How Filipino Kids Are Raised (0-2 yrs)

A reader asks: "How do you raise Filipino kids in the 0 to 2 years old age range?"

Answer: They're raised, rather, treated like gods.

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These children are babies who are quite dependent on parents for food, drink, and diaper changes. They walk on their own (1.5 to 2 yrs old), sometimes unsteadily, and they naturally attract protective arms that shield them from furniture bumps or accidental tumbles.

These children are taught tricks like "where's the light?" and they learn that they can easily make adults laugh. These children learn how powerful a simple smile, an "I love you", a flying kiss, or a "No" can be.

My son Adi (7 yrs old) asked me if Ali (2 yrs old) was the Master and if the rest of us were slaves. I guess it can be frustrating to have to yield all your toys to your kid sister, but not have the chance to borrow her things (i.e., books) just because she doesn't want to share.

It must be tough having to "understand" the behavior of a sibling just because she's so young and probably doesn't know any better.

Adi: Was I ever treated like a Boss?
Me: Yes, when you were Ali's age.

So that's how Filipino kids aged 2 years old or younger are raised, at least as far as I'm concerned. You try to instill some discipline, without being harsh. You try to establish controls, without depriving the child too much. You try to reason, without being long-winded.

Yet in the end, you weakly smile and just give way.

And you smile even more broadly when you realize that they won't be two years old forever. ;-)
[ First posted on 05/20/2004 by Manuel Viloria ]

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