MOMI MUSINGS/ all you need is love.

Jun 28, 2016 | Life, Love, Only Berlin

Momi Musings:  Momi Berlin is no expert on parenting nor on child discipline.  She is guilty of being the too caring mother to her youngest son as to being too strict a mother to her eldest.

Now, Bunso has his walk-out moves and I-will-cry acts just to get his every want. Firstborn, on the other hand, has grown to be more aloof to his mother.  He always runs to and trusts  his  grandmother who gives in to almost all his wishes.

Momi Berlin does not know how she has raised Second son.  The boy is growing up to be more like her – too neat and orderly with his things.  He is too preoccupied with orderliness.  He is a perfectionist and seriously considers quiz bees and examination as important school matters.   And just like Momi Berlin, he feels anxious when he perceive things are not right or not in their proper order.   He takes rules.  He has his routine.  He is very different from his two brothers, more so to his father.

How do we discipline our kids then?

Wikipedia defines child discipline as-

Child discipline is the set of rules, rewards, and punishments administered to teach self-control, increase desirable behaviors and decrease undesirable behaviors in children.  

Rules. What are the common house rules within Momi Berlin’s household?  (1)  no TV during meals.  (2) drink milk first then pee before sleeping.  (3) no slippers inside the bedroom.  (4) turn off all electricity and unplug all those not in use.  (5) no computer games and Gameboy on weekdays.  (6) always use po and opo.  (8)  share food and toys.

The boys follow all expect for the number one rule.  Maybe because when their father is at home, he always watches TV even during meals.  And this mother hates husband for not respecting her house rule.  The kids then are not taking her rules seriously.

Rewards. Yesterday, Momi Berlin and the kids went to SM Marikina.  Momi Berlin and her mother  bought the kids some toys.  Bunso and Second son placed second in class while Firstborn ended third in class and fifth in level two’s quiz bee. The two mothers believe the boys need to be rewarded.

Bunso got a new bus matchbox. Second son got a new remote control car.  And Firstborn now owns a new Thomass and Friends train set.  All three boys are very happy with their new toys.

But husband disapproved of the toys.  He told his wife the toys are too expensive.  Mother,  regardless of the price, would buy the  toys  the kids would demand.  She reasoned out that they did take their studies seriously, thus should be rewarded.  Momi Berlin agreed, but not on buying too expensive toys, though.

Punishment. Bunso seldom gets scolded.  He seldom gets punished.  Maybe his mother would easily be moved by the little brat’s pleading eyes and too adoring smile.

Second-son must have seen how her mother dealt with his kuya.  He must have seen how harsh his father was to Firstborn.   He must have thought that imitating his mother would free him from any mistake or punishment.

Firstborn, however, has been more distant to his parents.  He can clearly narrate how his father would hit his chest so hard he would cry for hours.  He deals with his mother with caution because his mother would easily flare up when he say something wrong.  He is  closer to his grandmother who showers him with food, toys, kisses and smile.  He lives with his grandmother now.

Now, his mother is working every inch to be closer to her Firstborn.  Even husband is trying to bridge the gap and be extra attentive to his firstborn son.

guinea-pig

lesson learned: my kids are no guinea pigs

So how would you discipline your children?  How would you explain to them the whats and whys of those rules?  At to what extent should the punishment and reward be?  Will there always be a guinea pig  as a test subject?  And in our case, poor firstborn suffered from our little knowledge on child discipline.  (Guinea pigs  have been used in biological experimentation since the 17th century.)

In Momi Berlin’s household, there are still house rules.  But unlike before, she now explains each rule and lets her children imagine the bad consequences of not following such rule.

Dealing with her kids also taught this mother that verbal praises are a powerful reinforcer.  And looking hard or staring blank on their eyes may be a sufficient punishment on its own and need not be accompanied by any scolding

She still gives a few coins to the boys for every done task.  Second son still religiously keeps everything inside his coin bank.  He has his own small notebook too where he records all his deposit transactions.  He is that organized.  Firstborn and Bunso, on the other hand, prefer to go to the nearest store ASAP to buy candies.

016

the coin bank and self-made passbook of second son

On Fridays, the husband would fetch Firstborn from the big house so the boy could spend his weekends with his brothers and parents. Husband is strict that his family shoumd attend mass together every Sunday morning.

And most importantly, Momi Berlin learned her lesson the hard way. Now that she somehow regains a good relationship with her Firstborn, she is extra careful not to repeat the same mistake again.

* Many of the writings I found while I was cleaning my knick knack box. Written last February 9, 2011.  A reminder to this mom that  — 

Again, Momi Berlin isn’t an expert on child discipline.  But being a parent for 14 years has helped her realize-

being a parent is one easy task.  Child discipline and parenting is an enjoyable task as well.  ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE TO SPEAK SOFTLY, MOVE GENTLY, AND THINK WISELY. 

33 Comments

  1. Louisa Mercado (@2livelovelaugh5)

    I loved that you shared something so personal and intimate. I’m not sure I could be as courageous as you. I tend to keep these things to myself and end up bursting when it’s just too much. Usually in the shower crying and almost always one of the kids knock on the door. I can relate. It’s harder with the first born. They seem to be the ones we do a trial and error on. In some ways I’m lucky. My eldest doesn’t distance himself. In fact he does the opposite but at the same time he always tests boundaries which really gets to me. My 2nd is also the most organized and doesn’t want things out of place. The teens say I spoil bunso. It might be a little bit true… Hope to see you soon and catch up!

    Reply
    • momi berlin

      Thank you for the kind words. Haha, husband says I spoil our Bunso as well. Going out and attending to some blogging events have been a therapeutic way to cope up with stress somehow. Hope to see you as well- soon.

      Reply
  2. Eva Rabinovich

    Wonderful story, learning kids of discipline is essential in their education, and also decides what kind a person they will become when they grow up. Reward and punishment method must be dosed with patience otherwise it can produce negative effects. Child must understand that he will be rewarded if he accomplish goals and it must be goal which your child can reach. If you set up goals which you reached in past that don’t mean that your child can…

    Reply
    • momi berlin

      Thank you for this thorough response. Appreciate this.

      Reply
  3. Diedre

    The one thing I try to do is be consistent. I have 1 very strong willed child, so that’s the #1 priority for my husband and i.

    Reply
    • momiberlin

      It is oftentimes advantageous to have one child only. Youre focus on hia needs and even wants. Good to hear the only child is strong willing. He must have the support and encouragement of his parents.

      Reply
  4. alexanderqsmommy

    I try to be consistent. My daughter knows the rules and is usually pretty good about following them.

    Reply
    • momiberlin

      Hurray to the daughter. I believe being consistent creates a pattern that kids tend to follow and get used to. That is one nice way to deal with kids.

      Reply
  5. themodestfoxpr

    Not a mommy, but I will pass this on to family members and friends, since I find your method very useful!

    Reply
    • momiberlin

      Thank you for that 🙂

      Reply
  6. Carola

    I love that you are so open in this blog! I’m sure you’re helping a lot of parents by doing so. To show how you did it and show your doubts. I’m not a parents but it must be really hard sometimes.

    Reply
    • momiberlin

      Yes, there are times you just want to explode but with patience and love, your senses will be back and tell you to be calm and deal with things calmly.

      Reply
  7. Nilyn Matugas

    Sis, this is very deep, I can’t fathom this! They all look smart for me! My impression to your 1st and 2nd is they’re like nerds, like super smart boys! Daniel on the other hand is more “pa-cool” ang effect. Yael, of course, the apple of the eyes because he looks like a fragile being, very fragile! Speaking of discipline, I remember, yesterday afternoon, I had to spank Nate’s hand. I have a spanky and he doesn’t like me getting the spanky. Yesterday, twice nya talaga napagbuhatan ng kamay tita nya, so I had to make a few soft spanks. I don’t think he was hurt by the spanking, it was more emotional for me, I believe. And I was hurt too but I told him I had to do it and hugged him after. Sobrang hirap magdisiplina. Ay naku, novel na ‘to! See you later! muah! hehe.

    Reply
    • momiberlin

      Haha. Yes, sometimes, especially if the boys are becoming teenagers na, they tend to explore on their own. They are just too secretive that you dont know whats inside their head. You dont know if they understand you or otherwise thus you would want to resort to hard discipline. Anyway, with God’s help, everything will turn out fine and beautiful. See you later. 🙂

      Reply
  8. Mommy Queenelizabeth

    Interesting story Mommy. I find the coin bank and improvised passbook cute! I think i should be doing that too, for myself. Lol! Kidding aside, discipline entails a lot of responsibility.. It could make or break our kids self esteem and other aspects of their maturity. When it comes to discipline there’s just one thing that i always remind myself.. Rules without relationship = Rebellion
    Relationship without rules = Chaos
    Relationship + Rules = Respect and Responsibility
    Favorite equation of all time…

    Reply
    • momiberlin

      Love that equation. I will always keep that in mind. And thank you for sharing that.

      Reply
  9. Kris

    I’m no expert with child discipline since I don’t have any kid. I guess I’m the one learning from this post. I like the way how you try to patch the gap with your eldest as well as the reward system. 🙂 Im not sure if it’s true but according to theory, if a child was toilet trained early, they tend to become more neat, OC on things when they grow up..perhaps bunso was toilet-trained early? 😉

    Reply
    • momiberlin

      Haha, i cant even remember anymore how we potty trained him. But I certainly agree with you on the toilet train theory.

      Reply
  10. Bea

    It’s actually nice to read in a parent’s perspective. It made me appreciate my parents more. I think there’s no right and wrong in child discipline and it is a trial and error kind of thing, after all even parents are make mistakes. The good thing is that, we learned we try to make up to it. Your first child will sure understand everything in time.

    Reply
    • momiberlin

      Surely he will, in time. Thank you for hearing your thoughts. I love it when children give appreciation to their parents. 🙂

      Reply
  11. ROBERT LEE

    Momi. It is very hard. You have three children, each with their own distinct attitudes, so you deal with them differently, and that is beside the fact that situations change. How you treat one differently is seen as favoritism by young children.

    I think it is time to ask elder for advises on dealing with bunso, get him involved and empowered. BUT, be sure to lead plan of action to allowing bunso to cry without being scolded and only until he stops crying then you talk to him gently even if he may not understand now.

    No words out of parent’s mouth due to being angry 🙂

    Reply
  12. John Rodgers

    I just can’t imagine trying to raise a child today. When my wife and I were children the world was different. We are in our mid-60s so we are now in the grandparent role which is a lot easier. I do know that the children of today have to be disciplined in a totally different manner than during our young years. Still, the best way I think is still communication. Explaining what discipline is, why it is necessary and what the child id being disciplined for is the best answer. When all else fails communication is the best answer.

    Reply
    • momiberlin

      I agree on the communication. Still the best. Thank you and enjoy the grandkids.

      Reply
  13. theresa

    I now have a son and I am already thinking how to deal with him in the future. Being a teacher to Junior high school students makes me think on how to discipline him too. I have a lot of hard-headed students and I am already imagining if my boy will be like one or no. Hopefully not. I want to establish rule on him also.

    Reply
    • momiberlin

      Hopefully not and definitely not, I believe. We have the love and good intention for our kids so we are capable of disciplining them in a gentle and loving way.

      Reply
  14. Kareen Liez

    Child discipline is indeed challenging especially that it will have a huge impact on the personality of our kids. But I also feel that all we need is love in order to set things right. Sometimes, my way of disciplining my daughter differs from that of my husband. While hubby gives our daughter everything she wants, I would have restrictions and limitations because she needs to know that not everything is actually okay.

    Reply
    • momiberlin

      It saddens me as well if husband has his own ways to discipline our boys. But I always make him understand not to correct me or say something in front of the kids. i want my kids to trust and believe on me. But yes, love is very important and crucial as well.

      Reply
    • momiberlin

      I agree with you. Sometimes as well husband and I would have different ways. I would often tell him not to correct me in front of our kids should he find my ways different from his. I want my boys to believe and respect me.

      Reply
  15. Jessica

    A certain rule can be sound so strict and over reacting for disciple. But I guess having it could be a really help as the kids grow and learn what discipline is. Incorporating rewards and small punishments can also be done. It’s just a matter of enforcement with love. Hehe

    Reply
    • momiberlin

      Yes, I believe on the love thing. Rewards and small punishments are also needed sometimes, I believe.

      Reply
    • momiberlin

      I agree punishment and reward may help but love will always be there.

      Reply
  16. Maerose JS

    I’m sure many parents could relate to this. Usuallu, the first one receives the most strict treatment because the first born serves as a role model to the younger sibling. But because of that, they grow up to be responsible and dependent. Psychological studies also support the theories that the second born usually is the most talented and independent. In learning psychology, there are studies that suggest the use reinforcement, instead of reward and punishment. I am sad to hear that asian parents still hit their children in modern times. I know the upbringing there is different, but studies show that corporal punishmemt does more harm than good. I hope you’d get your eldest son’s approval soon! You did your best as a parent, and I’m sure that you try to be fair with all 3 children, in spite their strengths and weaknesses. My mom always told me that she focused more on my other siblings not because I was not a favorite, but because she knew I can manage on my own, with my strong personality.

    Reply
    • momiberlin

      Thank you. Most kids would mistakenly think of that as fAvoritism but then your mom is right, most parents give attention to those needing it more and not because of favoritism.

      Reply

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Motherhood, as I live it, is a gift not everyone can appreciate until she learns to truly live it. More musings and realizations, fun discoveries, and mommy tips at Momi Berlin's blog.

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