I have a new yaya and it’s her first day today. Although, we loved the last one, she had to deal with personal issues. We will miss you, Ate Nene. So anyway, going back to this new yaya, she was really impressed at how well behave my daughter was. She is one of those great kids you’d see — always such a good girl. She was shocked that my little lady knew how to pack away her things, knew how to answer adults respectfully, etc. The new yaya was also amazed at how unattached my daughter was to the TV. She didn’t really care much for shows. Our daughter, also, wanted to play at the playroom more than to play with just her tablet. She loves it when people tell her stories — random stories about anything!
When people ask us how we did it, how did we raise such an amazing kid, I actually don’t know what we did well. We actually don’t know what specific things or lessons or parenting skills we have applied that contributed to making our child such a great kid with a great attitude.
What I will tell you now is what we do and what we follow in our household, and I don’t even know if this is what helped. It has worked for us, but of course, it may not work for you.
One of the things that we keep in mind at home is to do everything in moderation. We can have fun and play with our daughter, but we expect her, too, to do her share in some of the chores. “Chores” for a three year old really is just packing away her toys, helping get stuff, help put things away — those simple things. We make it clear that we can be silly and funny, but if she does something wrong or does not fulfil commitments, we switch to our serious, stern parenting modes. I think she gets it that we mean business!
Also, moderation means having boundaries with certain things and activities. When we go inside a toy store, we already set expectations. We talk to her and say that she can have just one toy or she needs to wait for the weekend for us to buy her a toy. She ends us just playing with the toys inside and she doesn’t throw any tantrums when we don’t buy her anything. Although, occasionally, she will cry when she thinks about a certain toy, but she hasn’t really cried loudly and uncontrollably inside a store.
We also teach her to commit to doing things and to be responsible for things. We bought this task chart in one of the Homeschooling Conferences that we had before. We use it now for Zeeka. If she completes tasks and fills the chart with stars for one full week, she is allowed to choose a prize. The tasks in her chart included sharing (since this is what we have noticed to be something difficult for her to do), dressing herself, brushing her teeth, taking a bath, etc. For the reward that we give, it’s normally a toy that I can afford or an app that we have to pay for. This week it was a Yo Gabba Gabba application that cost me $4.99. Haha!
We also teach her to make her own decisions. Do you know that this great kid chooses her own clothes? We don’t pick them for her. She chooses what she wants to wear on a daily basis. This little lady loves shopping, and believe it or not, she has great taste! She even has more fashion sense than me.
My daughter also has a set schedule and I encourage the yaya or anyone watching her to follow this schedule. I’m sure when she grows up, she will eventually break the schedule, but I think that having a routine instills good habits that I think she will carry on until she’s older (like taking care of her health and having enough sleep).
Making them responsible for things doesn’t make you a boring parent (I think we’re cool parents! haha!). When they are still young, my belief is that these children need to have a balance between fun and learning to handle responsibilities, and it’s our responsibility as parents to teach them to balance these things.
PS. Check out the Mommy and Me collection of Great Kids PH! Have you seen the clothes that we wore above?! It’s so cute!