Raising confident & resilient kids through stories

I grew up listening to my parents’ stories about their childhood. Although I did not appreciate some of their stories that time, I felt that I was part of a great family. Most stories stuck with me until such time that I was able to really realize how life was for them. When my mom was in college, she was already enrolled for the schoolyear when my Lola had to undergo an operation. My mom went to her school and withdrew from class. She also got the tuition fee as they needed the money for the operation. Listening to this story when I was 9 years old did not make much of an impact. Thinking about it when I was already 20+ years old, I realized how hard and humiliating it must have been for a teen-ager to do it. That realization made me appreciate my mom more and the life that she and my dad have provided for me. It also made me realize how petty my problems were and how blessed I was. Until now, when I have problems, I think of my parents and the things that they had to go through. They survived and are leading happy lives. I think that makes me believe that I will be also be able to deal with any problem that comes my way.

A few months ago, I came across an article in Reader’s Digest discussing how telling kids stories of their families make them more resilient and more self-confident; the more kids know of the histories of their family, the stronger their sense of control over their lives are. This sense of control, it turns out, is very important. When a kid (or an adult, for that matter) believes that he has control over his life (its is called internal locus of control) and believes in his capability, the better he does in so many aspects of life like emotional adjustment, school achievement, social interaction, etc. Di ba given a problem when you think you can actually do something, you will do it? And people who do not believe in their capacity to change their lives would, of course, not do anything anymore and will just entrust their lives to fate. Tutunganga na lang sila and of course, that leads to… nothing! So tama nga, if you think you can control your “fate”, you will work harder. It  makes a lot of sense!

Family Tree

If you want to make a family tree like this, head over to Fiskars.

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I am beautiful!

A week before classes were about to end for Christmas vacation, Jia confided in me that she was sad because one of her classmates (let’s call him A) preferred to spend time with another classmate (let’s call her B). She said it was because B was more beautiful than her. She also said that she wanted to have fairer skin and longer hair which she could braid, and to wear skirts more often. I was alarmed! I did not know where she could have gotten that notion. She is five years old, for goodness’ sake; it’s too early for her to be subjected to self doubts about her beauty.

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Jia’s blog

Sometimes, I draft my blog posts in my iPad’s Notes app so I can just transfer it to my blog when I get the chance. Because I let Jia use the iPad for her Montessori apps, she is able to read my posts. A couple of weeks ago, I was surprised to see that Jia has written her own “blog posts”. What was really surprising was she wrote it from MY point of view! Akala niya ata kelangan ako ang nagsusulat. Copying and pasting (without editing) a few of the posts she has written:

Jia’s days with rashes
Jia once got a fever.this fever had rashes.this fever is called varus. One night jia complaned that her rashes were itchy. We got to global city st. Lukes, but since it was sunday, jia’s and joya’s doctor was out of the hospital.the doctor had toys in her clinic. So, we went to the emergency room.jia got her blood out of her body, and get a blood prick. Jia slept
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The very last day to watch TV

We try to live a low-media life but I admit that there are times that I succumb to the power of TV when I feel overwhelmed with life. Whenever I allow my kids to watch TV, I know I will pay for it much later (there will be tantrums, it will be harder to bring them to bed, etc). Most of the time, that alone stops me. Sometimes, though, I feel like I am drowning that I concede. The past few weeks have been so stressful for me that I felt I was like a ticking bomb. At one time, Jia asked me for scissors so she could cut and I asked her if she wanted to watch TV. Yes, I practically gave her the remote! Really bad! 🙁 Things are, thank God, much better now, but I am still “catching up” with backlogs.

This morning, Jia asked me if she could do something that will not make her feel alone. “Whatever you think is best, Mommy. Something that will not make me feel alone in the bedroom.” I knew that she wanted to watch TV. Haha!

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Jia turns 5!

Jia celebrated her 5th birthday in school. As per the school rules, only simple parties are allowed. In fact, they do not even call it a party; they call it Celebration of Life. Ang nice no? 🙂

A few days before her party, I asked Jia what she wanted as her party theme. I asked her what her favorite book was since I was thinking that we could have that as a theme. I thought she would say Magic School Bus or any other storybook. But my daughter, as usual, surprised me by getting her Chicken Soup for the Kids Soul book. That was her favorite book, she said. Naloka ako! Hahaha! Pano namang gagawing theme ang Chicken Soup for the Soul?! Then she said her favorite story was The Guardian Angel. So our theme became angels! 🙂

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Jia was having such a good time while we were in Sip & Gogh that she announced that when she grows up, she wants to be a famous artist. Syempre ako si forever cheerleader told her that that’s a good ambition. I reminded her that she needs discipline.

“What’s discipline?”

“Discipline is always finishing your work and doing your work properly.”

“I have discipline!” sabi ng anak ko!

Jia proceeded to paint. She enjoyed painting very much but she also had a hard time making sure that the canvass was properly covered. She asked me why the canvass had crevices, unlike paper which was just smooth. Nakikita ko na nahihirapan na siya. Suddenly, she announced, “Mom! I remember now!! I wanted to become a doctor!”

Sabay kabig!!! Hahahahaha!


Jia’s in Casa 2! :)

I came across this idea a couple of months ago but forgot about it until last night before sleeping. 🙂 So I am starting this new tradition. Every first day of school, the kids will write their ambition (what they want to be when the grow up) and I will take their picture. Since it was Jia’s first day today (sniff! sniff!), we did it.

I love you, baby, and I will do all I can to help you achieve your dreams.