Tag Archives: parenting

10 Things I Wish I’ve Learned About Teen Purity

1 Oct

Celebrate Purity Gala Night 2013

My son Miguel just turned 14, and it was very timely that we were invited by our good friend Mark for a Purity Symposium and Gala Night last September 21. This event was offered by The Master’s Academy (TMA) for home-schooled students. Since his son Nathan is also fourteen, and a good friend of our son, we figured now was the best time to have these two young men go together.


My husband Gerard and I take parenting seriously. We know that it is our divine calling to guide our children, support them, and to teach them to know all about Christ.  Our parenting is very intentional. We seek instructions not just from the Word, but from experts and other parents who are as devoted as we are to our God-given vocation. 


The Purity Symposium is one of those events we were eager to attend. This in effect is one way of setting up walls of defense for our children, and one of the many teaching  opportunities for us to let them know how they can glorify their Lord and Savior.

 

Miguel and Nathan, buddies for the symposium, buddies for life.


During our time, our own parents were not exposed to a valuable tool such as this. We learned everything about sex and purity through our classmates, friends, and sadly from TV shows and movies, which were not the best sources, and not the standard we should be looking at for our moral compass in purity.

 

O great young men for God!


Attending two half-days’ worth of seminar, here are the 10 things I wished I have learned during my teen years about purity:

1. Gods design for purity is a gold standard, 100% pure, and flawless. (1 Peter 1:15-16)

What does it mean to be pure? From a biblical perspective, purity is a virtue of single mindedness, the moral excellence evident in life as you do consistently what is right. One foundational truth is that God is holy and pure! Purity is embracing God’s standard in all things. 


Man’s efforts won’t be enough to satisfy a holy and perfect God. Man’s dilemma is that God’s standard is 100 percent pure. God’s dilemma is to bring us to perfection thru John 3:16 by sending Jesus to die for us

 

Gerard and I signing the Purity Covenant, committing to supporting and guiding him in his battle for purity.


2. God created male and female in His own image. (Matthew 19:4-6)

God created us in his own image means we are reflecting his character: we can reason, be creative, have purpose, speak the truth, have goodness, and blessing. God made two different sexes for a purpose, equal before God. There is no third sex. In Genesis, God saw that it was good! We are fearfully and wonderfully made! (Psalm 139) 

3. God created us for a purpose. (Jeremiah 29:11) 

God has plans to prosper us and to give us hope and a future. In John 10:10, He came for us to have abundant life. Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook founder said, “What you can build can change the world!” In 1 Chronicles 11:22, stories were told of the great exploits of David’s 30 men. So is Tim Tebow’s great exploits in sports. 

Find your purpose in God, not your own. Here’s a video to show how one can triumph against all odds just by finding his purpose in life in God. You may be dealt with all 5 cards but God has all the chips.

 

How amazing for Nick Vujicic: “Even the worst things in your life can come together for good. So stop looking everywhere and just look up – you’ll be unstoppable!”

 

4. Our body is not our own. It is the temple of the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

We must honor God with our body.  We do not belong to ourselves. God has bought us with a price. There are many issues that beset the youth today –  smoking, drinking, and drug abuse. In Romans 1: 18-32, there is a downward spiral for godlessness and wickedness of men. Futile thinking and foolish hearts are darkened, there is sexual impurity, they have exchanged God’s truth for a lie, they worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator. So God gave them over to a depraved mind. What we see and read in the newspapers today are all clear examples of godlessness and wickedness of men that resulted from the abuse of their own bodies.

 

Our son Miguel signing the Purity Covenant, committing to living a life of purity.

 

5. The mind is powerful. God wants us to control our thoughts. (Proverbs 23:7) 

God wants us to protect our mind from the deceptions of life. It is a battle of the mind. For the rest of our life, the more of these impure images we see, the more of these pictures we will store in our brain. 

 

The way to our head is through our heart, we build emotions in our heart. There are songs with catchy melody but very bad lyrics – and very deceptive! The danger of music can be seen clearly in the music “Marry You” by Bruno Mars. Watch out for what is written and sung, because great is the power of the subconscious.

What man thinks for himself he will be. Romans 12:2 advises us not to copy the customs of this world. Like polvoron, the world squeezes us to its mold to be what we shouldn’t be, to forget about God. Let us allow God to transform us into a new person by changing the way we think, then we will know what God wants us to do, which is His will, pleasing and perfect.

 

We need to practice self control – to control what goes on in our minds, to take control of our thought patterns with Scriptures. We are encouraged to study and read the bible, pointing out to Proverbs, to keep our minds focused on the good things. Psalm 119:11 “I have hidden your word in my heart that I may not sin against you.” Our objective is not just to flee, but to pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace. Philippians 4:8 shows us the 8 stage filter for our thoughts and to dwell in these things. 

 

Purity Ceremony, a milestone for us in teen parenting.

6. God desires that we see only what is good. (Psalm 101:3)

Matthew 6:22-23: “The eye is a lamp for our body, it lets sunshine in to our soul.” What we allow our eyes to look at really matters. We need to refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar! Have nothing to do with them.

 

When we pass by and see some of the billboards in Edsa, we should “do the boing boing”  – turn our head the other way. It is fleeing with our eyes. We can’t run, but we can turn our head away! Train ourselves not to look at worthless things, such as pornography and violent movies.

 

7. God wants a heart that loves him above all else! (Psalm 37:4)

In Proverbs 4:23, we are told to guard our heart because it affects everything we do. It is the source of life. We live out our hearts.  Delight in God principle is “to delight in God, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Know only affection, not love! We need to learn to control our feelings, emotions,  or affections (our likes).

 

Ring Ceremony – putting on the ring as a visible symbol and a constant reminder to keep himself pure.

8. Pursue God, not romance. (Song of Solomon 2:7)

We are advised not to awaken romance or love, until the time is right, when we are ready for marriage.  We need to spare our hearts from needless pain, from heart break. While waiting for the right time, we can:

– pursue friendship, not exclusive relationship

– stick to our priority, be an excellent student!

– practice the rule of head over our heart. Don’t follow our heart!

– avoid reading romantic novels, movies, music, heartthrobs 

9. Prepare now for a great future. (Galatians 6:7)

Enjoy the golden age of opportunity, to enjoy this time with God, the time of discovery, growth, building interests, strengths, fun and new experiences, and new skills. We need to work hard at life  – “do hard things, ” because the easy life is not real:

1. Be God’s best first. Be everything God wants you to be.

2. Obey the “hard things”. Obey your parents on what they would like you to do, on varied interests and you will see how those dots connect when the time comes! 

3. Practice hearing God in the Scriptures.

4. Be useful.

 

There is no such thing as teenagers! After being a child, you become an adult right away. Teenager is just a marketing term. The Spartans are the perfect example. When one turns 7, the child is sent to fend for himself, to be trained and educated to do battle.

The challenge is to wait till marriage, and we’ll be there to see him through. He will give this keepsake to his future mate.

10. God designed the home as the place where purity is nurtured. (Deuteronomy 6:6-7)

 We are told to commit to God’s teachings and for parents to teach these things to children. The circle of blessing “umbrella” happens when we put ourselves under the protection of our parents during our teen years. To improve relationships at home, we need to discover each other’s love language, and engage in lots of conversation, to make small talk special.

Science says that it will only be after the teen years that the frontal lobe of the brain will be fully developed. For this reason, teens need their parents to guide them, to put fences and boundaries for their safety and well-being. We are encouraged to confess, not to hide things, and protect ourselves.

Families that support and help their children win the Purity War.
Our family’s purity code.

If you want to know more about how you and your child can attend a Purity Seminar, call TMA (The Master’s Academy) Homeschool at +632 234 0432 or +63 917 849 1409.

Life is Amazing!

Leny

 

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5 Ways To Nurture Your Child

16 Jul

Let me share with you what a mother’s primary job is.

It’s not cooking dinner, changing diaper, or helping our preschooler glue her colored macaroni. The most important assignment a mom has is to NURTURE her child. 

Let me offer you 5 ways you can nurture your child:

1. Fill your children up with spirit and “aliveness.”

We help to enable our children to develop fully by pouring life into them.  We need to model joy and passion. As nurturing moms, we go beyond being the ‘maintenance person’ in our children’s lives. We don’t just keep our children clean, fed, warm, and dry, but we also teach them to cultivate their passion. 

In our household, there are 3 things that are non-negotiable that inspires them to develop and identify their passion: 

1. to develop a love for music by learning how to play an instrument, dance, or sing

2. to develop a love for discipline by learning sports such as individual or team sports

3. to know how to survive and keep others alive by learning how to swim and to defend themselves and others.

All of them are engaged in taekwondo and football, they are attending music and voice lessons, and are honing their swimming skills for the past 2 years. These activities are meant to enrich them as individuals.

As a mom, I do this by modeling to them my own interest in sports, in playing badminton and squash, and attending dance classes. I inspire their curiosity to explore and discover by taking them 2-3 times a year to spend vacation to different places. It is also our way of educating them outside of school.  

Accompanying our son for his Europe tour for World Youth Cup

2. Make them feel that they are the most important person in the whole world. 

Focus our attention to them and make time whenever possible, avoiding any distractions, so they feel loved and respected.

As nurturing moms, we take time to play, read, and take pictures when our toddlers’ spaghetti ends up on their heads instead of in their mouths. We enter our children’s world to see things from their perspective, even it means the carpets don’t get vacuumed for a while or our homes don’t get cleaned. We also need to provide emphatic understanding and listening from a position of strength and support.

In the early days of my children’s life, I make sure to read books with them and teach them not only their ABC’s or their 123’s, but to also make time to play with them, crawl with them, and laugh with them.

Now that they are tweeners and teen engaged in many activities, I intentionally chose to be present in their games or tournaments every single time to encourage them, and to let them know that they are important to me. 

I am involved in my children’s lives to the extent that I had to know more about these activities and how they can get better at what they love to do.

Winning in the International Schools Tae-kwon-do Championships. 

Sharpening their saw: soccer training at FCB Escola Camp

3. Notice and appreciate their special qualities and their individuality.

Take time to identify with them their natural talents, and support them in every way. Have one-on-one dates weekly with your children so you will know their special qualities and the skills they are developing. Make sure to mention that you appreciate them as a person. Celebrate their achievements and their spirit of “trying.” We also need to accept their limitations based on their abilities and gifting.

We need to try and seek to know our children as individuals, different as they might be, and bring out the best in each. We can demonstrate by example how to explore life with zest and express the unique gifts God provides each of us. Our nurturing can blossom in their emotional and spiritual growth. 

4. Encourage more activities centered on developing relationships rather than around the television or gadgets. 

Lead your children to spend more time around the family table and work on projects, drinking hot choco, playing board games, learning how to peel carrots or potatoes and make cookie doughs, eating birthday cakes and ice cream, teaching and tutoring homework and assignments, and talking and sharing your day’s events.  Many of the most important, interesting, and nurturing things happen in your home.

It makes me sad when I see young families in a restaurant not talking to each other but heavily engaged with their I-Phones or I-Pads while waiting for their food. Parents and children do not talk to each other anymore. They’d rather focus their time on Candy Crush or Facebook than developing their relationships.

5. Teach them the importance and the power of prayer and scriptures.

We need to teach our children that they can always lean and depend on God. When we see someone get into an accident and get hurt, rather than being afraid, ask them to pray with you. Introduce them to the scriptures so they have something to lift them up when they are down. This can help them to handle and tackle life’s concerns.

We gave each of our children their Bibles with devotionals appropriate for their age as gifts on their birthdays. We encourage them to read and pray whenever they have something we cannot help them with. This gives them more personal relationship with God and develops their love and trust on Him.

Nurturing is not about doing it all, it’s about doing the best we can, without losing ourselves or driving ourselves crazy because our own needs aren’t taken care of. We need aliveness to pass it on to our children.

Remember, our job is to nurture our children.

How about you? How do you nurture your child?

Life is Amazing!

LENY

5 Ways To Validate Your Child

15 Jul

Can I tell you? A father’s underlying job isn’t control. It’s to VALIDATE every one of his children. To validate means to let your child know over and over, through words and actions that the following are true:

    1. “You exist and you matter to me.”
    2. “You are more than good enough for me.”
    3. “You are a good child, unique, and a gift from God.”

Psychotherapists talk about the ‘looking glass self principle’ – it’s the idea that children get their earliest, most lasting impressions of who they are from what’s reflected back to them by their parents. These impressions become their “records” in the jukebox of their brain. 

Here are 5 ways you can validate your child:

#1. Don’t miss small opportunities to give attention to your child.  

Let’s say my four-year old Jaime walks into the room where his dad is reading the newspaper, and Dad doesn’t confirm his presence. Dad doesn’t say, “Good to see you, son!” He doesn’t even say, “Don’t bother me, don’t you know I am trying to read?” Jaime may begin to doubt his own existence. His existence hasn’t been validated by any response. He interprets this to mean “I am not an okay person.” This may be a totally wrong interpretation by Jaime. His dad does not believe this but this is how Jaime and most children will interpret this scenario. This is the way children’s brain operate. 

That’s often why children do bad things. My then twelve year old Miguel remembered the fun he used to have with his dad. Those days, though, Dad traveled and worked most of the time and buried himself in tv news when he was home. Without asking, Miguel borrowed his father’s expensive jacket and took it to school. Somewhere along the way, he soiled the jacket. When he confessed, Dad yelled at Miguel for being “careless,” and irresponsible and for not asking permission. After that, Miguel didn’t think there was much chance he would ever be able to borrow anything from Dad again. 

It was a good thing that Dad realized what a terrible mistake he had done and asked forgiveness to Miguel for shouting and for saying terrible things which he actually did not mean. He validated Miguel by saying how much he loves him and carefully talked to him about the importance of respect, asking permission, and responsibility.

In this case, by misbehaving, kids got some response, even if it was negative. By acting out, kids can affirm they exist and their existence has an impact on the world around them. They get something from their parents, even if it’s punishment. To avoid that kind of acting out, remember that our kids need attention and our time. A dad’s validation is so critical to a child that he will go to any length to get it, whether real or artificial.

time with sons

As a dad, my husband has not missed any opportunity to make time and pay attention to our two sons. He is present at all of their practices, games, and tournaments.

#2. Pay attention to who your child really is, not what he can do.

Your job is to see your child’s nature and reflect it back to her. Feed these observations back to your child in a non-judgmental way so that he can see himself through your eyes and so that he can see how well you know him.

Validation also doesn’t mean lying. It doesn’t mean telling our child, “Great game, son!” when he played poorly. Validation means acknowledging your child, affirming the person apart from the not-so-good performance. You should avoid withholding validation when your child doesn’t “measure up.”

You want him to grow up full of confidence, so you give his mediocre performance rave reviews. You want him to achieve, so you skip the praise so that he’ll try harder to earn it.

Our culture is so conditional in its validation, affirming only those who’ve won fame or fortune, or been born with “good looks.” It’s easy for anyone to validate a good performance, but it takes a lot of time and energy to see and value the person in the absence of any performance and put it into words. Your child needs to see that you value him as your child, not for what he can do.

#3. Show your child that you like as well as love him. 

It’s vital that your child not only knows, but feels, that you like and love him. Warm, caring hugs, laughter, and truly enjoying your child’s personality all go a long way toward conveying that feeling to your child. Knowing that he’s loved is not the same as feeling loved. Make him feel loved. 

Seek to understand what he likes doing, what he’s feeling, and what makes him happy. Strive to be emotionally connected with him. Spontaneously give him extra hug when you notice him feeling sad. Spend extra time with him if you feel he needs it. Do something extra special for him, like fixing him his favorite snacks, writing him a thoughtful note in his “baon” or lunch box, or giving him a massage when he’s feeling tired. All these ways show him that you deeply care and love him.

letter from jaime

A letter from our youngest son validates us as parents that we were able to show him and make him feel loved. My heart is filled with joy!

#4. Exercise positive discipline with your child.

Aim for a respectful relationship with your child. When you employ the wrong kind of discipline and fight with your child over your will, it often leads to resentment, revenge, anger, rebellion and retreat. Emotions are ignored or disregarded when you fight with your child in your effort to discipline him. You can develop or learn a positive approach to discipline to promote self-control, encourage responsibility, and help him make better choices. One such approach involves applying consequences to poor choices like taking out privileges, reducing daily allowances, or lessening his phone or computer time. Be prepared though to dare to discipline your child, even when he deserves a rod. 

Keep in mind to value your child as a person, even when disciplining an action or attitude. Make sure your child knows he is good enough for you.

#5. View things from your child’s perspective, especially when it comes to his emotions.

When you validate your child’s emotions, you are able to see the situation from his perspective. When you take the perspective of your child and truly understand how he is feeling in that moment, you are able to validate his emotions. There are three benefits of taking your child’s perspective, based from Alfie Kohn.

The first benefit of taking your child’s perspective is that it allows you to understand what the child is going through, especially if your child is unable to explain his motives. The second benefit is that it allows you to be more patient with your child’s moods. The third benefit is that when you practice taking your child’s perspective and communicate and validate him, you are setting an example of the importance of validating others’ emotions.

The act of validating our children’s emotions is a crucial part of effective parenting. When you recognize that your child has emotions, you are showing him that you love and care for him. This helps him to eliminate feelings of resentment and anger toward you as his parents.

Validating children’s emotions has been proven to be successful in strengthening the relationship between parents and children. As adults, we often become offended and frustrated when people pass off or minimize our frustration. We don’t want to be ignored, and neither do children. They may start to feel like we don’t care. What do you want someone to say to you when you’re upset, sad, frustrated or angry? We want them to feel our pain, and understand what we are going through. It is the same with your child.

Remember, your real job as a father is to validate your child.

What are your ways to validate your child?

Life is Amazing!

LENY

Control: It’s Not Our Department

14 Jul

Parenting is a daunting task when we consider the consequences of major decisions for our child, like how she approaches school work, what kind of friends she spends time with, what she eats, how much, and when. It’s no wonder we parents would like to control these decisions until the last possible second. 

Who has the final say on most of these life choices? Ultimately, it’s our children – as he or she reaches complete independence as an adult. We’re desperate for our kids to turn out “right,” and convinced that the key is controlling them. It’s not. 

Control issues can be very tough on us parents, resulting in different kinds of struggles and conflicts. The goal is to help us understand and accept what we CAN control as well as what we CAN’T. As parents, we want certainty that we can keep our children safe, raise them so they’ll turn out well, following scriptural guidance. BUT, there is no guarantee.

What about the verse,”Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it”? Proverbs 22:6 communicates a very wise principle. It’s not a guarantee that magically or spiritually overrides your chid’s free will – which by the way was given to him by God himself. This principle does not obligate God to you or force Him to make your child turn out the way he should.  

We parents want control so badly because we think that if we do the right things, our kids will turn out the way we want them to. We want to be able to sleep at night, knowing we did it “right”. The only absolute assurance for those who have a relationship with God though Christ, is that eventually, our kids will enjoy life forever with the One who made and redeemed them. THAT is guaranteed.

Does this mean we have no control? Why try to guide our children at all? We should keep in mind that there are degrees of control, and kinds of control: the kind that is yours to exercise and the kind that isn’t. 

a. you need to keep and use the control you’re entitled to; or 

b. take hold of it if you’ve lost it; 

c. you want to lose the control you really don’t have in the first place, and 

d. give up illusions you may have about it.

A reality check on control leads us to the book of Genesis, in the perfect place, a perfect “home”, the Garden of Eden, with two perfect people, God’s children, Adam and Eve. There was a perfect God – a perfect parent. There was also that famous rule: “You must not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it, you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:17) You’ve probably heard the rest of the story. Adam and Eve chose foolishly, defying what God had told them. This is a stark reminder of that wrong choice, made by perfect people in a perfect environment with a perfect parent.

Enter free will, a God-given freedom to choose, part of being created in His image. Adam and Eve exercised it, and our children exercise it today. God has given our children the option to be foolish, even to sin. God doesn’t want them to be foolish or to sin, but they are free to choose wisdom or folly, to pick right or wrong, truth or lies, righteousness or evil. 

When we became parents, we signed a contract that includes the possibility of having our hearts broken. You signed up to raise that little person, one for whom you’re responsible, but are not able to control. 

What then should we do? One thing is to give up control. It is not our department. Let me share with you the powerful words of “The Serenity Prayer.” 

God, grant me the serenity, To accept the things I cannot change;

Courage to change the things I can; And wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time;

Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;

Taking, as He did, this sinful world; As it is, not as I would have it

Trusting that He will make all things right If I surrender to His will;

That I may be reasonably happy in this life 

 And supremely happy with Him forever in the next.

Remember, CONTROL IS NOT OUR DEPARTMENT. Losing control is the best thing we can do for our children.

Life is Amazing!

LENY

Parenting with Wisdom and Heart

8 Jul

My husband Gerard and I have been passionate about parenting ever since we were gifted with our firstborn son, Miguel, about 14 years ago. Since there were no instruction manuals that came with our child, we looked to parenting seminars and classes as the closest thing to a parenting manual or guide. 

For us, these are the best and the most comprehensive source of information.We didn’t want to just rely on our instincts and our personal experiences from our parents, family members, and other people. 

We wanted to make sure that we have the right foundational knowledge and skills to help us ‘train up our child in the way that he should go.’ (Proverbs 22:6)

Even after two more children came, we still continued to pursue this passion. 

Now that they are grown tweens and teen, we believe that parenting seminars are even more important to us today than ever before.

My kids’ school, Domuschola International School, in cooperation with the Parents Organization, ran a parenting seminar last October 26 in Valle Verde 1 Clubhouse titled ‘Facing Today’s Parenting Challenges with Wisdom and Heart’. This is the school’s first this year.

The seminar centered on child development, temperaments, and multiple intelligences and how to discipline and motivate our children based on these areas. 

It also focused on the different parenting styles, and touched briefly on family visioning and creating a family mission statement.

The speakers, husband and wife team Herald and Melissa Cruz from the Center for Family Ministries (CEFAM), taught not just based on scientific research and findings, but also shared their learnings culled from their own experiences of parenting that worked for their children.

The concept that stood out for us in this seminar is the discipling nature of parenting. It painted for us a picture of parents helping their children to know their ways, and training them to develop a life of excellence

 Discipline required only 20% talking but 80% modeling. 

It is a process of teaching our children to learn appropriate behaviors, and ultimately, to make good choices in life.

Our kids won the Kiddo-Preneur Bazaar Summer

2012 

Most useful in this seminar to us was the letter-writing activity. We were asked to make two letters. One letter was made with our weaker hand as if we were our children, and one was made with our stronger hand meant for our children as their parents. 

It brought tears to our eyes to be in our children’s shoes and feeling their emotions when we discipline them negatively or are not motivating them the right way. 

This is a very strong and effective way of understanding and showing empathy to our children. 

Also useful were the practical ideas that came out of the discussions, such as establishing non-negotiables when making rules in the household, disciplining appropriately based on age, brain, and motor development, and the value of natural and logical consequences in child discipline.

What was most memorable to us was disciplining our children in the digital age. 

Understanding the idea that our children are born into the digital age and parents being just migrants, made us see how important the gadgets are in their lives more than in ours. 

Gadgets are essentially integrated seamlessly into their way of life, as opposed to us using these only in our professional work or as entertainment. 

We came to realize that when we discipline our children, the time to take away their privilege of using their computers or mobile phones or PSPs should be short-term and definitive, rather than long term and indefinite. 

This makes more sense to us. Gadgets are not anymore a privilege for them, rather, a necessity. 

Taking these away from them would be similar to taking away food, or in extreme parallel, depriving them of breathing. For them, it can be devastating.

When parents shared their challenges, we all heaved huge sighs of relief! We all know that this is hard to do on our own, and we appreciate that we are not alone!

What we observed to be beneficial to most parents is making the family mission statement. 

Gerard and I made our vision statement several years back and we update our vision board yearly since our brood are growing. 

This helped us immensely as a family in pursuing our goals, relationships, and priorities in our life. Everything that we did and continue to do are intentional and consistent with our family vision and mission.

Family bonding time at a”Family of Supers” Camp

2012. We won Best Costume!

We believed that this is essential for every couple to make and that they need to do this initially as a couple for their family. This is to set the tone of the values, principles, and goals that are important to them as they need to impart these to their children. 

Having children from all age groups and being parents for 14 years, we thought that we were already trained and experienced parents. 

This seminar has proven us that parenting is something that cannot be perfected. It is continuously evolving, since our kids are growing, and changing, as well.

Enjoying & having fun at the photo booth.

With proper training and education from parenting seminars like this, we can build off from our foundation of knowledge and make easier and efficient our natural parenting instincts and skills. 

After all, this is a fruitful investment to make because it is for the benefit of our children and our relationship with them. 

The benefits can last a lifetime; the effects are priceless! We just wish that the school run parenting seminars like this one more often every year. 

Blogger’s Note: Domuschola International School is a progressive international school accredited and certified by the Switzerland-based International Baccalaureate Organization. It is located in Dormitory I, Philsports Complex, Molave Street, Barangay Ugong, Pasig City. You may contact DIS via their phone numbers: (632) 635 9743, (632) 635 2002 or email them at info@dis.edu.ph or visit their website: http://www.dis.edu.ph


Life is Amazing!

LENY

The Family You’ve Always Wanted

6 Jul

In our our small Care Group meeting, we are discussing a very fundamental principle in raising a family.

This principle is rooted in the life and teachings of Jesus which is focused on sacrificial service to others. He once said, “I did not come to be ministered but to minister.” Life’s greatest meaning is not found in receiving or getting, but in giving. 

Based on this principle, there are 5 ways to make it happen. These are taken from the book, “The Family You’ve Always Wanted” by Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the bestselling book, “The Five Love Languages.” 

This is a blueprint that was compiled according to God’s standards of how a loving, stable, and healthy family should be. 

Married people today have the desire to have a family they have “always wanted.” But we have no clear picture of what a healthy family looks like.  

In our culture today, we face a challenge of what defines a “family.” The concept of family has now been translated to a bigger, better, more culture with an emphasis on personal happiness.  

In my family, we also desire the same things. 

This is how we apply these 5 timeless characteristics:

1. Develop a heart for service. We teach our children in the household how to serve by assigning them age-appropriate tasks. Miguel takes care of washing the dishes after meals during weekends and this summer. The younger ones, Jaime and Andrea, have taken the taks of arranging their beds, setting the table, and packing their toys.  

This teaches them to help in the family with their fair share of work. This also allows them to learn how to serve other people outside of the family. We regularly visit orphanages and street children centers where they help us serve the kids by packing grocery packs and offering them songs of encouragement. On Sundays, they help out in the Couples Missions Table.   

We help develop these acts of service that makes difference in other people’s lives at a young age. We do this consistently and it enlarges their hearts and pleases God. 

 At He Cares Foundation with street children last December, the kids play songs and distribute gift packs.

 

2. Start relating intimately to your spouse. We encourage each other by meeting each other’s needs. We apply the principles in His Needs, Her Needs and we try to invest in each other’s emotional Love Tanks by speaking each other’s primary love languages. Check out The Five Love Languages on how you can discover your spouse’s love language. 

We encourage our spiritual intimacy by opening our souls to each other, we develop our intellectual intimacy by sharing our thoughts, we build our emotional intimacy by discussing our feelings, we share social intimacy by spending time together and having weekly dates, and we build our physical intimacy by sharing our bodies and by constantly being affectionate to each other.  

Attending one of the couples retreats for building our spiritual, emotional, physical, and social intimacy.

3. Guide your children well. In training our children, we need to keep in mind first that we need to let them feel loved by speaking their love languages. It is a challenge to teach our children but we need to do this by creatively encouraging them in their efforts, affirming their uniqueness for who they are and not by what they do. 

We only correct lovingly those behaviors that are destructive rather than something that might probably limit their creativity. We do it not in anger but applying consequences rather than harsh words. 

We not only verbally instruct our children but we also weave words with actions. It is said that before age 15, they do what we say. But after 15, they do what we do. That’s how influential our behavior is to our kids. 

Our daughter, Andrea, after her confession, and praying silently.

As much as we can, we make time to teach and train them in 5 settings: in the morning, sitting around the house, walking or traveling on the road, during bedtime, and at other times such as weekly dates. We teach our children different skills during these times: intellectual skills such as reading and writing, physical skills like household chores and sports, social skills such as table manners, and spiritual skills like praying and spending quiet time with God. 

The most important thing we teach our kids during these times are character development, and the values we deem important to impart to them, such as obedience, honor, service, courage, hard work and honesty. Even just spending time with them on our one-on-one dates already speaks volumes of the value of relationship and family.

4. Help your children to obey and honor you and your spouse. Even while we are making our kids feel loved and encouraged, we also need to teach them obedience and honor. We set up rules, agree on consequences, and administer discipline lovingly. It is only through suffering the consequences of their behaviors can our children learn obedience. Doing this lovingly and with the best interest of our children brings about honor from them.

We also model obedience and honor by showing honor to our own parents, treating them kindly while they are still alive. Three or four times every year, we have our parents over to the house to spend time with us. These are the times we show them honor. We give them gifts and cards and greet them during special occasions. We spend time with them in our yearly vacations, serving them during mealtimes and acknowledging their sacrifices during our childhood. 

With both our parents in one of our yearly trips together, and our kids above showing honor to their great grandfather by playing songs for him during his 99th birthday.

Our children get inspired and they always say that they will do the same. The most fulfilling moment we have of feeling and seeing honor from our kids is when they give us notes and cards that say how thankful and happy they are of having us as parents. We chose a life of generous service, investing our lives to honor our parents, honor God, and bless other people. Our children see this in our family and they are motivated to do the same.

 

5. Build a family with a husband who loves and leads. Since the role of a husband and a father is crucial to the home, we as couples need to work on this mandate that the husband is the spiritual leader, protector, and provider in the family.

Wives like me are encouraged to offer encouragement, words of affirmation and praise to support our husbands in this daunting task. We need to offer up encouragement in their efforts without expecting perfection or attaining accomplishment so that they are motivated to do better things. 

We are to share our desires through requests rather than demands so as not to elicit defensiveness from our husbands and rather receive a better response. I would have to say that I need to grow in this area. There are times I may have pushed the defensive hot buttons in my husband without intending it.  Rather than accomplish a task, we end up in an argument that can only be resolved when we communicate to each other effectively. I need to learn to express my desires with care and concern and not hurt my husband’s self esteem.  

My husband and I are our children’s number 1 fan. He is there to support our kids in all their endeavors.


Here are the traits of a loving husband:

  • views his wife as an equal partner and works well with her when making decisions
  • views his wife as an equal partner and works well with her when making decisions
  • communicates with his wife openly and in positive ways
  • loves his wife unconditionally
  • is committed to discovering and meeting his wife’s needs and
  • seeks to model his spiritual and moral values.

And as a loving father:

  • is actively involved in his children’s lives
  • makes time to be with his children often, engages in conversations with them regularly
  • plays with them often
  • teaches them his values
  • provides for and protects his children and
  • loves his children unconditionally.

These are the 5 ways we make it happen in our family. You can, too. This is God’s model for us to follow.

 

Blogger’s Note: Care Group Bites are weekly discussions in the Couples Ministry of the Light of Jesus Family in Feast Pasig. These are marriage and parenting enrichment seminars aimed to help couples build a God-centered marriage.

Life is Amazing!

LENY

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