Only Child Syndrome by Renell Pacrin
Mima’s Homey princess’ is an only child. She grew up with full of love and with everything she can possibly have. It’s not our plan to have an only child, but we are so blessed and grateful to have a talented, sweet, intelligent, lovely, courageous daughter. As an only child, she didn’t grew up spoiled, self-absorbed, and lonely. And as a first time mom, I was overwhelmed thinking how huge responsibility I have after giving birth and became a full pledge parent.
I have considered myself fortunate because I have a very loving and supportive family, my mother lives with us and my sister (and her family) lives next door. They have given me all the help and support since the day our princess arrived. Somehow, they have contributed to overcome my fears of parenting, how will I discipline our daughter, how will I teach her to be a God-fearing person, will I be a good mom? As a mother, it always concerns me of our daughters’ healthy growth and development, safety, how she feels about herself, and how can we best support her.
We didn’t raised her by the book and/or using a parenting style. We might have had shortcomings, but I can proudly say that we did well. What I have experienced with my parents, together with my aspirations when I was a child, guided me in raising a wonderful daughter. And this is how we did it —
Unintentionally to be an only child, our daughter didn’t grew up alone and considered her cousins as her real sisters and brothers. We always let them play and spend time together. Whenever my sister buys clothes and shoes, they are not only for her children but she also includes my daughter. Whenever my sister’s family goes out for swimming or gathering they always invite me and my daughter to join. Seeing my daughter having so much fun with her cousins is priceless. Sibling figure eradicated the tendency of our only child to be self-centered and lonely.
Talent and Skills Development
Before reaching age one, most infants shows amazing developments – teething at five months old, walking at eight months old, winks both eyes if you say “beautiful eyes”, plays close-open hands, and others. But our princess is different unlike most babies with those early skills development. When she started studying, that was the time when we have discovered and supported her talent and skills development. At age six, she excelled in piano lessons and by learning how to read notes, she learned how to play ukulele and guitar by herself. We have enrolled her in piano lessons during summer, as well as provided her art materials to continually encourage and enhance her art/painting innate talent. She almost pursued Fine Arts studies when she passed the UPCAT (University of the Philippines College Admission Test). And when she first tried to do face painting, we became stunning models!
My husband and I are shy-type person, though we have circle of friends but we don’t have that much people skills. With this kind of personality, which our daughter might inherit, we have to be mindful with the way we interact with our princess. How we’ll upbring her will influence her for the rest of her life. When she was eight years old, we enrolled her in the Center for Pop Music. It helped her opened up, gained self-confidence, conquered stage fright, made many friends and interactions, and indeed improved in her deportment subject remarkably.
I cannot forget the day when our princess came home from school a bit sad and told me that her classmate said to her “kawawa ka naman, mahirap ka”. Instead of sympathizing with her, I smiled telling her that having no PSP, MP3 player, Nintendo, huge television, and others, doesn’t mean you’re poor and reminded her that she have much better toys than those. Instead of giving her these game gadgets (which tends children to become potato couch), we gave her activity books and engaged her with summer activities such as baking, swimming, and piano lessons, as well as DVCS (Daily Vacation Church School). We also tried to learn self-defense and MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) when she was in senior high school. For what it’s worth, she was able to developed a good study habit with undivided attention caused by game gadgets and television.
One valuable thing to teach a child is to have an open communication with trust and strong faith. This is proven in my motherhood experience. A well-explained reason and calm conversation, instead of lifting a finger, made our daughter grew up without tantrums. Trusting her to be on her own at young age, made her emotionally strong, independent, and excellent at making smart decisions. What we did are not really something to do with the only child syndrome, it was not our concern, but for our daughter to be an independent, well-rounded person.Renell Pacrin, Mima’s Homey
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About the Author:
Renell A. Dela Cruz – Pacrin is a development worker (support staff) for seventeen years who loves to cook and bake. She earned a degree in Secretarial Administration and passed the NC II (National Certificate) in Bread and Pastry Production. During her free time, she bakes cookies, cakes, and pastries, mostly for her lovely daughter’s packed snacks, family occasions, and sometimes made to order. Currently self-employed, she focuses more on her spouse’ van rental business, home duties, exploring handicrafts, and taking care of the homey.