Parenting A Kid With A Condition

“Love beyond your comfort zone.” – Homily, LaSalette priest

Any mother or father will likely agree that parenting is the toughest job ever. Man can control machines he designed. Man can control—not to mention fire—people he hired. Man can manage the business he started. Name it, man has learned to place controls on almost anything except probably nature and kids (and if I may add, the Philippines’ railway system). So far there isn’t an exact parenting blueprint that applies to all.

Parenting is and will always remain relatively tough. Technology can only do so much to aid any parent in controlling kids. Come to think of it, technology may have even added to the challenge of parental control. Show me an app that is proven to improve parenting and I promise to thank you later.

Then there’s that other factor.

If parenting a normal or an average child is already tough, more so being a mother or father of someone with a condition. The dilemma to discipline or to cut the child some slack comes into the picture.

This is how we now feel with Marcus. I consider myself a disciplinarian and my wife knows that I wouldn’t pass on an opportunity to lecture our kid. However, with us discovering that he has DMD made me step back. It makes me wonder though if such is a good idea after all. Marcus now spends longer time with his gadgets and games. He is not forced to wake up early. He is not required to run around to exercise. We stopped playing football in our yard. We even have to forget–completely–about biking around the village.  In short, lesser physical activities to avoid getting him stressed out.

Chances are all these changes surprised him but I fear that it also spoiled him more because everything is now on his favor, under his own terms. I realize that this is where things could start to go wrong in the long run. So however hard it may seem, I can’t allow it to happen. A balance must be established back in some way.

How we should strike a balanced parenting with his condition factored in is something we are still trying to figure out. I believe that appropriate parenting should continue so that when that time comes we have already built a good foundation where our future relationship depends.

For now we continue to treat him as a normal kid as much as we can. While we can see that he is starting to wonder why he is not as agile as most kids do, we haven’t told him everything yet. He is still a kid who is restless, one who likes to move around whenever he feels like doing so. We can only advise but we do not suppress movement as long as we see that it won’t tire him out and make him fall uncontrollably.

Pepperoni is mine. (Photo taken by wifey @ Shakey’s)

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Serious ka na naman! (You look serious again!)” is Marcus’ new statement. First heard it after he caught me too focused on our Call of Duty game.

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Mood: 3/10 Honks! (When you listen, you learn.)

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When the Kid Gets Tough, the Parenting Gets Going

First half of July is over. And I spent majority of its days trying to figure out how to become an effective parent. This must be the longest time I can recall that I have struggled to discipline Marcus. Had I spent the same amount of energy in badminton or gym time or running instead of parenting I know that I would have improved in those crafts significantly. There’s just so much passion, so much thinking I have done since the month started but I just seem to fail. It’s a mind game—us versus Marcus—and I am starting to believe he is winning.  But I know that, however hopeless I feel most of the time, we cannot give up. There should be something up our sleeves that should address this parenting challenging. Yes, there should be because when the kid gets tough, the parenting gets going.

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Role reversal: he’s cop, I’m the bad guy (It’s just the two of us last weekend and we played his favorite Need for Speed game.)

He Created Restless Children Too

It is easier for a father to have children than for children to have a real
father.” – Pope John XXIII

How many times have we been in the church to hear mass and expecting it to be one that so solemn, it relieves us of the past week’s stresses and readies us spiritually for the next? But how many times have we been distracted by kids who have decided to make the pews and the altar their playground and tried testing whether they can generate an echo in every corner of the church? Much worse, how many times have we been the parents of these restless Sunday kids?

To answer the last question, it has been happening to us a lot lately. Thanks to our ever active son, whether he is sick or not, Marcus.

Because like karma proving itself true, I now realize that my past encounters with unruly kids and how I have secretly cursed them and/or their parents while I try to fake a smile and maintain composure as I do my Sunday prayers have finally caught up on me. I seem to now slowly accept the fact that even my most fervent prayers may not work to pacify one restless son. I am now among the helpless parents who can’t do anything but pray for divine intervention – and one that is less likely to happen at all. I think God doesn’t touch uber active children but rather he makes parents ponder what was done and what still needs to be done to produce one well-mannered kid inside the church (or any other place).

So please if ever you get to be one lucky church person, because you are
either single or married but still childless and whose only problem is if your
message to the mighty heavens gets across, please understand that if you
are annoyed by kids running uncontrollably around you, bear in mind that someone among those bowed head somewhere is a helpless and embarrassed parent of that kid and ever wondering if indeed God created restless children, too.

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Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Dear God, Thanks for Sundays.)