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Been-dependence Day.

I was raised by my mom since my dad and her have split when I was little. My mom, being a single mother with 3 kids to feed, she has to work harder. I basically grew up with my sisters but since we have huge age gaps, most of the time I am alone.

At age 12, I started doing chores: washing dishes, laundry, ironing my uniform, except cooking of course. If the younger generation would read this now they would probably think I’m a loser and I didn’t have a life. I must say, it was a good training though. At an early stage I learned how to do stuff on my own and I have developed independence.

Being independent can mean a lot of things. Some of them I have pasted below from the ever trustworthy Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

But let me make it simple to you. As a parent, we only want the biggest fish for our child. That is for him to be the most successful person you ever know.

Let’s focus on that.

I still believe that every person must be independent for them to be successful. Nobody wants to hire a drag around employee.

Most of the time I get to thinking that life as a teenager before was so hard and yet filled with so much lessons. Our generation before get trainings directly from the parents unlike kids today, they get most of their knowledge through the internet.

What changed?

Did the world evolved so fast that everything became digital? Did parents became lazy in teaching their kids? Did younger generation suddenly woke up one day with an attitude of a parasite?

There are so many factors that we can look at and debate on how can we raise an independent child but it will always come down to one: DISCIPLINE.

Discipline develops many other behavior that each human being must posses. And according to a wannabe perfect parent (that’s me!) those behavior can be narrowed down to ROMA: Respect, Obedience, Manners, Accountability.

My perspective of discipline 3 and a half years ago is the “Hitler” type of discipline. Yes, my daughter is turning 4 this July and it was just recently that I discovered the positive way to discipline. Oh believe me I have tried the spanking, the face-the-wall, time out, usual nagging but none of them solved my problem. We even tried to play the bad and good cop in our household.

I used to believe that how my parents disciplined me when I was young would also work for my little one. Out of millions of books about parenting available worldwide, nobody really said that every child fits each parent.

With proper prayers and approach I never imagined that disciplining a child would be as easy as ABC!

True, the advancement of the society now has greatly affected the upbringing of our kids today but that doesn’t mean we have to follow what the world dictates us. Our role as parents is to look after our kids, where they go, who are they with, what they do.

RESPECT. This has been the oldest behavior in the universe. Respect will always be expected from you anywhere you go. Some people say respect is more important than love. Well I say they are both important but love is too big of an issue and needs to have a separate article.

I believe that a little respect goes a long way. Common mistake that the older generation have set in our minds is that kids must always respect the elderly. Clearly, they never talked about parents respecting their own kids. Everything in this life is a two way street.

Kids need to be respected also. How? By setting boundaries. You should not, never ever, read your child’s diary. Privacy is gold. Never barge in to their room. Knock! Even as an adult, I hate people who does not knock on doors.

Another way of showing respect to your kids is by listening and encouraging. When your kids tell you something, let them talk, let them pour their emotions to you. Remember in the innocent eyes of our kids, we are always right and by that we should always be a role model to them. Once you have developed respect for one another, the following behaviors will be easy breezy.

OBEDIENCE. Oh this is my favorite topic and probably the hardest. Pride blocks obedience. You can only achieve this behavior if you have established a good relationship with your kid. Obedience comes with rules. Rules make your house in order.

Author of Have a New Kid By Friday, Dr. Kevin Leman explained,

“You can’t run a family by rules if there is no connection between family members. If you try to, you’ll always have an adversarial relationship. Your children will know that no matter what they say, do, or look like, you’ll be playing judge and jury.”

I side with him on this one. You can never have your kids obey you and your rules if you don’t know each other. This isn’t 1970s. The world has evolved so should we.

MANNERS. With all the people I have met, talked to, I also realized that people sometimes throw their manners out of the window. Some people never really heard what good manners is. No wonder many people suffer from poverty (poor in money and in spirit). I have concluded manners will never be based on your status in life, rich or poor, they are all one and the same. As the old saying goes “You can’t buy class”. For me it is being taught.

ACCOUNTABILITY. I have noticed that younger generations today have deeply wronged the meaning of independence. They think owning a car at the age of 16 is being independent. Going to night clubs would make them an adult. Flaunting expensive things that daddy bought for them would make them a better person.

It’s so easy for kids to get what they want today. My 3 year-old daughter usually throws a tantrum every time were in the mall and boom, she gets a candy right away.

These kids always think we owe them something. Teach them to be responsible by working for the things they want. Change must start in us they say. If you want your child to stand on his own feet, don’t give them the pill that will paralyze them.

Sometimes I blame it on social media. People wanted to be popular on the internet. But going back, we are responsible for how our kids behave. No matter how young or old they are, discipline must never depart our lives.

After all, we only want what’s best for them right?

Proverbs 22:6
“Direct your children onto the right path and when they are older, they will not leave it.”

-N

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