Reminders For My Teenage Son

The other day I had a discussion with my 13 year old son about his blatant disregard for my instructions and the PDRRMC Advisory 2: 
“Even in the absence of signals from Pagasa and in view of emerging consensus that the rains are likely further accelerate, for the safety and health of our community, we hereby order the EARLY DISMISSAL OF CLASSES in Kinder, Elementary and Highschool, private and public, in the entire province of Albay. School administrators and teachers should advise their students to no longer report in the afternoon. Parents are advised to fetch their children from school. This is an early dismissal, not a suspension, thus classes automatically resume tomorrow without need for lifting.
I came home from the office earlier than he did and so I talked to him. He was silent and at first I thought he understood why I was very mad about it. But then when he replied to me with three suggestions including transferring him to the school in our town so he would not be able to hang out with friends in Legazpi, that’s when I knew he wasn’t getting my point. And I was relentless in my desire that he understand it was not because he hang out with friends in Metro Gaisano but rather that he did despite my instructions and the advisory. There is a big difference. Any other day would have been ok but doing so despite the advisory from the governor meant that he (and the other studes) did not understand the ramifications of what they just did.

Let me remind you:

The PDRRMC Advisory 2 of early dismissal was not so you could go out with friends. They were sent out as soon as needed to ensure that you (students) would be safe at home in case anything bad or untoward happened due to the bad weather. Honestly as soon as I texted you to go home, and trusting you that you would follow, was one worry off for me. I was assured that if in anything bad happened all I had to do was take care of myself because you were home with Pappu and everyone else in the family. (Yeah right…and I also had to ask him how I would be able to trust him to do the right thing and follow clear instructions the next time?) I had to ask you several times, what if Padang happened all over again. Or worse, what if something like 9/11 happened in the Philippines? There was a reason and a basis for that weather advisory which you guys should have pondered on. 

My colleagues told me that there were so many students hanging out at the mall that afternoon and well that still didn’t make it right. They could not have understood why there was such an advisory and how their parents might have worried had they known their kids were at the mall and not at home. Yes, I should have checked but then I trusted you and you have never disobeyed me like that. My son, you are basically obedient but then I also understand that you are a teenager and I know this is the time when you will be trying out your wings. I don’t want to brag but so far nothing major, major has disrupted our lives (well other than your father not being there) and we have little skirmishes but not outright disobedience.

Time and time I have told you: The only thing that I ask of you is for you to follow my instructions and not to ever lie. And to remember that it should never be wants over needs. Something like "Expect me to get mad if you did something wrong but lying about it so I don't get mad would get you more in hot water than you already are, because somehow I will learn about it..(mother's have eyes and ears in places you wont expect) and knowing that you kept something from me or worse lied about it is a worse offense."

Thank God you understood me, realized that I wasn't just being a Hitler on you and that my love for you is the reason why I got mad. This is certainly what I hope for us in the future:

Children do know that we love them but when we reprimand you, you think we just got angry for the sake of being angry...or just being Asian Parents (check out this word at UrbanDictionary) and that's not positive for you kids these days.

Communication between parents and their children is very important. And since you turned 13, I no longer read messages from your phone but every now and then I check your online accounts not to snoop but more for security, I hate it when you add people you really don't know and see things you shouldn't. Not a prude but you are still a minor. Trust is what I always remind you of, to lose my trust by your blatant disregard for my instructions, advises and the law, would be tantamount to a jail or martial its better that we have a good relationship based on trust. Unconditional love does not entail me closing my eyes and ears just so we don't quarrel. I rather we argue loud and clear than leave you undisciplined, unruly and possibly a menace to yourself. 

25 Manners You Should Teach Your Kids

While reading some parenting articles, I read this one article about manners that I knew I had to blog about it. Kids are easy enough to teach manners, it's actually following it up that sucks. Because when they see somebody else doing something really gross but funny they tend to do the same thing...that is when it's crucial to say it is wrong. If they get away with it even just once then they will do it again.
Parents tend to let them get away with it, especially when they do it in public and some people find it hilarious. Make no mistake about it, there are people who find it really funny when a kid burps so loud, well, this still falls under manners right?

Seriously though, at my age, I still tell my dad where am going and how late I will be home and I expect my son to do the same thing...for me that is simple courtesy. And up until now, I remind my son to say thank you (he does say thank you normally but sometimes when busy he seems to forget). Not reminding him to say tabi (please) or salamat (thank you) is like making him feel that it's normal for people to do it for him when what I want him to learn is that when people do things they go out of their way to do it and deserve to be thank for that, no matter who they are, no matter the age. 

You just don't say 'please', 'thank you', 'excuse me' to your parents or the elderly but to everybody, even those younger than you. And when I say everybody it means everybody, no matter what the station is life is....respect does not mean only for the rich and the executives. Even those in cheap work clothes like the jeepney drivers, Metro Aides, your household help and everybody you meet. 

It's why I always say thank you when paying my fare and one thing I have been wanting to see in other people. I mean it is not my obligation to get your fare and pass it towards the driver so at least I deserve a thank you.. don't you think? And even the driver in cheap work clothes deserves a thank you. 

Manner #1
When asking for something, say "Please."

Manner #2
When receiving something, say "Thank you."

Manner #3
Do not interrupt grown-ups who are speaking with each other unless there is an emergency. They will notice you and respond when they are finished talking.

Manner #4
If you do need to get somebody's attention right away, the phrase "excuse me" is the most polite way for you to enter the conversation.

Manner #5
When you have any doubt about doing something, ask permission first. It can save you from many hours of grief later.

Manner #6
The world is not interested in what you dislike. Keep negative opinions to yourself, or between you and your friends, and out of earshot of adults.

Manner #7
Do not comment on other people's physical characteristics unless, of course, it's to compliment them, which is always welcome.

Manner #8
When people ask you how you are, tell them and then ask them how they are.

Manner #9
When you have spent time at your friend's house, remember to thank his or her parents for having you over and for the good time you had.

Manner #10
Knock on closed doors -- and wait to see if there's a response -- before entering.

Manner #11
When you make a phone call, introduce yourself first and then ask if you can speak with the person you are calling.

Manner #12
Be appreciative and say "thank you" for any gift you receive. In the age of e-mail, a handwritten thank-you note can have a powerful effect.

Manner #13
Never use foul language in front of adults. Grown-ups already know all those words, and they find them boring and unpleasant.

Manner #14
Don't call people mean names.

Manner #15
Do not make fun of anyone for any reason. Teasing shows others you are weak, and ganging up on someone else is cruel.

Manner #16
Even if a play or an assembly is boring, sit through it quietly and pretend that you are interested. The performers and presenters are doing their best.

Manner #17
If you bump into somebody, immediately say "Excuse me."

Manner #18
Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and don't pick your nose in public.

Manner #19
As you walk through a door, look to see if you can hold it open for someone else.

Manner #20
If you come across a parent, a teacher, or a neighbor working on something, ask if you can help. If they say "yes," do so -- you may learn something new.

Manner #21
When an adult asks you for a favor, do it without grumbling and with a smile.

Manner #22
When someone helps you, say "thank you." That person will likely want to help you again. This is especially true with teachers!

Manner #23
Use eating utensils properly. If you are unsure how to do so, ask your parents to teach you or watch what adults do.

Manner #24
Keep a napkin on your lap; use it to wipe your mouth when necessary.

Manner #25
Don't reach for things at the table; ask to have them passed.

Children are natural mimics who act like their parents 
despite every effort to teach them good manners.”
 (Author Unknown)

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