Saturday, February 28, 2015

How My Toddler Learned to Say "I Am Sorry"

Just like any toddlers, my daughter is not perfect. I mean, she has her meltdowns, is sometimes mischievous and behaves like, well, like a 3-year old should do. But if there's one thing that I'm very proud of is that, at a very young age, even before she learned to say the word, she already knew how to say "sorry".

I can still remember, when she was one and a half year old, whenever I called her attention because she's not "listening" to what I'm telling her - of course, that would make my voice firm and a little louder than usual - she would immediately come to me then hug and kiss me. At that time I didn't know what she's doing or what she's up to. Eventually I realized it's her way of telling me she's sorry for whatever she might have done or for not listening to me. Soon she's able to talk and could "articulate" her feelings of regret. It melts my heart every time she does it.

So, how did she learn to say these 3 precious words? I am not claiming to be an expert in this matter but my experience has taught me that these "steps" (or whatever you may want to call them) really work for us.

Start early. It is never too early to teach our children the kind of values we want them to have.
As early as possible we should exert effort to inculcate in them the beliefs that hold true to us.

Teach by example. It is one thing to say it, doing it is entirely a different thing. Our actions speak volumes to our children more than the words they're hearing from us. As far as I can remember, I didn't tell my daughter at that age to say "I'm sorry" whenever she "offended" me or her dad. My thought at the time, "How will she understand it? Wait until she turns two." However, whenever I did something wrong (that would mean, I got mad at her for no reason or I had misjudged her actions), I was quick to say, "I'm sorry, baby. Mommy, didn't listen to what you're trying to tell her. I'm sorry. I won't do it again. I love you so much." Little did I realize that that left a deep impression in her heart- that there's nothing wrong with admitting you're wrong and it's okay to say you're sorry.

Sometimes the challenge with us adults, or parents for that matter is that, we're too "proud" to acknowledge our own mistakes. We think that because our children are "just kids" and we're the grown ups, we are always right. As a result, we don't say sorry to them and in turn, they won't as well.

Be a good model. Growing up, my siblings and I would say "I'm sorry" whenever we would offend anyone among us or even our parents. Why is that? Fortunately for us, my mother is a good role model. As a result, I have carried that "habit" until now. Being a couple, my husband and I are quick to admit our faults and say "sorry" to one another when we know that we've offended each other. We're unabashed to acknowledge our mistakes before each other and even in front of our daughter. And I believe that made a great impact to our daughter. Remember, in the eyes of a child: If daddy and mommy are doing it, then it must be right.

Commend the act. One of the things I do after our daughter say, "I'm sorry" is hug her. Since her primary love language is physical touch, mommy hugging her after she admits she's wrong makes her feel forgiven and loved. I believe that just like us adults, it takes a lot of courage for a child to confess she regrets the wrong she's done. So appreciating the act will encourage the child to bring out the same positive response when a situation calls for it.

I hope these simple steps help you as well in teaching your child/children say "I'm sorry" and other common courtesies. Can you think of other ways/steps? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment box below.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

7 Things Every Wife Should Know: A Book Review

Have you ever read a book and felt like it was talking to you or about you? Well, that's how I felt as I read 7 Things Every Wife Should Know. Written by Viviene Bigornia, a newly wed herself, she tackles the subject of marriage with vividness and clarity.

The book (or ebook) is easy to read and to the point. Viviene shares her joyful experiences as a new wife. Although she is honest to tell her readers that there is no such thing as a "perfect marriage", she  believes that a couple can have a successful and happy married life through the 7 key virtues that every wife should know (and may I add, follow as well). She uses the acronym T-R-I-U-M-P-H and devotes one chapter for each virtue. Furthermore, she expounds each one by citing insightful stories of hers and some married women whom she is closed to and has witnessed their married life.

At the end of each chapter, Viviene provides sections which give reader a chance to reflect, read, respond, pray and take actions on every nugget of wisdom gleaned from the topic. The author also includes Real Lives of Real Wives which is about real stories of married women that tell happy and contented married life is possible and can be achieved. Viviene concludes her book with her own love story.

My Thoughts
As I have mentioned above, I felt that this book was talking to (and about) me as I was reading it. Being married for 7 years, I am reminded once again to "be the kind of wife" that I know God has called me to be. Just like Viviene, I am also a passionate marriage fan and desire to see that every couple who decided to tie the knot will not only have a blissful wedding day but also a long-lasting and successful married life. It pains me to see couples, who after that 2 - 4 hour wedding ceremony and party one day find themselves "falling out of love" for reasons that could have been worked out or resolved. Just like anything in this world, perfection cannot be achieved in married life. But who says that one has to be perfect to be happy? In this life, we may never attain perfection, however, we can always strive to be content, satisfied and successful not by our own strength but with God's grace.

And for me, that is what this book is all about: God's grace. It is by God's grace that a happy and successful married life is possible; that the 7 things/virtues can be applied by the wife; that marriages will be strong and successful. Only by His grace. I believe Viviene made it obvious by consistently mentioning about God and His intervention in married lives throughout the book. She constantly seasoned every chapter with Bible verses which help get her message across. Now I'm not saying that this is just a "feel-good book", no, not at all. In fact, what Viviene shared are practical stories and insights which a wife or aspiring ones will find inspiring and then realize, "Indeed, a happy married life is achievable."

The book can be finished in one sitting but I will not advise you to do so. Take time to chew and digest what is written in every chapter. The sections Viviene provided at the end of every chapter are helpful for meditation and think through process. What's more, you can share and discuss your thoughts about what you have read with a fellow wife or even a group of wives.

I say that this book is best for those who are planning to get married. You should secure a copy before you say "I do" to the man of your dreams. As for those who have been married for a year or even "forever", this book will give us a gentle nudge on the elbow and remind us of the promise we  once made on that one blissful day we had so longed for.

How to Get a Copy

You can get this book in paperback copies for Php 399 and Ebook (PDF version) for Php 199 by clicking here (for Philippine residents only. For non-Philippine residents, you can get a copy from Amazon). And because it's the love month, Viviene is offering a 15% discount for my readers until the end of February. Yay! Simply order by sending her an email at Please don't forget to write 15%OFF on the subject line. Bonus: free shipping nationwide!

Hurry! Get your copy/copies now! :)

Disclaimer: I have received a free copy of the ebook in exchange for a review. However, the opinions I have mentioned here are purely mine and were not influenced by the free product given.