Sticking up for our children

July 5, 2005 at 9:26 pm 5 comments

I watched an episode of “Everybody Loves Raymond” last night. Ally, the 13-year old daughter, came home with an F on her report card. Debra, the mother confronted her about her failing grade. Now, Ally, who got A’s and B’s in her other subjects, retorted to her mother, “What about my good grades? You only noticed my failing grade.” Ally explained that she got an F in Math because her teacher was mean. Debra wouldn’t listen to her and thought that she wasn’t paying enough attention. They had a heated discussion and Ally answered back at her mother. Ray felt that it might be the teacher. When Ray and Debra had a meeting with the teacher, they found out that he was really mean. Ray berated Debra for not sticking up for her daughter.

In the Philippines, children are raised to respect their elders, parents especially. They are not supposed to interrupt when adults are talking. I knew people whose children were even sent to their bedrooms if they have company – visitors in the house. So answering back at parents is a big NO NO. This is even depicted in some of the Tagalog movies I have seen. It is not unusual to see a father saying to his child, “You have no right to answer back at me so long as I am feeding you and you live under my roof” or something to that effect. I thought that I’d hear that only in the movies until it happened to someone dear to me just recently.

If a parent is obviously at fault and a child answers back in the heat of a discussion/argument, what should the other parent do? Does one stick up for their child or do they take the side of their partner? I understand that parents should be supportive of each other in raising their children. But if the other parent is being unreasonable, what is one to do?

I have seen quite a few people close to me who had been in conflict with their parents, usually their fathers, who were more of disciplinarians, sometimes to the point of being an authoritarian. The children of these parents ended up leaving home, sometimes running away. The mothers were helpless and left heartbroken. They chose to take the sides of their partners instead of sticking up for their children. And it’s really sad.

Have you ever been in a situation like this either as a child, as a parent, or as a mere spectator? Does anyone care to comment?

Entry filed under: Books, movies, music, TV, Raising the 3Rs. Tags: .

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. TEACHER SOL  |  July 5, 2005 at 10:07 pm

    From straight Tagalog (from my blog), I will suddenly shift to English, here goes…

    The children of these parents ended up leaving home, sometimes running away.

    When I met my husband (we were 23 then), his relationship with his Mom was going in turmoil for quite sometime already for a reason unknown to me. Then one day his mom got his car from UP (she had a spare key) with my school stuff in it. She wouldn’t return my stuff if I wouldn’t personally get them. My first meeting with her was dramatic…

    ““Do you know what kind of person your boyfriend is? Do you know how he was cheating me with his report cards? He was very good in falsifying records. He got a zero passing last semester. He’s a professional liar.”

    Those were her words. She told me he ran away from home not just once. And she went on telling me how lazy Reiner was in helping in the house, how dependent he was, and irresponsible in his studies. Her complaints about Reiner went on and on.

    But as polite as I could be, as composed as I could appear, I told her that what Reiner needed was someone to motivate him to continue with his life. Reiner’s life would be well again if someone would help him and push him to recover. And I was willing to be that person.

    My husband is more intelligent than I am, smarter than me, a better writer than me. Now, his mom just couldn’t believe at what her son is capabable of doing. My husband is a published writer, was promoted several times in a matter of 3 years in his previous work at ABS CBN, a very responsible father and husband.

    Sorry I’m too wordy. I already told you a part of my lifestory. It’s in another blog anyway. Feel free to post anytime in my “cyberclass, join in the discussion. I am also learning from the commenters in my blog.

    You got a good read here too, can I link you up?

    Reply
  • 2. niceheart  |  July 5, 2005 at 10:15 pm

    Hi Teacher Sol,

    Thanks for dropping by. Yeah sure, you can link me up

    Reply
  • 3. Anonymous  |  July 6, 2005 at 8:58 pm

    It’s quite true being a parent is both a privilege, and at the same time not an easy task. A privilege since not everybody is given that chance to be a mother or a father. On the other hand, it is awesome task that is not easy, especially when your child is too stubborn and does not listen to or do what you are telling him.

    I have a boy who is 13 years old now. Although, I give him simple instruction like putting back my radio when he uses them, he seems to be too lazy to do so. No matter how many times I remind of these simple instructions, he still fails to do them many times.

    Inspite of this, I noticed other positive characters and talents he has. He is thoughtful during birthdays, father’s day, and other similar occasions. He prepares a card or a gift which he gives to us with dearly notes.

    One talent, I see in him is that he is very good in public relations (PR) that whenever he is at the porch, his friends and even stranger of his age will come and gather around him. He is also good in fixing things.

    Probably I consider myself a disciplinarian until one time, I was struck by what a stranger(he is the interviewer in a job I applied for) told me once. He said that we, parents tend to talk to our children only during when we are scolding or arguing with them. Sad to say, I have a tendency to do just that with my kid.

    So from then on, whenever my boy and I have the chance to play, watch tv, or do other things together, I make sure that we talk. I must admit that he has ideas that I don’t agree with many times but I just give him reminders. I don’t enforce them though but I just want him to understand the consequences of his actions.

    Lastly, we can only teach our children to some extent. We can always remind them to do this and that. But we cannot really enforce it on them. They can always chose to follow or disregard these advises and reminders. For me, it is still God who will help them learn and grow. Just like the plants, no matter how religiously you take care of them, it will only be God who can cause them to grow.

    Reply
  • 4. Raquel  |  July 24, 2005 at 10:30 pm

    I believe the role of a parent is not only to provide for your child, but to help them grow as a person. To help them grow intellectually, spiritually and emotionally. In the olden days, children were thought of as possessions, so it is not too far fetch that the old “filipino” mentality is still to treat children in this way. How would a child learn to respect himself and others, if a parent does not show respect to his child? It is not a sign of weakness to apologize to your child when you have said or done something wrong, but quite the contrary; the child becomes even closer to you, because you as a parent are also still learning as a person.

    Reply
  • 5. Good Friday, bad Friday « n i c e h e a r t  |  March 21, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    […] know that parents should be supportive of each other in raising their children.  But I do tend to stick up for my children, especially when I find the man being […]

    Reply

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