Raising our children to be God-fearing, responsible, well-mannered, productive members of society is a great challenge - so great, in fact, that many parents feel intimidated, perhaps even scared, of the fact that their parenting skills (or lack of such) can and will have a profound impact on the lives of their children.
However, doing the above feat is totally possible, with a lot of prayer, guidance, discernment and practical wisdom from fellow parents. Here, we’ve asked some parents their thoughts on teaching manners and tips on how they do it. Read on to find out more.
Christine Arteta, a work-at-home-mom to Avienda, 5, says that the use of good manners is very important in their family, “even to us parents and to our helpers, not just to the kids.” “We encourage everyone to say ‘please,’ ‘thank you,’ ‘po’ and ‘opo,’” she explains further. “We teach manners in the home by explaining its use, and, most importantly, by example.”
Mommy Christine also shares that in the case of her daughter, Avienda, the use of the trademark Filipino terms “po” and “opo” is not a strict “must-do,” since she mostly speaks English. “But now that she is starting to learn Filipino, we stress to her that ‘po’ and ‘opo’ is how you should answer politely to anyone,” she adds.
“Again, we teach her by living out and practicing what we teach. From the start, we used ‘po’ and ‘opo’ instead of ‘oo’ to teach Avienda how to use the terms properly.” However, in their family, “yes" is still acceptable when answering in English.
If Christine is not strict on using ‘po’ and ‘opo,’ it is the opposite for the Filipino custom of “mano” or seeking our elders’ “blessing” by the laying of hands on our foreheads. “Getting Avienda to ‘bless’ or ‘mano’ is important,” she explains. “It is a very Filipino tradition that we all should be proud of. It is a very good and polite way of greeting others, especially the elderly.”
On the whole, Christine thinks that Filipino parents, including those based overseas with their children, should encourage their kids to learn these “trademark” Filipino manners, they being “…some of the best Filipino manners that we should pass on to younger generations. It is also one way of showing patriotism,” she expounds. “Anything that is good is worth sharing to the younger generation.”