By Kath C. Eustaquio-Derla
Being a parent is no easy task, especially a mother. In fact, this so-called “thankless” job is not for the faint-hearted. There are happy days and sad days, and days that somehow bring you closer to your breaking point. But still, a mother’s love knows no limits.
As we move closer to the Freedom To Dream 2019 Summit happening on April 13, 2019, at the Red Carpet in Shangri-La Plaza, we asked 7 Filipino mothers about the ways they support their children’s dreams. They also shared their thoughts about pursuing ambition. Here are their words of wisdom that all millennials should hear.
Christine Hernandez Matriano
57-year-old Entrepreneur, Management Consultant, and Social Development Ambassador
Quezon City, Philippines
I’ve been a parent for over three decades and I can tell you with certainty, parenting isn’t rocket science. Each child is unique and each one should be treated differently. The common denominators I used for all of my kids are treating them with respect and being physically and mentally present for them.
Take the case of my eldest son. As a young boy, he dreamed of becoming a physician (doctor of medicine). That was, to me, frightful because of the expenses involved and the length of study. But those issues didn’t deter me from finding the resources and the means to put him through med school. I’m forever grateful to my generous and loving sister who committed to help me put my son through 10 years of pre-med and med-proper. I was the forever cheerleader and girl-Friday shuttling between his medical school and our home to deliver freshly laundered clothes, home-cooked food, and cash allowances.
An anecdote that I enjoy telling my friends and family now is, how often I’d feign sickness and rush to the hospital ER where my son’s medical school was (weekly at the minimum) until the ER staff already knew me as the mom of the “intern.” They even had a protocol (and I’m guessing a code for when I was in the ER). One time, I overheard my son (on the other end of the phone) telling the ER doctor, “My Mom’s going be fine. Just send her home.” Pathetic but true – I was stalking my son in school, making sure he’s doing okay! Fast forward to 10 years since graduation, he is now a successful internist in a huge regional medical center in the East Coast of the US.
Here’s my advice to parents: Have casual but meaningful conversations with your youngsters about what they want to be or who they want to be when they grow up. I would not volunteer a litany of advice and rules if your kids do not ask for them. Keep cool but ensure that your kids know you are there to help them realize their dreams or ambitions.
What is my advice to the younger generation about pursuing their ambitions? This question is like what would I tell my 15-year-old self. First things first, I would encourage today’s kids to talk about their passions and interests with people older than them, whether it be their parents, grandparents, mentors, or teachers. I know kids today want to be different (to be unicorns)–that’s totally okay, but I’d advise them to balance the urge to be different with the wisdom and lessons learned from experience that elders can give them.
Second, come up with options instead of having just one target goal or dream; then do your homework–research, read up, and gain insights for each of your options. Knowing more than enough about each of your interest, ambition, or goal in life, will truly help you decide on the best choice.
Third advice, work hard, live your best core values, never burn bridges throughout your journey.
Lastly, at an early point in your career, find yourself a purpose in life. Honestly, I was way-laid in this aspect, by material aspirations. When I was just starting out in the workforce, I knew I wanted to do social development work. Those were the years right after the EDSA Revolution and most of my generation were so idealistic: we wanted to change the country for the better, fast and focused. So I worked for the country’s largest social development foundation–and looking back, I can say those were the most fulfilling years in my career. But, I guess I wasn’t mature enough or strong enough to stay that course because when I was presented with the opportunity to earn more in a huge corporation, I succumbed and remained in the corporate world forever.
Now, as I turn a new leaf in life, I shall make sure that corporate social responsibility (aka corporate citizenship) becomes part of my doing business. Making a positive difference in people’s lives is, I believe, the most profound purpose in life.
70-Years-Old Registered Nurse Case Manager
University of California San Diego Health, USA
My children are the center of my existence and I would go to any length to make their dreams come true. I rejoice when they succeed but will pick them up when they are at their lowest. I think this is when I become stronger—when they make an honest mistake and know that they are regretting such action. I become stronger in accepting who they are and sending them off again, perhaps, to make more mistakes while trying to pursue their dreams once more and hoping will come back to me for my unconditional love.
The cliché to do what you love and the rest will follow (success) is generally true. It has to be observed with some caution though. Right product, right venue, right clientele should all align plus patience, persistence, and a dose of luck! Prayer is always a big factor for those who believe in them.
66-Year-Old Retired Teacher
Cainta, Rizal, Philippines
As parents, we are here to give advice on the plans of our children. Ningning, my married daughter with two kids, is thinking of homeschooling her kids. One time, I read the advertisement about a homeschooling orientation at Robinson’s Galleria. So, I called her attention and we registered to attend the orientation. We are here to help our children realize what they want to do with their lives and with their families. Sometimes, we contradict and argue, especially if it’s feasible or not. It’s a way of brainstorming or thinking through.
My advice to the younger ones is to listen to your parents or others who have the knowledge on special fields that they want to push through and read more on the experiences of people. If they have a passion for it, they must seek God’s wisdom for guidance through prayers. God will help them by sending the right people to come their way.
Tessa G. Mangahas
50-Something-Year-Old Senior Copy Editor
I support my children’s dreams by listening and discussing the plans they share with me. There are times when I don’t understand or agree with their strategies but I am always open to what they tell me since the worlds we grew up in are so different.
Being a Lego User Founder, my son would love to work in (and actually got an offer) Billund, Denmark where Lego originated. My daughter, who is in Google, gets promoted laterally. Both have job movements (external or internal) after two years to keep from being bored and to continue being “relevant”.
During my time, success was getting hired by a multinational company and staying there forever. I am just happy they share these dreams with me and make me understand why they aim for what they want. My support lies in trying to comprehend, accept, and pray for their dreams to come true. My advice is to soar and feed your passions, but listen and stay grounded with the wisdom of your elders.
I send them to good schools and expose them to all
As a parent, I show to them that I’m always by their side, preparing them physically, mentally, and most of all, financially, and that I’m always ready to sacrifice for all their needs.
I advise them to go on and work towards their dreams. I encourage them to become better versions of themselves, to keep improving, not only for themselves but also for the coming generations and most of all, for their own families.
55-Year-Old High School Class Adviser
Cainta, Rizal, Philippines
As a parent, I show my support to my children by encouraging them to pursue their passions; actively listening to their concerns and challenges; acknowledging whatever achievements they acquire; and serving as a morale booster whenever they feel down and ready to give up.
My advice on pursuing ambition is that they should stay focused, have the determination to achieve their ambition, and keep moving towards this goal.
56-Year-Old CPA and Entrepreneur
Pasig City, Philippines
I support my children’s dreams by giving them a positive outlook whether it’s for their career or for their business. Also, by helping them in anything, even in small ways. What’s important is communication: by discussing with them what happened—both positive and negative. It is important for them to hear or know the thoughts of others, especially their parents, give them honest opinions, guide, and love them unconditionally.
Young people don’t know yet what they want. It is very important for parents to guide them and discuss with them what they want and what are their dreams. In doing so, we can give them advice. So for younger generations, please consult your parents and don’t be shy to tell them what you want. Tell them your dreams, as we always say with our children: dreams are free, so aim high. For our three children, I think that is effective. When they were younger, we discussed what they want to be when they grow up. They dreamed, they aimed high, and, of course, we supported them.
Let’s Support Dreamers
The upcoming Freedom to Dream Summit emboldens the Filipino youth to crush self-doubt, ignite one’s passion, and teaches young people to how to maximize their resources to turn dreams into reality.
To learn more about the event, visit their website here.
Kath C. Eustaquio-Derla is a published author, copy editor, online publisher, and communications strategist. She is currently the editor in chief of The After Six Club. Her family owns and operates HS Grafik Print, a design-and-print company with almost 40 years of experience in the industry. She heads PaperKat Books, the indie publishing department that offers a writing and mentoring program for aspiring book writers. She recently won the 2018 Best Editor (English Category) and Best Printing Service during the Gawad Parangal Sa Mundo Ng Literatura Awards of Penmasters League.