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Education and Home

Proper care is the key

Patricia Estevez - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - How do you rid the country of systemic corruption and other social ills?

There are countless ways, says Dr. Nestor Laceda, author of the ’90s best-selling book Providing Proper Care to the Pinoy Child during the Formative Years.

But the most effective way, he says, is to “give proper care, love and discipline from birth to six years because that is the foundation, when he is reared the proper way in his formative years.”

The advice is very basic, but the 74-year-old general physician and businessman swears by it, having seen it work in his lifetime, with his own seven children and grandchildren.

“It begins from birth to six years, a time when the child gradually acquires and develops his individual character and personality. This stage is very critical for it is during this time that values, abilities, skills, aptitude, attitudes, knowledge and understanding are inculcated into his very tender and vulnerable mind, and these things are permanently carved in his whole being and will have a lasting effect on his intellectual, social, physical, and spiritual development,” Laceda says.

He acknowledged that today’s generation is very different from the old times. For one, more mothers are working now. Before, the mom would just stay home and concentrate on caring for and raising the children while the dad works. Today, more mothers even comprise overseas Filipino workers and leave their children to the care of relatives and sadly, nannies.

“It is unfortunate and lamentable that thousands of young children in our country are left behind by their parents to work abroad. Most of these children are raised by relatives who can only provide custodial service, having little or no knowledge of proper child care,” he says.

“This is the very reason why children who grew up without proper guidance become more absent-minded, aggressive and emotionally disturbed, and who later become problems of society,” he stresses.

But he added it is not right to condemn or judge parents who leave to work abroad because they do so to provide a better future for their children.

“There is no reason to condemn people who leave and decide to sacrifice their children today for a better tomorrow. You cannot stop people from working abroad if conditions are better there. They know that children cannot be left alone too long and most are returning here as soon as possible,” he says.

Laceda, fearful of the backlash of the crisis of morality, organized a movement called “Crusade for a Better Youth of Tomorrow” under the auspices of the “Pinoy Helping Hand Special-ist,Inc.,” a TESDA accredited training center for caregivers established in 1993, located at the corner of Shaw Blvd. and JB Vargas St., Mandaluyong City (www.crusadeforbetter youth.com; email: crusade [email protected]).

It is a civic undertaking which Dr. Laceda considers a personal challenge as well as a tribute to the greatest Filipino ever lived, national hero Dr. Jose Rizal.

To help moms who want their children to grow up properly despite their absence, Laceda wrote the book that serves as a comprehensive guide to those who are left behind to care and do the task of raising the child.

The book, published in 1997, provides all the four essentials of child-rearing like health care, safety, education in easy- to-read, illustrated presentations.

Laceda says the relative must bear in mind that “family is the principal school of social virtues which are necessary in every society,” and it is important that they are taught to know and worship God and love their neighbors.

He believes too that giving proper care to children in their formative years could address the morality crisis in the country. Again, this preventive solution is better than the curative solution being proposed by the government, he says.

Laceda is very optimistic that given the right guidance on how to raise a child properly, even to nannies and relatives, children will grow up as good, God-fearing citizens.

The song whose lyrics says: ‘I believe the children are our future, Teach them well and let them lead the way, show them all the beauty they can possess inside. Give them a sense of pride to make it easier, let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be...’ reminds Laceda that “If the Filipino child’s health, social, educational and spiritual needs are adequately met, then this country is assured that its future is secured. Let us therefore join hands and together begin to invest in our children’s needs to build a stronger foundation for the future,” he says.

BETTER YOUTH OF TOMORROW

CARE

CHILD

CHILDREN

DR. JOSE RIZAL

DR. LACEDA

DR. NESTOR LACEDA

FORMATIVE YEARS

LACEDA

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