May 30, 2011

the challenges of parenthood

Last Thursday, Joaqui came home from playing downstairs near our condo's swimming pool saying that he had let a child dive in the swimming pool. I was surprised and I asked him if he pushed the child or he just asked him to dive (a mother's instinct really made me thought of that). He looked at me and said he did not push him. So I rest my case since I trusted that he was telling the truth. After a while, one of his playmates knocked at our door and told us that Joaqui did push a child into the swimming pool. I was not angry at first, but really shocked because it was the farthest thing that I would imagine him to do - pushing another child into the swimming pool. I looked at Joaqui and he just said, "Sorry mommy! Sorry mommy!" We went downstairs and I asked Joaqui to apologize to the poor boy. Good thing he was not harmed and two older boys were with him.

Of course I scolded Joaqui and explained to him of what could have happened to the boy if he drowned or bumped his head on the steps going to the pool. I was disappointed because Joaqui is a good kid and I could not remember seeing him fight or push another child, even in school. I asked him why he did it, and he said that "he wanted the child to become a fish."

As a parent this made me asked myself how could this happen despite our constant reminders about not hurting other people. And I realized that while Joaqui already has a big imagination, and as we encouraged him to be anyone he wants and to make things come out the way he wants them to be, this is the time for a reality check. Now we explain to him carefully the limits of his imaginative play - especially if it can be hurtful to others. We also lessened his time for watching DVD (he watches Superman 1 to 5 over and over) and now I only let him watch age-appropriate DVDs like Blues Clues or Hi-5. He is grounded for a week, which means he cannot go outside our house to play. And while this seems a little harsh to others, I already saw an improvement in his behavior. He is more calm and not as restless as he used to be.

Parenthood is such a challenge, but I am up for it to ensure that my little one will grow up to be a caring and well-behaved person.

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