A Reflection From Potty Training

I would just like to record this milestone we have reached.This week, my daughter and I are serious with potty training. I saw the signs that she is ready, and so I pulled out the toddler potty I have been keeping in the garage. I bought it from last year. At first,  I tried to introduce it to her but she would always say “No!” I figured that she was not ready yet so I stopped pressuring her.

After she turned 3 last August 8 (the same day of my Dad’s interment), I once again introduced the potty to her. This time, she is more responsive. Since we are usually at home, I now try to make her wear some training pants. I would ask her to sit down on her little potty every now and then. Sometimes, she is actually the one who tells us that she needs to go.

cartoon-girl-sitting-potty-illustration-52776918photo credit: www.dreamstime.com

I recall when she was a year old until she reached her second year, she was just a baby. Now that she is 3, I can see and feel that she is growing too fast. Soon no more diapers (more money to save!) Soon, she will be in school, and she will be like her big brother, a big kid. There is no stopping time. It keeps going. It keeps flying fast. I wish it will slow down a little bit. I want to be in here and bathe in happiness and experience of parenthood.

Last night, my husband and I were watching the film, Up In The Air, a 2009 American comedy-drama film, starring George Clooney. There was a scene there when a guy got cold feet during his wedding. The following lines below just struck me. And I think of my journey. And I guess it is the same for most of us. How it all started and how it will end.

I don't think I'm going to be able to uh...
to do this.

Why would you say that...today?

Well, last night I was just kinda laying
in bed and I couldn't get to sleep.

So I started thinking about the wedding
and the ceremony,

and about our buying a house
and moving in together.

And having a kid,
and having another kid and then

Christmas and Thanksgiving
and spring break.

Going to football games, and then
all of a sudden they're graduating.

They're getting jobs, they're getting married.
And, you know, I'm a grandparent.

And then I'm retired.
I'm losing my hair, I'm getting fat.

And then the next thing you know
I'm dead.

I'm just, like...I can't stop from thinking,
what's the point?

I mean, what is the point?

The point?
- What am I starting here?

(From http://www.script-o-rama.com/movie_scripts/u/up-in-the-air-script-transcript.html)

Discipline Challenge

For me, one of the most difficult challenges in parenting is imposing discipline on children.

I do not know how my parents did it. But I guess I turned out okay.  How do you really do it?  Raising good people.

I noticed that starting at age 6 (now he is 7), I am indeed tested in my ability to discipline a growing boy. Sometimes I am not sure if I am doing it right. All I know is I am doing my best to make him learn and understand things/situation given his natural temperament, his personality, intellect, and other factors that affect his learning. Sometimes it is stressful, draining my energy, makes me worried that he might dislike or hate me for reprimanding him. Generally he is a good and sweet boy. But there are really moments that he is getting on my nerves. I know it is part of raising children.  So help me God. And to all parents out there…Good luck and God bless!

disciplinephoto credit:pixgood.com

Raising Intelligent Kids

One of the many blessings I received is having a very smart boy. I am writing about him not because I just want to brag. But I am proud of him and I want him to know that. I take note of his milestones since he was a toddler. As I mentioned before, I am fond of keeping journals/diaries. After I became a mom, I started writing more about my children.

At 18 months: He can clearly say at least 50 words

2 1/2 years old: I noticed his interest in books.

3 years old: He can already spell and write his name, as well as some words.

4 years old (From the Pre-Kindergarten Assessment) The teacher was surprised that he can read anything. You give him any book and he can read it. They were tested to count and expected to know 1-20. He counted until 199. He recognized all letters both uppercase and lowercase. He knew all the alphabet phonics/sounds. He knew shapes and colors. He knew how to write too.

5 years old (from the Kindergarten Report Card) “Very intelligent; Uses his knowledge of phonics to spell most words correctly when writing in his journal. He has excellent ideas and is able to express them in his writing. Continues to demonstrate advanced skills in reading. Enthusiastic about learning and understands new concepts quickly. Has good verbal expression for his age. Consistently demonstrates understanding in all areas; He is quite exceptional”… During the student of the month award, I am so proud his teacher even said, “I think he is a genius!”

6 year old (1st Grade) – First Trimester Report Card “Easily reads and writes at grade level, along with comprehending the text. He is able to work grade level and above with math computation and practices… I look forward to reading his writing as he often writes in complete sentences using details with excellent knowledge and expression.”

In terms of academics, he is indeed exceptional. He is naturally gifted. He does not exert effort in doing his school work but he still excels. Last week, he was absent for three days because we were sick with colds and cough. Yet when he returned to school he perfected his spelling, poem recital, and math test. Every Friday, usually he will come home with perfect scores on his quizzes/tests. I do not have a hard time teaching him at all since he picks up easily. At 6 years old he basically does his homework by himself and I just check them after.  He has an amazing memory too.

You know what concerns me, and where my husband and I are exerting effort guiding him? It is his emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence pertains to the ability to monitor one’s own or others’ emotions. From Pre-K, Kindergarten, and at present, I notice that the usual comments he gets are related to Self and Social Development or Interpersonal Skills. This pertains to impulse control, cooperative play with peers, how to negotiate conflict, shared use of space. His Kindergarten teacher mentioned on the report card “I am working with him to be able to handle frustration and problem solve on his own. Andrei is very intelligent and gets upset if he thinks he’s not doing things fast enough, such as putting papers into folder or getting his supplies ready. He doesn’t like to feel behind in working with the class.” From the first trimester now in first grade, the report card mentioned “He is working to keep his hands and body in his own space in regards to relating to his classmates.” We noticed that he easily panics, gets stressed out, he burst into tears when he is frustrated, mad. It seems to take a while before he calms down. Maybe it is just a stage. Some attributes to personality. But still, as a mother, I tend to be concerned of the behavior, its effects on him in the long run.

My son is a very sweet and loving person, not just to his family but to everybody around. He has a lot of friends and they are fond of him. However, when he gets mad, upset or frustrated it seems like he is just overwhelmed. We are trying to teach him how to manage and control his emotions. We talk to him a lot about these things. We want him to be conscious, to be aware of his emotions, his actions, and how they affect others. As a parent, I want my child to be well rounded, not just good in academics but also someone who can deal with people, with himself, and cope up with life. I believe this is very important for success and happiness.  Our kids might be born with certain personalities but I believe we can teach them how to manage and control their weaknesses. We want to equip them so they can cope up. I have to admit, I find this job so challenging. It often tries my patience and I end up worrying. Are we doing the right thing? Are we using the right approach? Are they going to be fine persons someday? Will they thrive in their lives? Maybe I just think too much.  I pray to God to help us raise these children. I know, as parents we can only do our best to teach and guide them. Eventually, they have to be on their own. We just hope and pray for the best!

With my Psychology background, I am aware of the different kinds of Intelligence. For some of you who are interested to look into this, it might also help you in your approach as you guide/teach your children. Just sharing this information with you I copied from Wikipedia.

The theory of intelligence that differentiates it into specific (primarily sensory) “modalities”, rather than seeing intelligence as dominated by a single general ability. This model was proposed by Howard Gardner in his 1983 book Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Although the distinction between intelligences has been set out in great detail, Gardner opposes the idea of labeling learners to a specific intelligence. Each individual possesses a unique blend of all the intelligences. Gardner firmly maintains that his theory of multiple intelligences should “empower learners”, not restrict them to one modality of learning.

Musical–rhythmic and harmonic

Main article: Musicality

This area has to do with sensitivity to sounds, rhythms, tones, and music. People with a high musical intelligence normally have good pitch and may even have absolute pitch, and are able to sing, play musical instruments, and compose music. They have sensitivity to rhythm, pitch, meter, tone, melody or timbre.[6][7]


This area deals with spatial judgment and the ability to visualize with the mind’s eye. Spatial ability is one of the three factors beneath g in the hierarchical model of intelligence.[7]


People with high verbal-linguistic intelligence display a facility with words and languages. They are typically good at reading, writing, telling stories and memorizing words along with dates.[7] Verbal ability is one of the most g-loaded abilities.[8] This type of intelligence is measured with the Verbal IQ in WAIS-III.


Further information: Reason

This area has to do with logic, abstractions, reasoning, numbers and critical thinking.[7] This also has to do with having the capacity to understand the underlying principles of some kind of causal system.[6] Logical reasoning is closely linked to fluid intelligence and to general intelligence (g factor).[9]


Further information: Gross motor skill and Fine motor skill

The core elements of the bodily-kinesthetic intelligence are control of one’s bodily motions and the capacity to handle objects skillfully.[7] Gardner elaborates to say that this also includes a sense of timing, a clear sense of the goal of a physical action, along with the ability to train responses.

People who have high bodily-kinesthetic intelligence should be generally good at physical activities such as sports, dance, acting, and making things.

Gardner believes that careers that suit those with high bodily-kinesthetic intelligence include: athletes, dancers, musicians, actors, builders, police officers, and soldiers. Although these careers can be duplicated through virtual simulation, they will not produce the actual physical learning that is needed in this intelligence.[10]


Main article: Social skills

This area has to do with interaction with others.[7] In theory, individuals who have high interpersonal intelligence are characterized by their sensitivity to others’ moods, feelings, temperaments and motivations, and their ability to cooperate in order to work as part of a group. According to Gardner in How Are Kids Smart: Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom, “Inter- and Intra- personal intelligence is often misunderstood with being extroverted or liking other people…”[11] Those with high interpersonal intelligence communicate effectively and empathize easily with others, and may be either leaders or followers. They often enjoy discussion and debate.

Gardner believes that careers that suit those with high interpersonal intelligence include sales persons, politicians, managers, teachers, counselors and social workers.[12]


Further information: Introspection

This area has to do with introspective and self-reflective capacities. This refers to having a deep understanding of the self; what one’s strengths/ weaknesses are, what makes one unique, being able to predict one’s own reactions/emotions.


Not part of Gardner’s original 7, naturalistic intelligence was proposed by him in 1999. This area has to do with nurturing and relating information to one’s natural surroundings.[7] Examples include classifying natural forms such as animal and plant species and rocks and mountain types. This ability was clearly of value in our evolutionary past as hunters, gatherers, and farmers; it continues to be central in such roles as botanist or chef.[6] This sort of ecological receptiveness is deeply rooted in a “sensitive, ethical, and holistic understanding” of the world and its complexities–including the role of humanity within the greater ecosphere.[13]


Some proponents of multiple intelligence theory proposed spiritual or religious intelligence as a possible additional type. Gardner did not want to commit to a spiritual intelligence, but suggested that an “existential” intelligence may be a useful construct, also proposed after the original 7 in his 1999 book.[14] The hypothesis of an existential intelligence has been further explored by educational researchers.[15]