Stop Interfering with Your Child’s Childhood

Hello everyone,

It’s been a long while since I last wrote but I will do my best to post at least once a month or as often as writer’s block will allow me.

You are probably wondering: isn’t the point of parenting to interfere with your child’s upbringing? I submit that it’s not.

I was watching Dr. Phil the other day and he said that “the purpose of parenting is to prepare children for the next stage in life”. This is true but you also have to balance that with allowing your children to enjoy THIS stage of life. I, along with many other children, had an imaginative spirit, which was also met with the often disdained reply:

“Grow up”.

If your child is under the age where they can drive, this is an unnecessary comment. It is comments like these that make adults resent their parents because they didn’t have a childhood. Life is too short not to enjoy it, especially with having a period of life without worry.

I would also argue that it’s important for a child to develop their own judgment of character. If you see that Sally is not being a good friend to your child, only interfere if the behaviour is very serious. By simply saying, “You are not playing with Sally anymore”, your child resents you for a lack of independence and they are deprived from valuable life lessons. Instead, ask your child why they are upset and what they think they could do if someone isn’t nice to them. You can also give examples from when you were younger and that way you are a role model, not ruling with an iron fist but rather with guidance.

This translates into when your child is ready to date. Heartbreak is going to happen and your child is going to get hurt. I never learned anything from anyone telling me that I should break up with my exes. I learned from evaluating those situations and knowing what to look out for. Compared to 5 years ago, I have a better judge of character and that came from experience, not instructions.

Children are meant to live, laugh and grow. Growing is only through learning. Trust the process.

Sincerely,

The Modern Day Fairy Godmother

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How To Get Through A Rough Patch 

Hey everyone! 

It feels so good to be back. I have been busy but I have also been learning. Next weekend will mark Superman and I’s 3rd anniversary. Although we are very happy, we have also had our challenges. 

Rough patches are a matter of growth: either growing together or growing apart. Both are valuable learning experiences but what if you want to get out of one? 

Firstly, in order to succeed as a couple through a rough patch, it takes TWO people to make it work. Otherwise, just end the relationship now. Having one person do all the work is like a seesaw just becoming an upright stick in the sand. 

Secondly, evaluate your self-respect. If you feel like being with this person equates with diminishing your self-worth, you deserve better. Even though relationships are selfless, they must also be selfish. Is this relationship benefitting you mind, body and soul? If it’s not, they are not the person for you. 

Thirdly, assess the underlying interests. Do you think that there is a lack of respect? Are you going through a rough time in your life? Do you feel unappreciated? You can’t beat around the bush with these. By being open and honest, you can achieve mutual understanding and resolution.

Finally, give things both space and time. If you both love one another and are willing to put in the work, success is possible. It won’t happen overnight but it can eventually work. 

As the song goes, “just the two of us. We can make it if we try”. 

Sincerely, 

The Modern Day Fairy Godmother 

Both Teacher and Student

Love was a self-educated concept. 

I grew up in a house that was ruled under an iron fist. The motto was ” Do as I say, not as I do”. I guess they meant well but were they role models for learning about love? Not really.

Everything got framed around a warped definition of unconditional love. The screaming, the derogatory comments, the infidelity, the corporal punishment and the heavy manipulation. Yup, these “mere imperfections” could all be ignored because we all love each other. 

This illogical reasoning allowed me to excuse abusive behaviour from both love interests and relatives. It was only after years of advising others of their own self-respect and self-worth that I had a realization:

I should practice what I preach. 

I got into my 20s, after an extremely emotionally abusive relationship, and I chose to reinvent myself. I soul searched, got into a healthier state of mind and took care of myself, encompassing everything that entailed. 

People called me a bad ass, a bitch, a selfless woman who would only intimidate men. I called it empowerment and that was the truth. 

I don’t let things go too easily, which can be my best quality and my worst fault. However, I don’t accept disrespect, even when my defence is not perfect, but can you blame me? I had to be both student and teacher! 

By learning from myself, I achieved responsibility by owning up to my own mistakes and became my own role model. It is through this imperfect learning process that I take pride in my current success. 

Life’s good but I had to work to make it that way.

Sincerely,

The Modern Day Fairy Godmother 

Why Understanding is More Important than Agreeing

Hello everyone!

 

It has been a while since I have written and I have missed it. Has anyone else experienced the start of 2016 as nothing but go-go-go? I know I have!

I was just reflecting on the past year and speaking with my grandmother about relationships. I remembered an argument my boyfriend and I had at Subway just a few days after Christmas. I couldn’t remember what it was about, which means it probably wasn’t worth arguing over. I remember just telling him that I wasn’t a fan of something but I understood where he was coming from. He thanked me and asked me if it was so difficult for me to understand rather than creating a huge argument over something so petty?

Nowadays, we emphasize compromise in our relationships but remember to compromise and not sacrifice. It’s perfectly okay not to agree. After all, you are different people and if you were the same, you would be dating yourself.

You are going to hear opinions that will challenge your way of thinking and doing things. It’s inevitable. What matters most is that if the topic is particularly sensitive to person with whom you are speaking, it is important to empathize and show understanding. You may not agree with the actions they wish to take but if you agree with their perspective and the goodness of their intentions, understanding is crucial to building the RELATION part of your relationship. It’s not about debating; it’s about listening and giving your attention to the person.

My grandmother is going to be 70 years old next month and has been married for 54 years. She told me that in every marriage, it shouldn’t be 50-50, a man should have 51%, as the result of more financial responsibility, and a woman should have 49%. Although I strongly disagree with this theory, I understand the principle behind it as she explained further: don’t let pride nor anger get in the way of love. In this way, I revise my grandmother’s outdated and traditional theory: it should be 49-49 as there’s is going to be give and take and someone is going to use that extra 1 or 2% at times.

My grandmother says that there are five elements to a good relationship and marriage:

Patience

Cooperation

Trust

Loyalty

and Love.

Those things will never be outdated.

Sincerely,

The Modern Day Fairy Godmother

 

Is consent shaped by cultural norms?

I read this article the other day and I had to reach out to parents to ask their opinions about it. The article was about the dangers of forcing your child to hug someone. It certainly makes sense as an idea that no one should be forced to do anything. However, the action of hugging has different connotations in various cultures than it may have in North America.

In many cultures, especially European and South Asian-Filipino ones, the act of hugging is a sign of respect among family members, both immediate and extended. Some cultures will go past hugging and enact a double-cheek kiss as a greeting. It is a sign of affection intended to bring loved ones unity and strangers who are close to family a chance to enter their inner circle.

In this way, it could be perceived as an expectation and something that is encouraged. Thus, I believe that the word “force” may not be the most appropriate. I personally have never seen any parent grab their child and force them upon a person so that they can be hugged. I never witnessed not hugging someone being the grounds of a consequence such as taking away electronics or toys.

I have seen parents encourage their children to hug people after they may initially refuse and if they continued to refuse, the behaviour would be excused on behalf of fatigue, illness or temper tantrum.

The author of the mentioned article had an unfortunate case of molestation which coloured this timeless embrace. It is accurate that sexual assault cases occur the most by someone a person knows.

Therefore, is consent truly shaped by cultural norms? I argue that it is not. Hugs are consented by children because even though they are encouraged and recommended, the child gets the ultimate say in the end.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments below!

Sincerely,

The Modern Day Fairy Godmother