I remember the quote above when I passed by an international school somewhere in Magallanes while doing a photobooth about a year ago… It says “Children need love, especially when they do not deserve it.”
Family life is a vocation anchored on deep faith and commitment, not on emotions. As kids grow up, I discover now that parenthood really transforms ones character. Your reaction will determine the growth of your character, whether it will go better or worse.
A few weeks ago, I found this article circulating in the social media… which was the Cockroach Theory by the Google CEO, Pichai… Sundar not Prospero :)… Response and not reaction. One of management’s basics which also applies to parenting.
Now that Amanda’s four, there are periods where she cries a lot about small things like she needs to be the one pressing the down button for the elevator or having a specific shade of pancake when cooked. As a normal human being, the natural tendency will be to talk back with a higher and louder tone to request and reason out that what she’s complaining is just a simple thing. After all, in an adult’s eye, it’s just a button or a pancake. This is what we call Reaction. To reflect back what is thrown at you without any processing.
But as parents, we need to “Respond”. Well it maybe just an elevator button but it may be a sense of pride for her knowing that she has control over the elevator doors… or maybe it’s just a pancake, but having the right amount of shade corresponds to a better taste on her artful imagination. To RESPOND means, to process the situation, take a deep breathe, stay calm and talk lovingly to a child even when it seems it’s not working. To calmly explain that what she’s feeling is ok, but she needs to be reminded to act well and correct her behavior. At the end of it all, shouting or being mad would just make things worse and let her feel unloved triggering more tears and upset behavior… and worse, a very sad childhood if the cycle goes on.
Parenting is a continuous choice between reacting and responding. Sure there will be times where we might fail to process and just lose our heads. But the good thing about life is that we can always bounce back and respond properly to the negative actions being hurled at us. I believe the same principle goes with our spouse. In order for relationships to grow, any negative reaction can always be turned into positive when we know how to love the person we’re dealing with. To respond, and not just react.