MOMI LEARNS| In yielding the rights of others, we may endanger our own

May 28, 2017 | Life, Only Berlin

It has been months since we started reading stories to our little man.  Often, this mother would share the lessons learned through Momi Berlin.  Today, we read the story of the Trees and the Axe.  It has such a beautiful message for us parents.  Let me share with you the fable.

The Trees and the Axe

In yielding the rights of others, we may endanger our own

In yielding the rights of others, we may endanger our own

A man came into a forest and made a petition to the Trees to provide him a handle for his axe.

The Trees consented to his request and gave him a young ash-tree.

No sooner had the man fitted from it a new handle to his axe, than he began to use it, and quickly fell with his strokes the noblest giants of the forest.

An old oak, lamenting when too late the destruction of his companions, said to a neighboring cedar:

“The first step has lost us all. If we had not given up the rights of the ash, we might yet have retained our own privileges and have stood for ages.”

The Grandmother and The Little Man

Just like any curious toddler, our 20-month-old is bursting with energy and ideas.  He loves to explore his environment and would even put anything he can hold into his mouth.  He also loves to play with his toys and often throw them when not in the mood.  Whenever my mom would see him does that, she would applaud and say “very good.”

One day, our little man visited his grandmother’s house.  My mother loves collecting fragile things and would display them in her living room.  Our little guy saw those colorful glass balls by the center table and started playing with them.  My mom, out of fear, scolded my son.  My boy, on the other hand, must have been shocked that he dropped the glass ball and it shattered into many pieces.

Moral of Aesop’s Fable

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It is sad that often, we have already seen yet tolerated the not so good acts of our children.  We simply laugh off thinking those acts were cute.  Only then when they have done something against our will would we start correcting their not so good deeds.  And often, everything’s too late.  This holds true in the case of my mother.  She did not correct my son upon seeing him throw his toys, never expecting it would backfire.


  1. Maria

    Honestly, it’s a vicious cycle for me. Our parents would think that scolding upfront instead of talking to their children is more effective. We try to apply that in our generation but since they’re kids and some may have not yet develop the skill on focusing, still have short attention span. They would just go off some place. We would get mad and could possibly and accidentally shout at them without knowing. I know I still have a lot to learn from parenting and still don’t have a family of my own but that’s how I see it. When parents say they wouldn’t spoil their kids, somewhere down the road it just happens.

  2. generosepomelo

    I am no parent yet, and the closest parenting experience for me is through baby sitting. As a parent I think, I would be a strict one since I was brought up that way. And it’s reflected in my babysitting. But that doesn’t mean I don’t recognize the flaws of old school parenting like just rules no interpretation. As much as possible, I explain to my niece or nephew why I corrected such action so that they fully understand why. However, I still need to be a parent myself to see what kind of parenting I’ll do.

  3. Thelittlelai: Beyond limitss

    This is truly something every parent could reflect on. I like the way you transmit this with us through your concise word of wisdom. Yes, I also notice that some parents just tolerate those little stuff that might be fun to look at, but it doesn’t seem to be fun in the end. I’m not a father yet and reading this has given me an idea of how I should care and train my child in the future. Thank you o=so much for sharing this with us.

  4. Nathalie

    This is precisely what I’ve been trying to tell my parents for the nth time about disciplining my kid. As much as I try to curb bad habits, they stick up for the little girl, effectively nullifying the lesson I’m trying to instill in her. It’s really frustrating. Then when the little girl acts out, they get mad as if it’s all my fault. Tsk. So hard to raise parents. 😛

  5. Ana

    I’m not a parent yet but I completely agree with you. And you couldn’t have chosen a better fable to illustrate this point. This applies not only to parenting but everything in general. By tolerating wrong actions, we are allowing the possibility of those wrong actions being directed towards us some day.

  6. Eleanor Llabore

    I love my son but I never tolerated his wrongdoings ever since he was a child. He learned to obey when I say no. We always have a “small talk” so he knows why I am not allowing his request. I believe parenting is the most challenging but fulfilling responsibility.

  7. Teresa Dumadag

    I agree with you. It all boils down to consistency, too. Everyone should be on the same page. That way, the kids would not be confused on what is right and wrong.

  8. Maaya Legaspi

    Parenting is tricky. There are many ways to raise kids and at some point, a parent might miss something as this is a tough job. I like how you always relate your stories to different fables. It makes reading you blogs fun. But yes, i am not yet a parent but if I were, I would probably get lost along the way.

  9. Martine

    Ah, the conflict I can relate with all too well. I have to communicate my stand on discipline very clearly to my kids grandparents. It’s been better, now that I have clearly made my stand. There is respect for me as a parent, as an equal, not just as a daughter or daughter-in-law. I agree also that consistency makes for an easier time with the kids.

  10. wishingbelle

    It seems like that it’s always like that – grandparents are too loose in disciplining the grandchildren as compared to parents. Maybe they feel old to get too attached and have no energy that much on the rigors of “real” parenting. That’s why they tend to relax. Strict or not, it’s really up to us parents how we’ll instill good lessons to our kids. That Aesop fable is so good to illustrate how we should be as parents. Nice post!

  11. Me-An Clemente

    This is quite a story and it’s great that you were able to connect the fable in real life. Although when your mom just laughed at the bad deed of your son and backfired on her, I hope the glass balls weren’t super precious that couldn’t be replaced. Or I hope the value isn’t too expensive. We really have to correct children while they are still in their formative years so they will learn to value their stuff.


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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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