Parenting Choices We Make for Our Children

By Mommy Donna and Kib - May 09, 2019

There is no such thing as a perfect formula for parenting.

We are seeing a lot of discussions on social media about raising a child.  Some people attack other people when they think that the action made is bad parenting.  On the other hand, some people show admiration to those people whom they think they raised their child well.

Fact is, social media has unleashed the best and worst in us.  We became overcritical of everything we read on the Internet and would blatantly say our opinions without considering the feelings of others.  In addition, some have become overly sensitive as well; they felt that all posts made are some sort of personal attack towards them.  

If you're a mature individual, you won't get easily offended on the things that you read online.  You can discern what is good and not.  

On this blog, I'll be discussing some of the parenting issues that somehow rift the world apart.  It caused misunderstanding and premature judgment by friends, family, and even from the people that you don't know.

A.  To Breastfeed or not to Breastfeed

When a mom is breastfeeding, some get offended especially if she is breastfeeding in public.  People say that breastfeeding should be done in private and if there is no choice, mothers should always cover when she is breastfeeding.  

On the other hand, when a mom is using bottles to feed her child, she is judged by the breastfeeding community for being an irresponsible parent.  

Until now, the question remains: Who is a better parent, the one who breastfed her child or the one who didn't breastfeed her child?

I was not exclusively breastfed by my mom, and my son wasn't either.  He was into mixed feeding until he was 11 months old.  Despite that, he grew up healthy and never got terribly sick until now.  He has a nice set of teeth and never had cavities.

What I want to say is that your choice of exclusively breastfeeding your child or not shouldn't be a measure of love to your child/ren.  It should be based if the basic needs are met--food, shelter, clothing, etc.  It should be based on the quality of time you spend with your child.  Breastfeeding has lots of economical, financial, and psychological benefits to both the parent and the child, but is not a total measure of good parenting.  Let us not look down on those parents who chose not to breastfeed their children, for sure, they also want the best for their children and they 

B.   Vaccinate or not to Vaccinate

Recently, there has been a measles outbreak in the country and parents got crazy over the issue of vaccination.  Parents have been blaming unvaccinated children as the one who spread the disease instead of showing mercy on them that they are the most prone to deadly diseases.

Vaccines have been invented by doctors and scientists to help us fight the viruses and bacteria that can cause severe harm to humans, either permanent damage or death.  However, there are some families who do not believe in vaccinations, because they do believe that these vaccines can also harm their children by incurring adverse long-term effects.

Department of Health (DOH) has a set of recommended vaccines and I do believe that all kids should have those basic vaccines.  We can avail of them for free, just go to the barangay hall to have your child enlisted.  Other vaccines are OPTIONAL, but if you have a family history of contracting such disease or if your child has a weak immune system, it's better to also have your child have that vaccine.

If money is a problem to have a complete vaccination, I guess we can find natural ways of building your immune system.  Have a healthy lifestyle, eat nutritious food and engage in physical activities, avoid food with high cholesterol, among others.  There are also studies done that exclusively breastfeeding your child also protects your child from life-threatening illnesses too.

It is really important to educate yourself in terms of taking care of your child's health and not just make any assumptions about it.  Read books (not just the articles from the Internet), attend talks, and consulting health experts will help you to be knowledgeable in taking care of your child's health.

For those who don't believe in vaccination, instead of judging them, what we can do is to show compassion and offer any assistance to keep their family in good health.  We cannot judge them for being irresponsible parents because they have different beliefs, but let's continue to be good people towards them.

C.  To Homeschool or to Regular School

While homeschooling is gaining popularity in the Philippines, there are still a lot of people who look down to families who are into homeschooling.  A lot still raise their eyebrows when they learned that Family A is into homeschooling.  They tend to question their decision to homeschool and even discourage them to continue to homeschool.

For me, homeschooling is a calling.  Not everyone can homeschool.  Whenever I am asked about homeschooling, I would always tell them to prepare for a year or two so that they would really know what they're getting into.  There is a tendency that we just get excited about the idea of homeschooling, but in reality, homeschooling is a difficult road to take.  I would always tell that it's easier to teach other people's kids than teaching your own kid.

On the other hand, regular schooled children also do well in school!  I do not look down on those families who send their kids to regular school because it works from them.  I also studied in a regular school until college so I can't see anything wrong about families choosing the usual path to education.

I guess whatever kind of educational set-up you chose for your children, as long as you know that you are providing them with the best education and a bright future, let's respect their choices.  

D.  To Taking Over-the-Counter Medicine or to Taking Alternative Medicine

These days, there is an increase of families resorting to alternative medicine instead of taking over-the-counter medicines.  Taking alternative medicine has been a long issue not only in the Philippines but also in other countries in Europe and the United States.  

People these days are now becoming more conscious of the effects of synthetic medicines to our bodies, that is why they are resorting to natural ways of healing.  However, since our government cannot regulate natural alternative medicine, some groups are campaigning against it.  In addition, people also find alternative medicine as a more expensive means of treatment as some of the plants and herbs are not readily available in the market.  

Generally speaking, whether you take over-the-counter medicine or alternative medicine, your doctor should always be consulted.  Going natural does not always guarantee good results too.  For example, we all thought that taking leafy vegetables is healthy, but it also makes our blood thick, thus it slows down circulation and clotting time is fast.  You may have normal cholesterol levels, but because of this, you might still have a stroke.  Moderation is the key.

Bottom line is, it is really difficult to take the road less travelled.  Some people would think that it is also an elitist movement and anti-poor.  People would always raise an eyebrow on the choices that you have made.  People won't fully understand the choices that you have made and even make you feel that you have made a wrong mistake.  Just remember that no matter what you do or decide on, there are always people who would always question the choices that you have made.  You cannot please anybody.

As an individual, do whatever you think will make you happy!  At the same time, do not forget to also think of others around you.  Continue to be humble and respectful of others, both online and offline.  Just be happy for whatever successes each and everyone has and be sensitive enough to also care for others.  Sometimes we might not agree with each other, but let's do maintain respect for one another.  Let's agree to disagree, okay?!

One last message: parents, you are awesome!  People might have something to say about how you raise your children, that you should follow certain norms to be accepted.  There is no such right formula for raising well-rounded children.  What works for you might not work for some.  Let's be open to suggestions but let us take it constructively.  We still have a choice if we will accept it or not but let us not take it as something

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