Updated 16:03 PM PHT Wed, April 19, 2017
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 7) – As good parents, it is natural instinct that you want your children to get the best in life.
You strive to give them a good home where they feel happy and loved. And sometimes, that also means shielding them from the challenges and difficulties of "the big, bad world."
Children should keep their innocence, right?
But according to a group of parenting experts, raising your kids in a world that is all roses actually harms them because they would not be well-adjusted as they get older.
Anchor hosted a roundtable discussion with child psychotherapist Ali Gui, parenting consultant Maribel Dionisio, nutritionist and dietician Joanne Salamat and model Georgia Schultz-Del Rosario to find ways to help you make your children strong, not sheltered.
Helicopters and lawnmowers may be very efficient machines, but these make for very inefficient parenting styles.
"Helicopter parenting" is when you "hover" over your kids, watching their every move and making sure that they are doing OK.
Meanwhile, "lawnmower parenting" is when you clear a path for your kids so that they achieve their goals with minimal effort.
Gui said good parenting means not monitoring your children like maximum-security inmates in a jail.
"Guiding them does not mean being with them 24 hours a day," she said. "Letting them go means, "I love you enough knowing that I have already instilled in you the good foundation and you are smart enough to use what is best for you.""
Meanwhile, Dionisio said studies show that parental supervision in habits like studying should be eased off as your kids leave primary school.
"See what they can do on their own," she said. "Just say, "Mommy's here, Daddy's here." If you need help, then come over.""
But despite learning the art of letting go, Salamat said you and your kids should communicate with each other.
"We have to be friends with our children," she said. "We have encourage them to open up to us. Communication is very important. And sensitivity. We have to see beyond what we see in our child."
Take a step back
Letting go may be good for your children, but there are some cases when you really must act, such as when your child is being bullied.
Del Rosario said it's not a matter of always going in with torches and pitchforks.
"I think that in this day and age, there won't be a time when a child doesn't get bullied, whether it is cyberbullying or in school," she said. "If I feel that there is some negativity towards them, I become combative. It's a challenge for me to really step back, look at the situation, question where can I be of help, where can I be of use."
Although being too headstrong in dealing with problems can be a bad influence for your kids, Gui said you can't just ignore your kids' problems.
"Sometimes our children would say, "No, Mommy, don't go,"" she said. "But inside their heart, "Mommy, please at least do something about it.""
It's OK to fail
As the old saying goes, "Nobody's perfect."
However, the experts said many parents make the dangerous mistake of striving to make themselves and their children perfect.
"If we are so perfect all the time and they always see us that we are always wanting to be perfect, then the children won't safe telling us who they are," Gui said. "Being an imperfect parent makes us perfect in their eyes."
Gui added failure can actually be a good thing.
"They have to know that the choices they made have these consequences," she said. "It's not only a lesson, but it will also boost their competency."
Dionisio said parents should strive to solve problems with their children, rather than repeatedly berating them.
"If parents keep saying, "Ay nako, wala nang mangyayari sa iyo,ganyan ka na lang forever [My goodness, nothing will happen to you, you'll be like that forever]," we should not say those things because that's a label that can get stuck," she said. "But you say, "We'll work on it.""
Read the fine print
After reading all these, you will definitely have the tools to raising children who can take on whatever life throws at them.
But you shouldn't forget that what your kids eat and drink are what will give them the physical fortitude to deal with daily challenges.
As such, Salamat said it is vital that parents make sure their kids get good and healthy nutrition, such as milk.
"Let me emphasize the importance of reading the ingredients," she said. "The first ingredient that you see in the list is the ingredient that comprises the bulk of the food item. For example, you see whole milk, then that milk is good because it is natural."
She said food products that have more gobbledegook in the ingredients list tend to be less nutritious. One example of this is filled milk, which comprises the majority of milk products in the market.
"Filled milk, as the name implies, is milk where water has been removed, the milk fat has been removed and vegetable oil replaces the fat," she said. "In its truest sense, it's not milk."
Some brands, like Anchor, are bucking the trend by offering full cream or whole milk.
As a result, Anchor Milk has more protein and better absorbed calcium in every sip to give your kids more strength, energy and fortitude for when they kids really need it. And because it's natural, it has a more creamy and satisfying taste.
So don't forget: Learn to let your children go, know when to act decisively and give them the best and most nutritious food.
It may not be easy to do, but you (and your kids) will thank yourself in the end.