Jul 18

Would I Rather Have a Son or a Daughter?

In some countries, culture dictates the type of family you should have. A family in the western world, as where we are, acknowledges the value of both male and female offspring, as they have all the chance in the world to prove themselves and the opportunities are equal, somewhat. However, in other parts of the world, female offspring have no chance of surviving a harsh and cruel reality forged by elderly belief.

I do not condemn these practices, but culture and society have an effect on the formation of families in the world. However, the last say always remains with the parents. Some couples want to have a son alone, because he could provide for himself and have greater opportunities and strengths. Some want daughters, because they can manage for themselves and prolong the culture and values taught by the couple to their offspring.

However, if you ask me, I would never reverse my decision to have both Jacques and Stephanie. Both are dear to me. Before I gave birth to them, I wanted only one child, a male one.

The cynic in me had seen inequality in gender pay, harassment of women in workplaces, even in the western world, and other things I have experienced firsthand that I would not want my daughter born into such a cruel world.

However, when I was given a daughter, I saw what she was for who she was. She was a kind spirit, and a different child altogether than having a son. Jacques was more adventurous, Stephanie was more discreet, yet thoughtful. She was focused on making herself useful, while Jacques always assumed responsibility.

A daughter is a reflection of the mother, and my Stephanie reflects me well. She would grow into a proper person, definitely.

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Jun 19

The Difficulties of Being a Single Mother

As I see my children grow up, I could not help but see myself a proud mother. I have worked all my life to give them the comforts they need, and I know I have given enough tolerance for some of the errors they make. I do give them advice, and we resolve it together, not just Jacques or Stephanie alone. I love my children as they are a reflection of me.

However, when you ask a mother what she would really want to be, I do not know how to answer. Right now, I am in the best place a woman could be; loved and respected by her children who are doing well on their own terms. A single mother must become a father and a mother at the same time. Sometimes, I have some difficulty understanding the maturity of Jacques, as he is a boy, and I do not know how to open up to him about “man” problems because I only had “woman” problems.

But then, he finds himself in touch with his own “maleness” in the company of right friends. Groups of male friends could play it quite rough (he had come home with some injuries to his face, but just said it was because they played soccer and some other contact sport), but that is part of the experience.

One more difficult thing about being a single mother is when you realize that your children are growing up. In six years, Stephanie will be leaving home to live alone for college. Jacques will do the same as well. Then one will be left alone.

But I’m not too worried. I raised good kids. Despite what happens to them, I’ll always be here for them. However, one cannot help the separation anxiety that comes with it.

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Apr 16

There is a Difference Between Neglect and Having Responsible Children

I am a parent who is early to work and late to get home, but I ensure that I have time for my children by talking to them and hearing about how their own days went. Every day, I prepare their breakfast, then leave a note about things that need to be addressed, then I leave the house.

Some neighbours think that I am not a responsible parent as I seem to be because I rarely spend time with my kids. But we do go out most of the time, and they know the nature of my work, they completely understand. We have agreed that they need to be independent and they must know how to handle things ourselves.

We all know for a fact that our children need parental guidance and care, but working an 8-hour shift that sometimes extends to longer hours is needed because our children need to go to school. I have explained to my children the nature of our situation and they have felt the effects of not taking care of the situation firsthand. Now that we have a certain equilibrium in our lives, they understand the value of this equilibrium and the need to preserve it.

There is a difference between neglecting children and training them to be responsible. Some children are more mature than others because the situation calls it, and those children are my own offspring.

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Mar 18

Teaching Your Children About Maturity

Now, my two children might not be of the right age to know about sex, especially the nitty-gritty details, but I have a plan on how to teach them about maturity and sexual relationships. I am not a religious woman myself. I respect cultures, but I would like my children to know better and think for themselves rather than allow some religion or belief to grab hold on them from expanding themselves and their own consciousness.

I have taught my children that maturity is knowing when to hold back, when to fulfil responsibilities, and to focus on progressing or growing as a person by your own means. I also told them it is all about knowing what battles you can fight and win and the fights that you will lose.

So this plan of mine involves talking about maturity and sexual relationships all the same. Sooner or later their bodies will mature and their curiosity can tempt them into having sexual relationships, even intercourse, during their legal, unmarried years. In teaching them about being responsible and “choosing their own battles”, they will understand that pleasure and struggle are two things that should balance one’s life.  With too much of pleasure, one could lose him or herself.

While they might put themselves at risk of early parenthood, a knowledge of maturity will help them understand their priorities and dreams come first before they share their life with another person. Maturity is also knowing how to control one’s self, one’s urges, not because some deity or culture asked about it, but because it is the best way to learn about one’s self and one’s maturity.

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Feb 26

Identifying Responsibilities in a Car Accident Compensation Claim

One day, my neighbour went home with a wrecked car and without her husband. She drove the vehicle home and she was panicking. Her husband had collided with a truck on the freeway and was panicking because his insurance had not yet been fully approved by the company yet.

According to my neighbour, her husband was the one who had been the victim and according to the police report, that was correct. The truck had lost control of its brakes and had left its driver swerving on the freeway towards the side of her husband’s wife.

We found a reputable no win no fee compensation claims company willing to help us resolve her husbands’ case. They told us that the offending party was clearly the one at fault and that her husband may not have an insurance policy, but because we had identified the responsible parties, we can get a claim.

However, the police report also found that the traffic enforcement also made the error leading to the accident. It appears that the truck lost its brakes when it tried to stop to avoid a traffic cone left right in the middle of the road. The police report identified this from a traffic video feed camera.

Eventually, her husband received government support as the claims expert aligned all responsible parties. The truck driver’s company had also provided £11,000 in compensation for her husband’s injuries.

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Feb 26

Guiding Your Child to Choose the Right Career Option

An advantage in having your child study in a good school is that the education they get is based on real-life applications. Teachers will relate their lessons to real-life situations so that the children can make the right decisions for themselves at a very young age. Careers will be their biggest decisions soon and having the right general skills for any job is important.

Jacques had been thinking of becoming a chemist. My son is good in mathematics and analysing technical information, an “engineer’s intuition” or “chemist’s intuition” they called it. However, he found the love for substances compelling than mechanical parts.
He told me that his teacher told him a chemist can work in a pharmaceutical plant to create new cures, vaccines, repellents and other helpful medical substances. He added that the teacher also told him he could work as a perfume and fragrances apprentice, or he could actually work in industrial chemistry and discover new formulas.

However, he asked me because I had better judgment. I told him that he should research more on the availability of these jobs. Given the world’s economy today, your work as play is becoming unreachable and you will have to make the right decisions.

In guiding your child to make the right career option, have them remember these three things.

1. Salary
As much as we want to work for our passion, we need compensation to live our daily lives.

2. Growth
You need to grow as an individual and the work has to compensate for a growing responsibility you have with your family

3. Availability
Before making a career decision, it will be wise to look if there are existing opportunities for such. Explaining this part is quite difficult, so I would suggest you explain based on your own career judgement.

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Feb 06

Resolving Sibling Disputes the Fairest Way Possible

Stephanie and Jacques grew up together, but in their earlier years, they always fought for many things. Their father and I, when we were all together, would usually give them both what the other had. So each of them did not fight each other to get what the other had. However, disputes and troubles between siblings will still happen regardless of your efforts.

1. Hear the Side of Each
As a single parent, I often reached out to one of them and listened intently. My husband would usually console the other and listen as well. We both talked about what each party had said. Then we discuss who was right and who was wrong or if both of them were right or wrong.

2. Reward and Punishment
Your children are not animals that you train, but it is important that you know when to reward them and when to punish them. Rewarding one of your children will make the other more envious, but if you could assure them that if they attain the same achievement, they get a reward, the more they become motivated. Punishments speak for themselves, but do not be too harsh or your children will never respect you in the future.

3. Give Them Time
You cannot force your two children to talk to each other. They will need some time and space. Usually, it starts with small sharing accompanied by hesitation. Then the more they interact, the more they become capable of understanding each other. You could urge them to see what the other has done, but you could not force them to make amends; they have to do it on their own for their better learning experience.

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Jan 09

Trust is Important

When I talk to other mothers, they talk about their children and their worries whenever they go to school or when they are with their friends. They are so concerned about the future of their child, which is very healthy for a mother. I too, am very worried about the future of my Jacques and Stephanie, but I know they will do well.

When I’m asked about why I’m not so concerned about my children when they talk about the ideal careers for their kids, I just tell them that my children know better than me what they want in life. They tell me that my children aren’t mature enough.

Indeed, my children are not yet beyond the legal age, but the more I interfere with their choices, the more I limit their chances at experiencing something life-changing. I’d rather have them tell me everything happening in their lives and knowing that I don’t judge them based on their decisions when I give them my two cents than having me plan out their lives for them.

Parents, especially mothers, must realize that their children will eventually leave their homes. They will need the ability to think and decide for themselves, which the children can only develop if they actually make choices for themselves.

In developing this form of maturity, the parent must also mature. Trust is very, very important when parenting. Trust your children, and they will trust you back as long as you teach them the real things they can see in the world when they’re young.

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Dec 02

An Understanding Of One’s Self

Stephanie once told me that she wouldn’t probably have a boyfriend or even marry in the future because of her bad looks and her bad attitude. She told me that during dinner. I actually comforted her, because any parent in my position would do so. I also reminded her that she completely understood herself, and it was not such a bad thing.

I told her that when you understand yourself, you begin to improve yourself. You also gain the capacity to change yourself into something that you possibly want or do not want. A good understanding of yourself ensures that you can become the best person you could be because you look at the mirror to dress yourself.

However, I told her that the possibility of people not liking her is because she is doing something comfortable that other people do not find comfortable as well. I told her this is normal because people are not made the same; each has his or her own preferences and understanding.

Understanding one’s self is an important virtue and her statement tells me that she will find a person who could understand her completely. I told her she has an advantage over people who live their lives not understanding their strengths and weaknesses and not recognizing their limitations.

However, I encouraged her to break her limitations without losing her identity and who she truly is.

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Nov 05

The Example You Leave Your Children

I once heard a story from a fellow parent about her child taking after his own father. At one point, during a bus ride, the child said negative remarks about the transportation industry even without having any knowledge behind the economics surrounding it. The mother was shocked to hear such words come out of her son’s mouth, but she said it was because his father said many remarks watching the television regarding the transportation industry.

A child at a very young age will follow the example set by their parents regardless if it is rational or not. Children below the age of eight are just about to develop their sense of logic and parents will play a great part in showing them what is rationally positive and negative.

Inevitably, parents will leave an example for children to follow. A mother who is very neat at home will likely have their children try to clean up their own mess because they see their parent doing such. A father who thinks carefully of his investments and talks about money will have a son or daughter who also talks about money and thinks twice before spending money.

While science might say these attributes are innate given that parents and children share the same DNA, it is also through psychology that proves children shape themselves through their own environment and through their own influences.

As their parents, we are their biggest influences and we should do our best to set a good example.

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