Child-rearing, God’s way

By Herbert L. Vego

IN 1973 when my only son came into this world, I asked for God’s guidance on how to rear him properly. Lifting page after page of the Bible, I finally found it in this verse: “Train up a child in the way he should go, so that when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).

I reminded my son about the path trodden by Dr. Jose Rizal, who had said, “The youth is the hope of the fatherland.”

I asked him to finish school and to marry only after he would have established himself in a profession.

I must have overstretched my advice because as a 50-year-old nurse today, he is still single.

It is never easy for us parents to transform our children’s hope into reality. There is no “standard” way to do it. Telling them what to do differs from showing them how.

When we were children, my late brother Efren and I were the favorite errand boys of our dad, who would often ask us to buy him cigarettes.

Ironically, he would also advise us not to take up the same vice.

Alas, it only aroused our curiosity to try smoking when our father was not looking. While I managed to resist addiction, Efren got hooked and kept on smoking the rest of his 62-year life.

The transition to adulthood inspires a mix of excitement and anxiety. There is excitement in taking steps to realize emerging dreams, aspirations and possibilities. Yet there is anxiety in making the result-oriented moves.

Most of us who are now parents have lived through those anxieties and are now in the position to convince our kids that they, too, will survive the same transition. For the privileged youth of this country, things may end up well. They graduate, find employment, or go into business to chart a destiny.

Nevertheless, the transition to adulthood is never an automatic or uncomplicated process. Kids, no matter what their background and family financial status, need a set of basic connections to help them navigate to young adulthood. They need the guidance, the time and often the financial help of a stable, secure family.

Unfortunately, lots of young people lack the resources and support they need. Most children of the poor enroll in the grade school but very few enter and finish college, thus missing the skill, experience, education and confidence for successful transition to adulthood.

Meanwhile, their chances of becoming decent adolescents grow smaller while that of turning to crime for survival, bigger.

Most of them will continue living in high-poverty, low-resourced communities. Perhaps most discouraging, with diminished opportunity to build economic security, they will considerably be less likely to become stable providers for their own kids.

Gone are the days when a high school diploma was sufficient to obtain a job that could support a family. Today, high school completion is the minimum entry credential for employment as “gasoline boy” or gas-station attendant.

Even tertiary education is no guarantee for landing white-collar jobs. We only have to look at professional teachers ending up as housemaids or caregivers in foreign countries.

A goal is not enough. It should be the right one, and not merely a response to a parent’s wish. Incidentally, in Journalism school, I noticed that most of my classmates could not write a simple news story. I knew they would end up non-journalists after graduation.

The clarion call of the moment is to ensure that our children reach success regardless of obstacles.

Have you ever wondered why cart-pulling horses wear eye-side covers? It’s to ensure that they look and run straight ahead, undistracted, to a pre-set destination.



WHILE the Dinagyang events are unfolding, some Ilonggos get nervous over the possibility of another round of rotational blackouts unfolding.

We have read of netizens asking Iloilo City’s distribution utility, MORE Power, to generate its own power rather than depend on the National Grid and Power Corporation (NGCP) to transmit electricity generated by power plants.

This is easier said than done.  The power industry in our country lies on separation of powers among power plants, the monopolistic NGCP and the distribution utilities.

But when we asked MORE Power President Roel Castro whether Mr. Razon is interested in putting up a solar farm in Iloilo, “yes” was his answer.

In fact, Razon’s Prime Infra has partnered with Terra Solar Philippines, which is headed by businessman Leandro Leviste, a son of Senator Loren Legarda. They are currently building a solar farm in Nueva Ecija, and another in Tarlac.