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  • Should You Continue Supporting Your Parents Financially? 'Depends On Your Reality' Says Rica Peralejo

    'This is really conflicting, lalo na pagka nagka-anak kasi diyan mo naman mafi-feel na lumalaki na yung gastos'
    by Dahl D. Bennett .
Should You Continue Supporting Your Parents Financially? 'Depends On Your Reality' Says Rica Peralejo
PHOTO BY VIA INSTAGRAM /RICAPERALEJO
  • Supporting one’s parents financially is culturally ingrained in many Filipino families. This culture is partly anchored on the concept of reciprocity. 

    Parents support their children throughout their lives, so it is only natural to reciprocate their sacrifices by giving back once the children start earning. 

    Many Filipinos have no problem expressing their love for their parents through financial support, but this dynamic can change once the children start to their own families and the support you once freely gave to your parents begins to have an impact on your family’s limited resources

    To give or not to give?

    To give or not to give? How does one decide whether to continue giving financial support to one’s parents? This was the hot topic in second episode of Rica Peralejo-Bonifacio’s newest vlog on the Smart Parenting YouTube Channel titled Smart Parenting PopRica.

    Rica is currently Smart Parenting’s Editor-At-Large. “This is really a very conflicting time for a lot especially newly-married couples, lalo na pagka nagka anak kasi diyan mo naman mafi-feel na lumalaki na yung gastos,” she says. 

    Rica says she can relate to the situation because as young as 12, she has already been helping her family financially especially when her Dad’s business didn’t do well. 

    Watch the full vlog here:

    Echoing Rica’s experience were two Smart Parenting Village moms. The first mom shared that she continues to give financial support to her parents as a way of honoring them. 

    The second shared that she and her partner would give to their respective parents but only if they have extra to spare. The mom shared, “Inuuna ko pamilya ko kasi walang ibang tutulong sa amin and to end the cycle din [of giving support].” She adds that they are a family of five and she and her partner hope to have some money saved for retirement.

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    Know what is best for your context

    Rica recognizes that not all family situations are the same so some people choose to support their parents depending on their own contexts. “I have my advice but you always have to go with what you think is best for your context,” she says. 

    She goes on to acknowledges that families who continue to support their parents even if they have families of their own are doing a very honorable act. “It’s really a hard thing to do,” she says.  

    “More often than not, [pwedeng] nakakasagabal talaga ito sa buhay mo bilang may pamilya ka na rin but at the same time I see the beauty of ‘sino pa ba talaga ang tutulong sa mga tao na bumuhay sa’yo’ lalo na if you come from an ideal set of parents na kahit hindi kayo ganun kayaman noon, still they did everything to make you live a very  good life, di ba?”

    Supporting one's parents in our culture would be ideal but it can’t always be the case, says Rica.  The mom of two narrates her personal experience as a celebrity in her twenties who’s had to extend support not only to her parents, but to her three siblings as well.

    “In my mid-twenties, people were telling me that I was already giving too much to my family. [They told me that ] I should be thinking about myself also.” However, Rica says that at that time she was making enough to be able to augment the income of their family. 

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    “I would not deny that a big bulk [of the household expenses] fell under my responsibility and that was a very big thing to be thinking about in my very young years,” she shares. 

    “Pero, nung mga panahon na yun, I wasn’t taking it against them or anything.  It was more of a joy to give to my family.  And I could. There was enough—more than enough—for me to be able to treat my family that way,” she says. 

    How to make a decision

    Rica points out that conflict often begins when resources are stretched for the family of the child. “Diyan naman talaga nagkakaroon ng conflict kasi diyan mo na nga [mararamdaman] yung reality na ang resources natin ay limited.” 

    So how does one decide whether to continue giving or not? Rica dissects the situation and gives these three points:

    1. Assess your reality. 

    The first thing to note are the occurring realities [in your household] which can all be seemingly pressing. “Di ka makapag-prioritize kasi lahat immediate and urgent. ‘We need the money for our family, your parents need the money,” she says.

    In the end, one must be able to analyze his or her own family context and situation. ‘[Sometimes] the reality is we don’t have as much resources,” she stresses. 

    2. Be ready for an emotional decision.

    Guilt can easily creep in once children make that huge decision to stop supporting their parents financially. We don’t want them to feel less important but at the same time your reality seems to be leading you to take on a more practical decision. 

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    “You know it’s so easy to just decide on something based on our emotions but the reality is hindi natin nakikita ng maayos at malinaw [if we let our emotions take over our],” says Rica. The best way to deal with the dilemma she says is to take a step back especially from our emotions and look at one’s situation objectively. 

    3. Base your solution on facts.

    Again Rica reiterates the need to base your decision to give or not to give on one’s reality and context. Yes, it is true that your parents have needs but what does your own situation reflect? “[kung] yung pera mo ay hindi naman overflowing and you have a limited resource [then] kailangan natin magdecide based on facts,” she concludes.

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