Children Don’t Come with a Manual

Last Friday evening, S and I attended the first (of ten, which he hopefully agrees to attend to the end with me!) classes of “First Steps”, a parenting course offered by EduChild Foundation Inc.

The format that they use is the Case Method. The participants are divided into group and each group discusses the case. Though I’ve attended only one class, I was able to pick up a lot of things, the most important of which, I feel, is the significance of self-esteem.

I realize, on hindsight (and based on some feedback from P’s OT, Teacher Tisha), that perhaps we haven’t been encouraging Paul enough. We need to help him be more confident of himself.

One of the speakers that night mentioned a book called “Your Child’s Self-Esteem” by Dorothy Corkille Briggs. How coincidental that I actually find a copy at Books for Less in Residencia 8888 while waiting for P last Saturday (we were at Therabilities)!

The first few pages were so helpful! Check this out:

(page 25) Why Children Misbehave

…if you know that behavior matches the self-image, you can see that one cause of misbehavior is a negative self-concept. The child who believes he is bad tailors his actions to fit this view. He plays the role assigned to him….

Usually, the more a child misbehaves, the more people scold, punish or reject. And then the more firmly entrenched his inner conviction becomes that he is “bad”. Chronic misbehavior can be rooted in a damaged view of self, but low self-esteem is not the only cause of misbehavior.

The youngster with high self-esteem is rarely the problem child. He walks, talks, works, learns plays, and lives differently from the one who dislikes himself. His inner security radiates outwardly in his actions. As adults, such individuals are better able to work constructively on the problems and inequities that exist in our world.
Their solid cores free them to be innovators rather than hostile destroyers. The child with self respect is likely to be a constructive member of society.

Now I know why it’s not good to “label” children (“you’re a bad child”, etc.)…because they live up to the label. Once, an aunt (I shall not name names!!!) labeled Paul a “bad boy” because he refused to do something. That incident surely raised the ire of my folks and I. No one has a right to call him names. S and I try very hard not to do it. What we tell him what he did (an action) was not nice.

Anyway, that’s beside the point… =) Just wanted to say that…it’s hard pala to raise kids!!! Hahahahaha! (Should have thought about that before we had them, no?) But those two boys, man, they mean the world to me! Plus my 3rd boy, of course…S.


About jencc

a constant work-in-progress View all posts by jencc

7 responses to “Children Don’t Come with a Manual

  • steve

    of course, maraming mga losers (need more hints???) diyan sa tabi-tabi who think na tama mag-label ng mga ganyan. pathetic sila. hahaha.


  • simply me

    true, true! sabi ren yan ng pari mismo. never say na ur child is stupid. cause sooner or later, he will believe na stupid sya. at magiging stupid na nga sya kahit hindi. =(

  • Beautiful Grandma

    I remember I did mention that to you many times, never label a child even if he does something wrong….just explain to him….Fr. Nebres told us at one forum that no one is born bobo….so we have no right to say to our children that bobo ka….or if the kid is having difficulties in math, we just cannot simply say…lahi naman natin mahina talaga tayo sa math….it takes hard work to achieve what we what…the kid will grow up with the label given to him……I have other comments but I rather email that directly to you…..just find out…

  • Beautiful Grandma

    Yes, you always learn something new in seminars or talks…..that’s why I attended all the talks given by Xavier School all the 13 years Steve was there….I find them very useful.

  • steve

    of course, maraming mga losers (need more hints???) diyan sa tabi-tabi who think na tama mag-label ng mga ganyan. pathetic sila. hahaha.


  • Misis14

    jen…thanks for the book recommendation. my 2 yr old bebe is getting to be a handful. i’m scared of making mistakes in disciplining her.

  • sunnyday

    hello jen,

    i came across your blog and found your posts interesting. cute baby, too =)

    i have some links in my blog “Live and let them live” that you may find useful. a number of them focus on family, parenting and baby care, but if you find that there are too many to navigate through, you can simply go through the posts. =)

    have a fine weekend!

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