May 22, 2024

Dear Manang,
I observed that children are hugging me before they leave the kitchen while they say thank you. I have been with the family for two years, but I have treated the children like my own. The parents are busy working because both are successful professors and have little time to check on their grade three and grade five children. Tending to their meals and making sure that they eat well, I used to pat them on the shoulder and praised them when they finished their breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I am a high school graduate and know a little about their lessons but I am able to guide them when I see that they don’t understand assignments. The hugs are now a routine and I sense that the mother is jealous seeing this. Do I tell them to stop?
Lani of Teacher’s Village, Baguio City

Dear Lani,
The most powerful gesture is the hug. The children are giving you many messages when they hug you. Did you know that a hug can do many things like reduce stress by showing support, protects you against illness, boost your heart health, make you happier, reduce fears, and help you communicate with others. All these are what the children are showing you and you reciprocating their joy or sorrow. Of course, the mother will be jealous, and the antidote is for you to tell the children to hug their parents too when they arrive from work or before they leave for work. Who knows, parents might need the hugs too.
Encourage more hugs,
Manang

Dear Manang,
Children are different these days. They do not hear what you say and are constantly asking why they should do things like fix their room, study, put down their phone, sleep, and all the other things that you ask them to do. I sense that my son might be doing drugs, but I only think this might be real and I nag him about it. I have enough stress at work and to have more at home doesn’t seem fair. What do I do?
Maritz of Holy Ghost Central, Baguio City

Dear Maritz,
I am sensing that you are persecuting yourself. Stop. There are many children who are actually innately good, but parents imagine that they are bad and naughty. Have you ever asked your child if he needs help in his homework? Or have you praised him for his good marks in school? He might not even be anywhere near your fear of a problem child, but you make him feel that way anyway. Be careful because parents make their children problems when they are not. Check first, you might be the problem parent.
Think positive,
Manang