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“Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Recently we had a formation entitled “Parenting Children of the Third Millennium”. Many say that parenting is a lifelong job, and yet, proper parenting is never really taught. When parents raise their children, they often struggle with discovering what the do’s and don’ts are. This is a reality that even young couples themselves are facing nowadays.
We were so privileged to have Yoyoy and Lucy, one of the Verbum Dei missionary couples, to give us the formation. Among the highlights were the importance of listening, memories and the beauty of discipline in handling our children. Listening is an active reaching out to another person’s attempt to express him or herself with all our antennae out. It is not just hearing words, in a passive way. Memories are the end product of parenthood; how much quality time we spent with our children matters most. And the beauty of discipline which lies in the parent-child relationship. Indeed parenting is one of the toughest jobs in the world but the heart-melting moments make it worthwhile.
Oftentimes, we, parents, get so caught up with our responsibilities in raising our children that we sometimes compromise the quality of the relationship we build with them. As parents, we feel responsible and we want to raise our children right. We want them to become successful. Often we are afraid to make mistakes because we worry that these mistakes will stay with our kids forever. Many parents, like me, feel like the kind of upbringing we had needs to be altered for modern times. We attempt to learn to be better parents. We teach our children to share, say the magic words, proper behaviour in public places, right manners and so on…But is it really good enough? What kind of parents are we to our children?
In continuation to this formation, another followed entitled, “Mom + Dad + I = The True Team”. Ate Aida discussed different parenting styles. Are we authoritarian? Are we permissive? Or are we authoritative? Our parenting style greatly affects the behaviour and attitudes of our children. Authoritarian parents are aggressive, lack warmth and comfort, are hostile towards the child and harsh and rigid in their discipline. While being permissive is a mix of authoritarian and uninvolved parenting. It also means not setting expectations and being inconsistent with rules. Authoritative parenting is listening to their children’s point of view and taking it into account, having a structured and secure environment and setting high standards of behaviour and achievement for their children. The relationship we want with our children is possible when we teach them to be independent of us. When we give them wings, they can soar. Parenting is the responsibility of rearing good, kind, ethical, responsible human beings. As with any risk, we have to take a leap of faith and ask lots of wonderful people for their help and guidance.
I thank the Verbum Dei Community for giving us such great formations which will help us in raising our children. And lastly, I thank God every day for giving me the opportunity to be a parent.
Written by Ellen Siarza.
With thanks to the WordNews team
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