Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Bringing up teenagers

Just when you thought you have it down pat, your child's teen years arrive and suddenly, everything changes. What worked before won't work now as your child tries to assert his independence.

I'm glad there are resources out there for parents of teenagers today. One of them is the book Parenting Teens written by Evelyn Ramos Pajaron with her husband Teody (published by Church Strengthening Ministry, 2009, 267 pp.).

In it, Evelyn and Teody of Campus Crusade for Christ go personal and talk about how they raised their kids Charissa and Hesedel during the tumultuous teenage years. Both of them write from the heart as they share lessons learned in communicating with their teens, handling boyfriend/girlfriend issues, talking about sex, dealing with teens' need for gadgets (they're the I.T. generation after all), setting boundaries, disciplining, having debut parties and celebrating their teen's passage into manhood (turning 21) and the clincher--letting go. What I like about the book is that the authors don't "preach down" to their readers. They just tell it like it is, the way you would talk with your close friend over coffee. Another plus: it's written by Filipinos and they wrote it with the Filipino culture in mind.

Some gems from the book:

* "Mothers cannot and were never meant to do parenting all by themselves. And this is especially more important during the challenging teen years. Fathers play such an underrated but extremely crucial role in the home."

* "He (God) is our partner in rearing and dealing with our teenagers... He loves them with a passion more than we do, and the love that we feel for our children is nothing compared to His love and His wanting the best for them."

* "If we don't take the lead in teaching our children the right view of sex as God's gift to be enjoyed within the bounds of marriage, they will acquire our hang-ups and adopt the world's view of sex."

* "If we want our homes to be a place where our teens hang around, then we need to loosen up, relax, and see humor in our everyday lives."

* "[Make] them feel they are loved regardless of how they behave... Try to get into their world once in a while. Listen more and talk less."

VERSE OF THE WEEK: Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye. Proverbs 7:2

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Cough remedies

It's been two weeks of flu season at home, and at last (hopefully), the coughing sounds will fade out in a day or two. My son and I have been taking turns coughing by the minute before, as Solmux (a mucolytic) worked overtime to help us expel sticky phlegm. "What such phlegmatic personalities we have," I thought in jest.

You'd think by this time I knew what to do. Well in a way, yes (rest, drink lots of liquids, consult a doctor, take lozenges). But there are some other things I didn't know I could do, as my friends and family shared some interesting cough remedies you may want to consider the next time you have some serious lung-busting cough:

1. Bayabas gargle. Boil guava leaves and gargle the juice. (from Veron)
2. Garlic juice with honey. Pound garlic, pour water on it and some honey. (from Excel)
3. Oregano juice. Squeeze oregano leaves to get a teaspoon or two of liquid and drink it. (from Aileen)
4. Hot water. Just drink a cup of hot water to soothe sore throat. (from Weng)
5. Hot calamansi juice. (from our household helper who banned Coke at this time)
6. Bactidol gargle. (forgot who)
7. Hot apple cider vinegar (from my parents' book The Home Remedies Handbook)
8. Pei Pa Koa candies. (from my sister)
9. Ginger tea (salabat) (from my other sister)

Ginger tea or salabat

10. Lemongrass tea (from Leah)
11. And the clincher: Tequila. "Isang shot lang, tanggal lahat yan," said Paul.

We only tried numbers 4 and 5 due to supply problems (our guava tree was uprooted many years ago; no oregano, apple cider, Pei Pa Koa, Bactidol, tequila sighted at home, et cetera). I was supposed to meet up with Excel for a taste test of the garlic juice with honey, but didn't get around to doing it. It was mostly just Solmux and Tuseran for us, and when those didn't work, Robitussin DM and Amoxicillin. And lots of prayers and good wishes from wonderful friends.

But our cough's almost gone, our voices kinda back, and we're up and about. :-) At last. Thank God for His blessing.

: Do you dread going back to work on Mondays? Then maybe it's time you pick up the book Thank God It's Monday by Kim Hackney (Lighthouse Books, 2003). Geared for women, the book tackles your purpose at work, and how you can celebrate it. Many times, we are full of complaints ("If only they paid me more," "If only I had that position," et cetera) that we miss out on God's blessing of success. A chapter at the end gives tips on how to look for the right job and evaluate job offers.

VERSE OF THE WEEK: This is what the LORD says--your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: "I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea." Isaiah 48:17-18

Friday, April 02, 2010

6 life lessons from a woman with a planet named after her

If you had a planet named after you, and a stage on which you can stand on and share what you want new high school graduates (and their parents, guests, and ok, the whole wide planet Earth) to know, what would you say?

Dr. Josette Biyo, outstanding educator and first Asian recipient of the Intel Excellence in Teaching Award given at the 2002 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Kentucky, USA, took such an opportunity last Wednesday, March 31, 2010 when she addressed the pioneer graduates of Malayan High School of Science at their commencement ceremony at RCBC Plaza in Makati City. Dr. Biyo is now director of the Philippine High School of Science, Western Visayas campus.

Here are Dr. Biyo's advice and life lessons, things which she herself follows.

1. There is no shortcut to success. Don't cram. Submit your requirements on time.
2. Love what you're doing. When you love to learn, studying is easy.
3. Don't be afraid to commit mistakes. Committing mistakes is one of the best ways to learn.
4. Follow the golden rule.
5. Have a dream. "I dreamt of stars. I was given a planet," said Dr. Biyo. To honor her achievements, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology named a minor planet (12341) as Planet Biyo. She said, "I invite you all to visit the planet. No visa required."
6. Always pray. Pray when you can't understand your lessons, when you're confused, and to thank God for His blessings.

Dr. Biyo revealed that she lives by these truths too. She remembers teaching in a small rural school at one time and found herself handling not just science subjects, her forte (she was a BS Biology graduate of the University of the Philippines), but also physical education, and even Citizens Army Training (CAT). These instilled in her the values of service and compassion as she negotiated the long road to success.

Wise words, aren't they? Applicable to people of all ages, graduates or not.

BOOK OF THE WEEK: I've had the little book Train Up a Child by Harold Sala for several years now, and it's good to keep rereading it as one's child grows. As he wrote, "Realize that the training of a child begins at birth and never stops." The book talks about the importance of communicating with our children, disciplining them, how to convey values, among others.

: You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3