Saturday, August 15, 2009

Thoughts from A Single Parent - Part II

Today I got angry at Zion for being such a devilish little monster. He was throwing tantrums, screaming at the top of his voice, hurling his slippers and toys the way a ninja throws his shuriken (i.e. a ninja's deadly star-shaped weapon) during a fight. The reason for his going berserk? He just wants to watch Spongebob Squarepants… the whole day. Today I realized something. It is difficult to combine a mother’s compassionate nature, with the natural disciplinarian role of a father.

In our culture, it is expected for the mother to be the “soft” one – the family’s source of compassion, gentleness, and the calming breeze that soothes and relaxes the home. On the other hand, our culture dictates that the father should be the firmer one – the family’s source of strength, discipline, and the force that keeps the family going. This is how the traditional Filipino family is structured. This is the traditional family setup which dictates that the yin and yang roles of the father and the mother should be endowed on two separate individuals which are joined together in marriage. This is one dilemma a single parent like me faces. It is heart-breaking for any mother to spank and reprimand one’s child, no matter how impish the kid is. Blood has always been thicker than water. However, it would also be heart-breaking for any mother to see one’s child grow up as an irresponsible adult despised by society, because the child was not brought up properly. As a single parent, it is painful for me every time I have to spank Zion’s tiny hands even if he hurled his toys at me. As a mother, it hurts to verbally reprimand a 3-year old boy even if that 3-year old boy screams his lungs out because he’s not allowed to watch Spongebob 24 hours a day. Somehow, despite their kids’ obnoxious behavior and tantrums, a mother always has a heart for her little ones. But as a single parent, I know that I would rather spank my son’s hands now (and instill in him discipline) than to see those hands in handcuffs in the future. I would rather verbally reprimand my son now (and tell him he’s wrong) than to hear other people throw negative criticisms about him when he grows up. I would rather see him crying now because we are trying to straighten his ways, than to see him grieving in jail in the future because of the lack of discipline when he was young.

Indeed, it is difficult to be a mother and father rolled into one. Not only on the financial aspect. But even on discipline matters. But at the end of every “bout” Zion and I have, I always try to explain myself to my son, "Love does not mean I will always allow you to have what you want. It doesn’t mean that I won’t enforce discipline whenever it is needed. Love means that I will try to raise you the best way I could, to make you a better individual, a God-fearing person, and a productive citizen of this nation."...

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sis,

    *hugs*. I know how it feels kahit na hindi ako single-parent.

    I'm sure, God is with us when we discipline our kids to help them understand more what we are doing, that what we did is really for them and not for us.

    Kudos to all moms out there!