Raising Children to Be Adults

Read my guest post at “Don’t Mess with Mama!”

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I’ll be the first to admit, I struggle a lot with my kids. I recently read an article about why American children are so spoiled and it really got me thinking…

I was raised in a Filipino household and was expected to get good grades, excel in my extracurricular activities, do our chores and go to church. When I was 8, I learned to cook and started switching housecleaning and laundry duty with my sister every other week. If I misbehaved, I was spanked or got a really good “talking to” (and God forbid I ever made that mistake again). I was not rewarded by my parents for my accomplishments nor was I ever given allowance. Chores were done because it was my duty and contribution to the family.

I took piano lessons, dance lessons, and sketched and painted a lot. Even though I thought I was pretty darn good, my parents didn’t over-praise my abilities nor did I expect praise. There was always this unsaid sense of, “That was good…but I’ve seen better.” My ego was never badly bruised. It only made me want to try harder.

Now that I look back, my sister and I were spoiled. We went out to eat every Sunday after Mass. We got most of the toys that we asked for (but we didn’t ask for a lot). We drank soda, ate junk food and had fast food at least twice a week. My parents never led it on that it was a reward for being compliant kids. I just thought my parents were being nice to us. We always sought their approval and their “being nice to us” seemed to be it.

Forward to today: I have two sassy young girls who respond negatively to discipline. Our house is a disaster and the kids don’t seem to care that they can’t have friends over because of the mess. Where did I go wrong? Did I not learn anything from the way I was raised? I’m struggling with raising my kids with today’s standards and going back to the way I was raised and be that “Tiger Mom.”

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