Leading the next generation

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By Thad Mangalino, The Inner Game

Nothing could ever prepare me for becoming a parent; my only reference of being a great father was watching Cliff Huxtable (Bill Cosby’s character on The Cosby Show), Tony Micelli (Tony Danza’s character on Who’s The Boss?) and of course John Puruntong (Dolphy’s character on John en Marsha). I discovered that there are so many resources available on parenting, when my wife told me that we were expecting our first child. I went and sourced out books on parenting and crammed all the information, I knew I had a few months to get the knowledge and have everything ready when Zoe arrives.

As soon as the doctor handed me my daughter and seeing her all wrapped up in a blanket and looking straight back at me, my mind went blank and all the theory I learned went out the window. In that hospital, I remember a passage that I read in Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” But there was an internal conflict happening within me, as I am sure many of you readers have the similar upbringing and can relate to what I am saying. I was raised in the old-school Filipino way. Not that there is anything wrong with it, but I experienced it first hand and I saw how that way worked and how it didn’t.

As the years go by, it has been a bit of trial and error. I have tried to use the entire arsenal in my tool-kit and my six-year-old daughter replies with “Dad, stop Tony Robbins-ing me.” I decided to re-frame my approach to parenting by just focusing on three key words:

Modeling: I realised that a good example is worth a thousand sermons. What I do has more impact on my child than all the lectures I could ever give.

Management: Good management is the ability to discern my child’s uniqueness and teach him/her accordingly. I present it in a way they can understand. I adapt my style depending on my child’s temperament and wiring.

Memories: I strive to create memories. Why? Because memories are more important than things. Note that the verse says, “When he is old, he will not depart.” This implies that the child retains some memories of his/her early experience and embraces them later in life.

I know that the job of a parent is hard and an extra thumbs up to those single parents doing it on their own. I believe that being a parent is the most important role a person can ever have, the future of humanity lies in the way you raise your child. Teach them to grow up to be outstanding citizens who contribute positively to society. Maybe this is what is what Robert Baden-Powell meant when he said, “Leave this world better than you found it.”
Until next time, STAY FOCUSED.

(For comments or feedback, email thad@firmfocuspt.com)

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