On dreams and parental control

March 13, 2014

Watching kids and adolescents hurdle 10-foot dirt mounds and steep mountains on their jump bikes, I suddenly thought, what if Lia asks for that kind of life? Not peculiar for girls to be passionate about extreme sports, you know. Her father bikes forested trails and mountains on Sundays. Meanwhile, we painstakingly commute elsewhere and trek hills and swim seas on our own. She has two silly adults to look up to.
Dreams. They're out there.

A week ago, I watched a Canadian poet-motivational speaker on TedX talk about bullying and one's dreams on YouTube. When we were young, he said, grown-ups often asked us what we want to be when we grow up. When we answer something ambitious like astronaut or painter or writer, they would tell us, "No, what do you REALLY want to be when you grow up?" As if what we wanted then were invalid and unacceptable. They're saying we can't; we have to choose something more realistic.

Motivations and making dreams come true starts at home. It starts with parental support, no matter how silly those dreams may be (my brother wanted to be a basurero when he was eight).

I’d probably suffer a heart attack if she says, "Mama, I want to be a wrestler. Or an extreme biker". But I think I would let her. I’d let her scale mountains or even pole dance a 50-feet stick ala-Ciara Sotto if that’s the direction she wants to take in life. Is that bad parenting? As a parent, I feel my obligation to her is simply to offer guidance so she grows up self-sufficient, not to take absolute control of her life, especially not of the things that would make her happy. Of course, unless what makes her happy is destructive or hurtful to others. 
Run to your dreams, love!
To present as many choices and let her choose which one she likes, not impose mine. I think as a parent that’s how I would like to raise my child: with freedom -  in incremental proportions - and the ability to appreciate and account for both the happiness and burden of claiming one’s freedom.

I would rather have her take risks, even the possibility of fracturing her ankle biking some dirt road if at the end of the day, that’s what she’s happy and content with. Even if by some parental standard, that makes me a bad parent.

I mean, what does it mean to live till 90 if you're miserable not being able to do what you loved all those hollow years? Doing what you’re passionate about, that’s what gives meaning, power, and gusto in one’s life. It’s what makes life worth living. In the end, longevity is only secondary. It’s the quality of life you’ve lived that matters. 

How about you, fellow parent? What’s your views on parental control? No judging – pinkie swear! I’m interested to know!

  1. if i were to have a kid, 1st thing i'd make sure of is that he/she learns GOOD tagalog. i find it sad when i see kids who have very pinoy parents but the kid learns english first then twangs their way through tagalog, i know alot of parents are like that nowadays so that's just me. i really feel like it would be a shame to have a pinoy kid who doesn't know the language.

    then i want him/her to learn to love reading early. That's how i intend to teach 'english'. bale dapat marunong na magsalita ng tagalog tapos lulunurin ko sa maraming libro para sisiw nalang sakanya ang mag-english. that's how i learned anyway. plus it's a kind of love that you have to nurture early kasi mahirap madevelop when it's too late.

    aaaaand because i'm an only kid who grew up with overprotective parents, i think i would also be more 'lenient'. gaya mo, iexpose lahat ng options, options, options! hehehe. i wouldn't want them to grow up hiding secrets from me.

    yun lang! hahaha

  2. Yes to all points!!! I also want a kid who speaks and writes English well, but just as well as she does Tagalog. I also am training Lia to like books this early. I often buy her boardbooks. Ang pagiging book lover talagang training yan from childhood :) And no Android cellphones till she's 12. Hehe.

  3. Grew up in Manila and I do love the city, but I don't mind being immersed in rural towns every so often either :) It's sad when we leave an amazing place pero lagi kong iniisip, there's always another day to explore and escape the chaos of life. :)

    Thanks for the visit and the follow. I'm sure someday Imma cross paths with you and other travel bloggers too :) More travels!


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