Best Birthday Message

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  This birthday was quite different for me. I was on a plane somewhere over the Indian Ocean going home from South Africa when 12 midnight struck. I had a birthday breakfast in Singapore during our layover with my husband and two of our very good friends, Ariel and Shirley. Then we got home and waited for the kids to be dismissed from their respective schools and had a nice dinner at the newly-opened Denny’s in BGC. What I want to share with you are two of the best yet birthday messages I’ve received. They are of course from my children. I share this with all the moms because I believe that everyone of  you too deserves these words. This one is from my eldest, Nathan: “They say the older you get, the more you appreciate your parents. Well I’m 21 this year, and with each passing year I’ve discovered more […]

Why I Worry

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When I was single,  I used to be a happy-go-lucky person. There were very few things that stressed me out. And then I got married, and had children, and that’s when I developed a new habit… the habit of worrying. From my first pregnancy to the last, it was the same. I had fearful thoughts that something wrong might happen to my baby. I would often wake up at night to check if my baby was still breathing. (Did you ever do this too?) I would keep reading from different resources and would end up more paranoid. Now that my kids are older, nothing has changed. When they get sick, when they’re out late, when they take a cab, when they attend a party… all the worst possibilities race through my mind and I wouldn’t be able to relax until I’m assured that they are safe and ok.  I know I don’t have […]

Is Pokemon Go Demonic?

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Just to make it clear, my last blog was not an endorsement of a particular game, as much as it was an endorsement of a parenting principle. I think I made it clear that my objective in playing the game was not for the game itself but for my relationship with my kids. Several parents have asked if it is ok for their kids to play Pokemon Go. While I don’t have a direct answer to that, here are some guiding principles I would like to share: 1. Know what games your children are playing and do your research. I have seen varied reactions to Pokemon Go, from it being fun and harmless to being evil and demonic. To be honest, I have played Pokemon Go several times and haven’t seen anything that might cause me to ban the game from our home. At least not yet. But when I […]

Why I Play Pokemon Go

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  I’ve heard about the Pokemon craze a few weeks ago when it was launched in the US. My kids, on several occasions, have talked to me about this game that got everyone outdoors, and some have injured themselves or trespassed private properties.  Frankly, I didn’t really give it much thought. I have very little time to spare for games, and if I did, it wouldn’t be on a game that’s all about capturing virtual creatures. But last Saturday, Pokemon Go was released in the Philippines. And suddenly, I found myself walking the streets of BGC looking for PokeStops and capturing Pidgey and Caterpie and other creatures at every corner. Why am I out on a Sunday night throwing Poke balls when I can be home resting or doing something more productive? As I mentioned in my previous blog entitled “The Rebellious Teen,” we need to step into our children’s world.  It it means […]

Talking to Your Kids About Sex

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  Sex is usually one of the most evaded topics in every home. A lot of parents, if not most,  find it awkward to start the conversation and even the kids don’t have the guts to bring up questions on it. The problem is every child will get curious about it at one point or another and will try to find the answers however and in whatever way they can. So it’s very important that we beat them to it before they start exploring somewhere else. It is our responsiblity as parents to make sure they get not just the right information but more importantly, the biblical framework on it. I want to share with you this video of our interview by Rica Peralejo Bonifacio of my husband and I talking about the things that we did with our own kids to educate them on the topic of sex:       […]

The Rebellious Teen

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    As I write this, Nathan is 20 years old, Janina is 17, Ryan is 13 and Joaquin is 7. I guess you could say that I have substantial experience in the teenage department. To be honest, I really expected to have a lot of rough patches in raising our teenagers.  That is because of the many horror stories I’ve heard and read. And frankly, because of my own experience as well. However, now that my eldest is 20 and my 2nd child is 17, one thing I’ve realized is this: rebellion doesn’t have to be the story of your teen. No matter what other parents have told you, no matter how the world has labeled teens, no matter what you have seen in the movies, it is possible to have teenagers who are loving, obedient, respectful and responsible. I know this because in spite of all the fights and arguments I’ve […]

Parenting Template

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  I’m sure you’ve heard at least one parent say “I raised all my children up in the same way, how come this particular child turned out differently?” I must confess, I’ve said that statement awhile back when one of my children started acting up because of issues of insecurity. Then I realized that it was probably because I raised them up in the same way that resulted in those issues.  Because my “steps 1-2-3” worked so well with my first born, I assumed that it will work just as well with  my other kids. Years of parenting experience have taught me that there is no formula to good parenting. There are timeless biblical principles that we constantly live by, but those principles have to be applied differently according to the needs and personality of every child. God has created every child uniquely. They have different emotional needs and process situations […]

The Pressure to Have Perfect Kids

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When I picked Joaquin up from Kids’ Church, I was told by his teacher that he misbehaved that day in class. His teacher heard him saying some words that were inappropriate. At this moment, part of me felt embarassed and wanted the ground to open and swallow me up. You see, this was after my husband just preached a powerful message in the assembly hall. The teachers were probably thinking “This is Pastor Paolo’s son? How could he behave this way?!” I was surprised to hear about Joaquin’s behavior, yet not that surprised because we’ve observed that Joaquin has been in the stage of testing all boundaries. I affirmed the teacher that he was right to call out Joaquin’s wrong behavior and told him that we were going to deal with it at home. These are my thoughts: 1.Our kids will never be perfect. Yes, we try to train them and discipline […]

The Non-Assertive Parent

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“Time to go to bed,” the mom says. “No, I still want to play!” answers the child as he walks away. The mom just lets out a sigh and goes back to her book. I don’t know how parents have evolved in the last decades, but one thing I’ve observed is that children these days react so much differently to their parents. Children seem to be more assertive to their parents and parents less assertive to their children. Parents don’t seem to have the same confidence in putting their foot down, compared to parents of my generation. They are scared to impose a routine, establish boundaries or implement consequences. I am not saying that they don’t care and are neglectful. I mean, it is good that children are heard and considered but it’s just that they have become more tolerant and easily manipulated by their children. Thus, resulting to children […]

The Best Treasure

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After our evening devotions, I asked Joaquin, “Do you feel unhappy when other kids gets the cool stuff you want?” Joaquin answered, “No, because I already have the best treasure which is God’s love.” In a society where materialism is encouraged, it is a challenge for parents to make our children realise that more things doesn’t mean more happiness. It happens too often in every household: your son begs you to get him the latest gadget because all his friends have it. Or your daughter complains about her new shoes because it’s not a signature brand and she’s embarrassed to be seen in them. Everytime we give in to our children’s unreasonable demands, we are reinforcing their sense of entitlement. They will grow up believing that it is their right to get whatever they want, when in fact, a lot of the things they enjoy are a privilege. They will […]