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  • It Took Rica Peralejo 7 Years To Become A Calmer Parent

    'It did not come overnight. They shouldn't expect themselves to get it right away.'
    by Ronna Bonifacio . Published Feb 20, 2022
It Took Rica Peralejo 7 Years To Become A Calmer Parent
  • Do you sometimes find that it’s so hard to keep your cool when you’re parenting your child? Imagine this: You’ve had a long day and you just want to relax till you realize, your wall has a new piece of “artwork” by your child. Will you get angry?

    For Smart Parenting Editor-at-Large Rica Peralejo-Bonifacio, drawings on their wall are not a big deal. To the point that their guests have commented about how evident it is. Her secret: understanding that it’s not personal, sometimes our kids just can’t help it because that’s their developmental stage.

    “Dingding lang ‘yan, pwede ko namang pinturahan ‘pag natapos na sila sa stage na ‘yan,” she says. Rica says that if once she understood what research says, “you will not take offense na it’s a personal thing. They’re not writing on a wall to make a revolution against their parents. They’re not doing that para mag-welga or mag-strike. Ginagawa nila yun kasi developmentally, nandoon sila sa stage na ‘yun.”

    But she clarifies a few things: first, not getting angry at it doesn’t mean they can continue doing it and second, she did not learn to be a calm parent overnight. It took her seven years, almost the age of her eldest son Philip who recently tuned eight years old.


    “So I'm pretty sure, ‘yung panganay ko, alam na alam niya ‘yun na nung first year ng nanay niya sa kanya, hindi ganito. Nung second year, medyo nagbago na. Third year, ay wow! Parang better. Nung lumabas ‘yung pangalawa, "Wow! So much better. So unfair!” Rica says.

    Don’t expect yourself to get it right away

    “I think, that's one thing I encourage our readers with na it didn't really come overnight. They shouldn't expect themselves to get it right away. No one gets it right away, especially, I think, for our generation,” Rica says. 

    “Maybe this generation [of parents], it would be easier for them because they're already exposed to these new parenting philosophies that were not around before,” says Rica. 

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    Gentle parenting is a popular term and philosophy among today’s parents and Rica says that while she was not raised under such practice. It is possible to learn. 

    “Imagine all the positive discipline, positive parenting, na nakukuha natin today just by going online. That wasn't like that before. You could just imagine how our own parents had to raise us na ito lang ang alam namin, wala naman kaming internet so parang dapat ‘Keep everybody in the line’,” Rica says.

    So what would have happened if Rica drew on their walls as a child? “Hindi kasi kami pwedeng mag-sulat sa dingding nung bata kami na parang papaluin ka o ‘di kaya pagagalitan ka,” she says. “And now, we get to this generation where they say, but kids, developmentally around this age, ‘yung mga small kids, they really want to write. This is actually their practice for writing.”

    ‘Iba ang pagpapalaki sa ‘yo at sa kanila’


    Rica encourages parents who want to learn to be calmer, less angry parents that it’s a process. Maybe you shouted today. Tomorrow–or maybe even an hour later–you can try again to respond better.

    Second tip is to “acknowledge that you come from a very different generation. I think, that's one of the greatest thing you can do as a parent that your kids are born in a different time and for a different time. And you were born for yours and your time is completely different from theirs.

    “Kahit pa sabihin mo na young mom ka, ibang-iba na ‘yung pagpapalaki sa'yo kaysa sa pagpapalaki sa kanila,” says Rica. She elaborates that naturally there are lessons and practices we were raised with which we can pass on if we want to. But we can also reflect on what might not work anymore.

    “You also have to learn to differentiate and discern which ones of these na ginawa sa akin na actually hindi naman pala ganu’n ka-okay. So that when you parent your own, you also are very reflective about [what you do]."

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