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 law...so 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.