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Ten things I want my children to know |

Health And Family

Ten things I want my children to know

MOMMY TALK - MOMMY TALK By Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan -
Here is a speech I delivered for the graduating elementary class of St. Jude Catholic School.  I hope it touches your heart:

It’s commencement season once again.  It’s always an honor for me to be invited to speak to young people and be able to plant a seed of hope and inspiration in your hearts as you journey to a new life and graduate from school. I have decided to share with your class the things that I would like to impart to my own children.  I strive daily to rear my children in a way that they will keep in mind these 10 things.  I constantly remind them these, hoping that when they are grown, they will not depart from these things.  If you were my children, I would tell you, my children, as you live your life, to remember: 

1. You are loved
— very much by God and we love you regardless of what you do or don’t accomplish. That love remains regardless of circumstances.  We celebrate the fact that you have been lent to us by God to take care of, to nurture, and help to grow up in the right way that is pleasing to God.  Sometimes, you probably doubt that love when we get too caught up with our work or when we fail to communicate properly with you, our children.  The bottom line, children, is that we do love you and we hope to be given the benefit of the doubt when we don’t seem to be showing that love that we have for you.My son Donny handed me a paper that he was doing for a project about heroes.  In it he indicated Mommy as the name of the hero and in that part where it was asked what the hero did for the Philippines, he said, "Mahal niya si Donny."  I hope to continue to reinforce that belief that he is loved very much!

2. You were uniquely designed by God for a purpose and therefore are special
. Value yourself. Take care of your body. Tina Juan, a fitness guru friend of mine, shared that our body is the vehicle that will bring us to our dreams.  If we choose to neglect your body, we can forget our dreams. Be careful of what you expose your mind and heart to.  Make sure they are not trash.  For your ears, eyes, and mouth are not trashcans. Remember this word: Whatever! The bible says in Philippians 4:8 that we must constantly expose ourselves to "whatever is true, whatever is right, whatever is noble, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things."

3. You are our children and we are your parents
. We are not perfect, but are trying our best to be the best parents that we can be.  One day, we will be friends, but right now, we are in authority and your responsibility as our children is to obey us. You may think you know everything in life, but you will gain wisdom if you watch and learn first.  If you obey us, I assure you, it will be well with you and you will be spared from many troubles because we want what’s best for you. We are not here to provide you with all the answers in life or to lavish you with all that your heart desires, but we commit to inspire you to dream and show you how you can work hard to get what you want in life through hard work, dedication, and faith in God. After high school, I entered showbusiness and started to earn my own money.  I told my mom that I had decided that perhaps, there was no need for me to pursue a college degree anymore since I was earning my own money already. My mom smiled and looked me in the eye.  She told me that I was right in my assessment, but for as long as she was my mom, she was in charge and since I was under her care, I would have to obey her and finish college while pursuing a career in showbusiness.   Otherwise, she would send me back to the States, where I finished high school, and I can forget about my career.  I eventually graduated college.  It took me six long years to complete my course, but I will always be thankful to my mom for making sure  I had a degree tucked under my belt.  That was the beginning of my love for learning.  I have since pursued and earned a master’s degree in Family Life and Child Development and am looking forward to taking my PhD. I did many things that were against my mom, thinking I knew what was best for me. I made life difficult for her, but now that I’m a mother, I realize how important it is to obey my mom.  I used to shrug at her every reminder that she knows what’s best, but now, I realize she does know what’s best.

4. Dream! Equip yourself.  Make a way when there is no way.  Believe you can and you will. 
That was what Amparito Lhuillier told my daughter Ella when she learned that Ella wanted to become just like her daughter, Monique Lhuillier.  "Believe you can, hija and you will." The other day, while my son Benjamin and I were bird watching, I told him that I wished I were a bird so I could fly.  He asked, "Do dreams come true, Mama?"  "Yes, they do," I said.  He again asked, "Do the angels just do them for us?"  I told him, "No, sometimes you need to help them." He said, "Why, ‘coz they’re tired to do magic?"  I just smiled.  Study hard and be consistent to do diligently what you have committed to do.  Whether it’s an extracurricular activity, homework or household chore.  Learn what you can learn while you have the chance to.  Not very many people are privileged enough to get a good education or a chance to advance learning.As you pursue your dream, remember this quote by John Eldredge, author of the book, Wild At Heart: "Do not ask the world what it needs.  Instead, ask yourself what makes you come alive and go do that because what the world needs is people who have come alive."

5. Use your God-given gifts and talents to help others.
My daughter Hannah sings well.  Every time she is asked to sing, she readily makes herself available because she knows it will make people happy.  One time, I was talking to a friend who was having marital problems and was not coping well.  I asked Hannah to sing her a song about healing and she felt very refreshed.  It made Hannah happy.  The other night, Hannah sang for a birthday party of a friend who has cancer.  Hannah knows that she has been given the gift of singing so she can give joy to others.  When she sees others happy, it makes her happy.  We continue to encourage her and our other children to continue seeing their gifts that way — an opportunity to bless others.

6. Enjoy life!
Don’t stay hooked on your PSP, on the computer or the television or use up your time texting. Enjoy the outdoors, run outside, climb a tree, play street games, complete a puzzle, cozy up with a book, drink hot chocolate on a rainy day, and spend as much time with your parents!  I always tell my kids to enjoy their friends and to continue making new friends, but I always remind them that family is important because at the end of the day, your family will be there when your friends can’t be there.

7. Use your time wisely. 
An anonymous author wrote, "Time waits for no one.  Yesterday is history.  Tomorrow is a mystery.  Today is a gift.  That’s why it’s called the present!"

8. Value others as you would value yourself.
Mind your manners, respect authority, be mindful of the words that come out of your mouth because you cannot take back what you have said.  When you value others, they will also value you.

9. Connect with God and give Him thanks
.  Pray for others who are not as blessed materially or emotionally as you are.  Pray for the sick, the dying, and the unloved.  When you do so, you will realize how blessed you are, which will give you more reason to be thankful.

10. Shine!
We live in a fallen world so we want to encourage you to provide the light that will give hope to this fallen world.  My kuya Kiko Pangilinan encouraged my husband Anthony to shine.  This was when Anthony was heading an international student organization called Aisec International in Brussels and was getting very lonely being away from home.  Kuya Kiko told him to shine because the world is getting darker and that the darker the night, the brighter the light shines.  He added that when we shine, we don’t only shine for ourselves, we shine so that others may also shine.  After that, my husband said, "Bring on the darkness!" Shine!  

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