Saturday, August 30, 2008

PBBC 7: Disciplining Our Children

PPBC 7: How do you discipline your kids?

I am just a neophyte in the art of parenting. My son is only turning 11 months old. That isn't to say that discipline is not yet an issue for us because it is. However, it's not yet time really for us to be practicing on our child because we're still in the process of disciplining each other and ourselves.

Yes, we will discipline our kids by disciplining ourselves.

Hubs and I came from different backgrounds and family dynamics. We react to conflicts and crises differently. I tend to make a mountain of a molehill, he tends to go in denial. We're still discussing, agreeing, testing and researching on a middle ground, so we can say that we raised our kids with thoughtfulness and leadership instead of just plain love.

Discipline is a tricky thing. It's not something that exists in a vacuum, because it is affected and impacts a great many things. It's not a closed captioning thing, where only the curious child will read more into our actions and motivations. It's not something that happens, it's not something we do, it's something that is. Have we, as parents, set goals for our family? Is it clear for us what values we hope to inculcate in our children? Are we examples of the kind of people we want our children to become?

Disciplining a child has less to do with how you reinforce good behavior, or punish the bad. It has more to do with a parents' leadership, how they exercise their authority and maximize their influence.

Parents who aren't disciplined won't be able to discipline effectively. So my hubs and I, we're still really struggling to be the people we want our kids to learn from and be like. It's not easy. It requires commitment and vigilance. It requires courage and consistency. It requires transparency and grace. It requires wisdom from experience.

If I raise my child eating only healthy things, while I myself binge on junk food, I still won't be able to say that I disciplined my child well. The most I can say is, I have misled him right, but I misled him just the same. We just simply cannot give what we don't have.


I can't ever say that I am pro- or anti- spanking. I believe that it's a tool parents can use to discipline ther kids, yes. I can't ever say it is not abused, but I also won't ever say that parents who spank their kids are abusive and that kids who have been spanked are victims of abuse.

But I believe there is a 'right' way to spank, and that it works for some and in others, not. Same way that timeouts don't work for everyone or at any age.

I also believe that if spanking will be used, its best served to younger kids who still lack the experience and capacity to understand. Physical pain is something they can easily register and process. Appealing to reason is best done with bigger kids.

Mothering Kids with Special Needs

Once upon a time, I spoke out loud of a wish of mine to have healthy babies, and none with special needs.

I didn't think I can handle it. I still don't... but I have matured enough to know that had I been given one, i'd still have loved that child so much. Especially since, I may just be one of few people who will ever, really, love that person.

Meanwhile, I tell other women who voice out similar fears, or who are depressed because their child does have special needs, that there is some consolation to be had. There are now schools and specialists for these kids. People born with defects, limitations, disabilities... they can now enjoy a quality of life they never could before. More people are sensitive and responding to their needs. Heck, you can even hire cerebral palsy lawyers if you need to, and you'd know where to find them.

Because help and support is available now to parents and children alike. And more and more people are reaching out to them.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Wrong Perspective

An e-mail has been circulating about an incident involving 13-year olds at Trinoma Mall who were victimized by a thief masquerading as a cop, who accused the boys of damaging merchandise at a sporting goods store. The 'cop' had the boys strip themselves of wallets and cellphones etc. as a prelude to a search, and ended up getting away with this loot.

The robbers and crooks of this world are sure imaginative and relentless. That's not really a surprise, is it? So I can't help but ask myself instead, should 13-year old kids be allowed to go malling with peers on their own? Aren't they, essentially, still kids and should still be supervised?

And it's not that I don't get a child's growing need for independence but I do wonder about the boundaries parents set, and the liberties we allow just because it's 'what people do' nowadays.

Can we really expect a 13 year old to be able to put his foot down and stand up to authority, regardless of whether he did something wrong or not, even if only to insist that their parents be called to be there for them?

I certainly don't think so... even adults lack the presence of mind and get swindled and terrorized all the time so why are we leaving our kids at the mercy of these predators?

And no, am not all for curtailing independence and self-reliance, but I hope parents do not equate promoting autonomy with forgetting that teeners still lack the life experience to think and behave as adults.

They need our guidance and protection. Sure, it'd be nice if society helps out, but that responsibility lies in us first.

And again, it's not like we don't know of the crime rate in the city.

This is the same contention I have for parents who let their kids run around with their own gadgets. Aside from giving in to commercialism, they just make their kids (and others) a magnet for crooks.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

First At-Home Amniotic Fluid Leakage Test

This should give paranoid first-time Moms and high-risk preggos a reason to celebrate. First At-Home Amniotic Fluid Leakage Test is now available!!!

It comes in sanitary napkin form, with the test easy to do anytime, anywhere and would go a long way in assuaging a woman's fears for unexlained wetness during a pregnancy. Of course, it shouldn't replace regular check-ups and monitoring, but it should at least help relieve infanticipating Moms of more pregnancy-related stress.

Friday, August 22, 2008

On Singing Songs

My sister has kidded me that my singing voice has improved. You can now actually tell which song i'm singing! Yes... I can finally, finally carry a tune!

Chalk it up to having to sing songs to a demanding baby... which, when he's been bawling all night and you're breastfeeding-tired as well, actually compose of old melodies you know by heart and original lyrics by you.

Some Moms ad lib by humming. I sometimes do that too... but since I never really had long conversations with my child while he's in my tummy, and he never seemed to like hearing me read stories to him, and I read that babies who are spoken to learn to speak much earlier... I just compose my own lyrics and try my hardest to make myself rhyme.

Mostly I sing about loving him, that's why he should sleep already. Sometimes, I sing about how he should love me, so he better go to sleep already. Yup, my inspiration is kinda limited but since I only sing to my son when i'm trying to get him to sleep, one should be able to get the motivation.


A version of Hush, Little Baby worked well with my son when he was an infant. Then I noticed he was responding more to Do-Re-Mi from The Sound of Music. Now, he's into Don't Cry, Joni.

He doesn't care about the lyrics... only the melody. So, say am singing to Don't Cry, Joni... i'd be singing instead...

"Baby, baby, go to sleep
please, please, yes
yes, please, please
Mommy, Mommy loves you
oh so much
so darling baby
go to sleep"

Who knows... it just might be why he sqealed "Mommy" twice last Saturday! :)


On the celebrity front, Solange Knowles' secret mom talent is similar to mine!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

To Be a Parent Like Him

The Backgrounder

A son asked his father, "Dad, will you take part in a marathon with me?" The father who, despite having a heart condition, says "Yes". They went on to complete the marathon together. Father and son went on to join other marathons, the father is always saying 'Yes' to his son's request of going through the race together. One day, the son asked his father, "Dad, let's join the Ironman together." To which, his father said 'Yes'.

For those who didn't know, Ironman is the toughest triathlon ever. The race encompasses three endurance events of a 2.4 mile (3.86 kilometer) ocean swim, followed by a 112 mile (180.2 kilometer) bike ride, and ending with a 26.2 mile (42.195 kilometer) marathon along the coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. The Father and son went on to complete the race together

Oh, to be a parent like him. To have the courage to keep a child's faith that everything is possible, and his dreams will not be denied. To teach by example, to give hope to others as well, to continue being the invincible hero in your child's eyes even after he's grown up. To give your child something to look forward to, a purpose, a reason for living.

To be a parent like him.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Baby Registry for Moms-in-Need

Celebrity Mom Nicole Richie is starting a Baby Registry for Moms-in-Need through the foundation she started (Richie-Madden Children's Foundation).

Quite a turnaround for someone who was drunk driving once on the wrong side of the highway!

Hopefully, local celebrity moms will take after her and use their influence in helping out others in need (instead of out-gifting within their circle). Actually, even a registry for hand-me-downs could go a long way... since rich and middle-class babies seldom really wear their stuff out (as they grow way too fast).


I have been passing my son's clothes and shoes to my SIL and my MIL's churchmate. Every three months or so, I go through his wardrobe and grit my teeth as I divide everything that no longer fits him, and everything he doesn't use anymore, into two piles to give away.

However, I keep forgetting that we do intend to have another baby (or two) so I really should save some.

And no, I haven't given away his stroller and rocker yet, eventhough he never liked using them. I'm still hoping that he'd be convinced that they're actually nice to sit in.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Thoughts on Homebirths

TIME recently examined the ongoing debate surrounding home births.

I actually take no sides on this issue. I applaud people who are for the most natural of environments possible when they deliver their babies but I don't hold them in higher regard than those who prefer hospitals. I actually raised the possibility of giving birth in a lying-in clinic but given my strong allergy history and worrywart of a husband, that was dropped. Plus, it turned out my pregnancy will be a difficult one.

But would I consider a home birth? Nope. I considered, even fantasized, giving birth while kneeling (because it seems common in England and it makes sense that gravity might facilitate the baby's coming out) but I never considered a home birth. I don't have that much faith in circumstance. I know that if ever something happens during or after a home birth, be it a minor complication like an infection or a major one like death, I would also be blaming the home birth.

Plus, i've realized that even lying-in clinics won't do for me. I simply don't want to invite the accidents and hassles that could happen on my way to a fully-staffed and equipped hospital.

So yeah, I could probably do deliveries cheaper but i'd still rather pay extra for hospital care. And I don't mean it always has to be the top hospital in the country... but it has to be in a hospital I trust (and can sue, if ever?) :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Diaper Issues

I'm bad (more like lazy, actually) for not using cloth diapers with my son. To think I have dozens of them (the Gerber and Chino Pino ones were even really expensive). But between dealing with a C-section recovery and a demanding son, I really preferred the convenience disposable ones offered.

I made sure to wash my baby's bum 95% of the time when I change his nappies though, so I never had to worry about rashes.

We were charged/issued with Drypers at the hospital and hubs loved it. We were hiyang with it. And back then, when our son poops 8-10 times a day, it seemed pointless to use Huggies Dry because we didn't need it's level of absorbency and dryness just yet. Plus, it was at least P2 more expensive per diaper.

We didn't like Prokids... mainly because we had issues with its tape (we keep pulling it off without trying). And I was turned off by the smell of Pampers (it smelled like sanitary napkins).

I wanted to experiment with other cheaper brands because I, of course, wanted to save money. My husband was against it. Anyway, I ended up trying Wee Wee Care and SM Bonus (ended up giving most of them away because I got scared of hubs finding out, hehe, esply since my son had UTI problems due to a phimotic peen). I actually wanted to use Happy too (love the colors) but again, I didn't want hubs upset.

Anyway, Happy and SM Bonus might have worked... but they're covered in plastic so they must be hotter for babies indeed.

And ever since my son started being mobile, he also started scratching his Drypers so that it would look ragged even if he's just freshly-changed.

Anyway, I still use Drypers sometimes... but mostly use EQ Dry during the day, at five-hour intervals (except when he poops or we're somewhere cold that gets him urinating more). At night, I use Huggies Dry.

Why use two different brands? Well, I actually have issues with my son's butt marinating in pee (no matter how dry the diaper stays) but I have more issues with having to risk waking him for a dipaer change, and having to wake up in the middle of the night to do it. So I use the more expensive, more absorbent, drier brand during the night.

I could, of course, use Huggies Dry during the day as well... and just lengthen the intervals of the diaper changes. But since my son is playing and mobile all day, even the best brands end up in clumps.

And I buy diapers in bulk... people at home even kid me that I panic-buy the stuff. Right now, we have some five packs here at home (2 Huggies Dry, 1 Huggies variant from the US, 1 Huggies Pull-ups and EQ Dry). But see, it is actually cheaper to buy them in bulk. And wouldn't it be a drag to hightail to a drugstore in the middle of the night because you're out?


Here are three Huggies diapers (first two from left are Huggies Dry, the one at right is the US variant). I am loving the design of the one in the middle... not sure if Huggies has officially changed its design or not. The one at left came from a pack we bought at factory price from someone who works from Kimberley Clark (at P7 ea), the one in the middle is a freshly-bought pack while the one at right was sent by my Mom.

Hands down, Huggies diapers from abroad are nicer to use, they don't look as if they're filled to bursting after a wee-wee or two (like the local ones) and are slightly bigger.


I know... I must have time in my hands to be discussing diapers this lengthily!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

How Cute is Zoe

Seeing her picture for the first time ever, I cannot help but cringe at the thought that she could have suffered worse had the heparin overdose she and twin brother Thomas went through not been corrected in time.

Others have died because of the same medical mix-up.

I really hope something will come of her Daddy's lawsuits so that babies won't be harmed in the same way ever again.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Knox and Vivienne: A First Glimpse

Celebrity bloggers everywhere made sure to let their readers know to be online yesterday (Sunday, 7:00 PM DST) for a first glimpse of Knox and Vivienne, Brad and Angelina's twins. It's even crazy how they make it out as the coming of the messiah or something.

But to really appreciate the twins, you'd have to buy copies of the People's issue, of course.

Anyway, it's not that am particularly envious, but it really must be something if newborns could fetch millions (between $10-15 M) for practically no work at all. I mean, at three weeks, what else can they do apart from nap anyway?

Friday, August 1, 2008

My Son Will Grow Up to "Tales of Beedle the Bard"

... because JK Rowling's favorite charity will publish it in December!

Sigh. I am confused as to whom this will be the perfect gift... to Mommy addicted or to my son, who will grow up being read Beetle Bard's tales.

Oh and I am thinking this would be a clever way for JK to transition into another series... it might not be as smashing a hit as the Harry POtter series but still, she could be giving us a new kind of Faerie Tales :)