring about apathy and resentment.

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Looking closely at how we parent our own children, my wife and I admit that the level of attention, energy, and intensity we devote to our second son is lesser in degree compared with the eldest. With our first born, there was a different kind of excitement and exhilaration. My wife had to stop working to focus on parenting him.

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When our second born came, we were more relaxed and confident with our parenting skills. And our general attitude was that he will turn out fine just like the eldest. Of course we gave him everything that he needed. But the level of intimate interaction was lessened and much of the babysitting delegated to the yaya.

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With the coming of the third child, a different level of delight again permeated the family. And all eyes were focused on the new angel. What happened to the second born? He became part of the spectators and awe-gazers and was relegated to the background.

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Comparing my three children, we see the stark difference in their personalities which we partly attribute to the degree of our parenting. The eldest (9 years old now) is an achiever in school and confident in his ways. But he is a little entitled, impulsive, and rough in his manners. He is also a natural leader being the mayor in his class.

The second one (7 years old) is academically average. He learned the basics a little late than his kuya. But he is sweet and emotionally attuned to others. He is quick to say “sorry” and “thank you” and is sensitive to our needs. While he is shy in public, he has no problem making friends and relating with them.

Although we haven’t heard yet from Gabriel (second born) that he feels neglected and unrecognized (we hope we’ll never do), most middle children complains of such. Those who were surveyed reported that they felt abandoned by their parents and that the attention they get are not as much as the eldest or the youngest. But I wish to underscore the fact that the unfortunate experience of less attention from parents for a middle child is also what gives them the character that helps them be flourishing in life.

Far from being doomed to failure and loneliness, research shows that middle children are more likely than their siblings to be successful and enjoy strong social lives and thriving careers. The apparent disadvantages they endure in childhood turn out to be beneficial, in many cases giving them the attributes of empathy, independence, creativity, patience, and being a team player, among others.

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But middle children are also too willing to please others. Perhaps, from their desire to get the attention of their parents, they developed this pattern of being too good and they tend to avoid confrontation, which can mean they are too easily influenced by their friends.

While most first-borns are assertive, dominant, and show leadership qualities, middle children excel in the arena of relationships. Studies show that 80% of middle-borns remain faithful to their partners compared to 65% of first-borns and just 53% of last-borns, perhaps the latter are used to getting their own way, which as we know doesn’t always happen in a serious relationship.

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Whatever the case, this information should alert parents to be mindful of their parenting and effect of birth order on their children’s characteristics. My wife and I recognize these possibilities and so we make a conscious effort to really spend special time with Gabriel through special dates. With this, he would know that he is celebrated as he is and he is one special creature, given special attention just like the rest of his brothers.

P.S. Bohol Child Head Start is still accepting enrolees for Preschool, Grade School, and Special Intervention School. Come and contact us at 416-1248/09295571136 or visit www.boholchild.com.

SEX ED

Of Condoms and Sex

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Sex-Education – The DOH has started to strengthen its campaign on implementing the Reproductive Health Law, and I heard on the radio that they plan to distribute or make available condoms to students as part of the strategy to prevent unwanted pregnancies and contracting sexually transmitted diseases.

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But one congressman reacted to the plan insisting that such a move require more serious thinking and study. And rather than distribution, emphasize education, he said.

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I could not agree more. I understand that the DOH do both. But to me, the best place to start and intensify this education is in the home. It is very important for parents and adults to talk about sex in the home when it comes and answer sensibly children’s questions and respond appropriately to their sexual behaviors.

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sex-education

Let us face it. Times have changed. We have become a sexually saturated society. It is in our commercials, in our movies, primetime shows, in our music, the internet, and magazines. And sooner or later, your child is going to learn about sex and you would want that he learns it from you rather than someone else.

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Because what all these advertising are promoting is mostly misinformation. They create unrealistic fantasies about what sex should be and people, especially adolescents, end up disillusioned when reality leaves them empty and cold, realizing that it does not fill their longing for personal happiness.

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Our sexualized culture does not allow us the option of not talking about sex and sexuality with our children, otherwise, they will believe the lies that they see and hear around them. Let us take heart that we still hold so much influence in the lives of our children. If you ask adolescents who influence them the most, rock stars and pop artists do not top the list but parents do.

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Today, the options are clear. You can either choose to initiate and direct the conversation, or you can let culture’s preconceived ideas dictate your child’s belief about sex.

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Sexuality is one area of life where correct information, delivered in the correct context, with the correct emotional atmosphere, is crucial to healthy growth. And when it comes to your child, it shouldn’t be a onetime conversation. It needs to continue throughout the child’s life.

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Sex is best taught in the context of the family’s morals and religious values. It is essential that the emotional and moral tone of the sex education be compatible with those beliefs. Sexual facts are not as important as the tone used to deliver the message.

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So, the most important question is, Are you ready? You begin with examining your very own attitude towards sex and your very own sex life. Articles in the internet and magazines provide advice on how to spice up your sex life, or how to drive your spouse crazy but do these tips really equate to great sex?

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Research shows that people who have the best and most frequent sex are those who are married, monogamous, and religious. Isn’t this opposite to what media tries to make us believe and embrace?

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As a parent, your behaviour and attitude about sex, spoken or unspoken, will be imprinted in your child’s life. If you are afraid and uncomfortable to talk about the topic, that is also the message your children will get. If you are unprepared and know nothing about it, you will fumble in times where they need answers. Mixed messages are dangerous.

sex-education

Therefore, sex education in the home begins with the parent examining his or her values and attitudes toward sex. If deep seated issues are present, parents need to strive to make sense of them and experience personal healing. The rest will naturally flow out from there, as parent and child build a strong emotional bond where sexual issues can be explored healthily.

For consultations, contact 09122506898.

Contact Bohol Child

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