Having a baby or a child is an amazing milestone in every married couple’s life. It’s one of the real and wonderful miracles that one could experience. Rearing your child however in the way he/she should go is not always amazing but will oftentimes be exhausting. There are ups and downs along the way and joyful or painful learning experiences which on the positive side will strengthen the bond between parents and the child if taken correctly. The catch however is that these, will last a lifetime.
When our daughter was conceived, I and my wife already started praying each night for our daughter. We have prayed for safety and protection and other physical and non-physical qualities that God will bless her with. Almost all of those we prayed for her came true to what she is now.
One of the things that we prayed for her is to be sociable – to not be afraid of other people, to smile, to be pleasant and interact. She is now two years and a month old and she’s a happy one as well. She is also hyperactive but not due to any attention deficit disorder, but because of her active exploratory senses. When she was one and a half years old, she already knew how to identify the letters of the alphabet (even when shown to her randomly), recognize colors, some shapes and parts of her body and count her fingers – one to ten. She is interested in searching and probing new things without getting tired for hours. We have no problem leaving her to other people’s care, and she recognizes them by name and face. She is witty and smart, knowing exactly the words to say at appropriate situations. She learns things and applies them on her own like other smart kids does.
As parents, we always tend to see the best in our kids. We teach and show to them what is right and mildly scold or spank and talk to them when they don’t follow. Me and my wife pray for our daughter and speak positive things to her. Though there are great moments we experience with our kids, there are also embarrassing and difficult situations that puts our patience to test. In worse situations, it also tests other people’s intolerance of babyish or childish behaviors of kids, which they think is purely mischief. Kids will always be kids. Their behavior is a result of a human’s sinful nature. Nevertheless, they have many more years ahead of them and for the parents to lead and disciple their child in the way they should go. We can only tell who kids really are when they will be as old as their parents.
Some couples we know have experienced from other people bad comments, unpleasant assumptions and ridicule against their child. When their child cries in the crowd and/or shouts, walks or runs to the stage during the Sunday service, complains a lot and runs around — people often make face, pout, murmur and looks annoyingly annoyed. It even goes as far as misjudging parents for their kid’s behavior, and seemingly accuses them for not maybe raising and/or teaching their kids the good manners. We have also received negative remarks from other people. Some looks at our daughter’s seemingly un-girly manner (super-active like a boy) negatively and make comments as if their own children have not gone through those stages or wonder why their child was better than ours. What is even more annoying is that some of them do not really have kids while the others have older or grown up children who are not really identified as “okey” and/or walking in God’s way. It is difficult to take negative comments from other people who don’t really have good reputations as far as raising a child is concerned.
When I was a happy single lad and married with no child yet, I used to ridicule in my mind those parents who cannot quiet or stop their kid from his/her “childlike” behavior when inside a plane, bus or restaurant. Now that I have a daughter, I understand why. When I didn’t have a daughter yet, there were things that I don’t quite understand – why kids even as early as two years old can be spanked, why you need to call your wife “mama”, why you need to buy toys, why you need to child proof your house, why you need to find a yaya who can speak english and many more.
The bottom-line is:
1. Learning and understanding will only take place when you’ll have an experience,
2. You cannot effectively re-teach what you read and heard unless you experience them first,
3. You cannot relate to people’s experiences unless you’ve been there too,
4. You cannot give what you don’t have, and
5. People sometimes make negative comments because they don’t know what’s going on, nor truly see what’s taking place.
It is always good to have people around us whom we can ask for advice about raising our kids, but we must be selective. There are few people within our family circle whom we are thankful for – who walk their talk, and have good and proven practices. We highly regard them as our second parents. They mentor us in every way, correct and teach us for every wrong, accept us for our mistakes and truly lead and train us into maturity. They are our parenting heroes.