#28 | Parenting lessons as I go ~ Boys need boundaries

The past few weeks have been riddled with angst and arguments with my Gabo. It made me very unhappy. I just wanted to sweep the issues under the rug. The basic problem is…Tumitigas ang ulo ng anak ko. As simple and as profound as that.

I initially blamed this malaise to his online friends/gaming. I talked about pulling the plug on these friendships with Ariel but we decided that doing  so would really be counter productive. It will just trigger more resentment from Gabo. So I had to dig deep. I have to find the answer to “why is this happening”?

Low maintenance…NOT YET!

Oh I know why. I just gotta be honest with myself. I left him to his own devices this year, 2013. I thought that Gabo needed little attention, little “motherly maintenance”. After all, he is in his 2nd year high achool and he is 14 years old. I must admit, I also immersed myself with other things, things that took me away from him so to speak. Schoolwork-wise, his grades are more or less the same. It’s his sense of entitlement that went south.

Being “free range” is not for him. I have written before that I raise my boys with a barn-laid style parenting. Neither caged nor free-range; but somewhere in between. That is still the way to go, I now realise for certain.

We needed to go back to the 2012 rules; rules that were in place from the time he went to Kindergarten.  Rules that I needed to re-impose because without my policing, my son becomes askewed!

My lesson in this.

Gabo needs order and routine. Boundaries. He needs to move within the confines of our agreed boundaries (read=timetable). Later, a friend intimated a truth from a book that she has read that I obviously have not. Boys need boundaries to feel secure, stable and loved. The book is called Raising Boys.

Of course in due time, Gabo will be able to self-manage himself. But for now it would seem that I need to keep the order for him.

So ok. I made the adjustments. Last weekend was beautiful. He kept online gaming to 2 hours in the morning. He vacuumed, he dusted, played the guitar during spare times, played with Kuya Migo, chatted with me, made kulit with me, learned to iron his school shirt with Papa, helped around the kitchen…He did all the things I asked of him with a happy heart. Simply because we followed some guidelines.

Writing these all down is giving me such clarity and AHA! moments.

I still did my own things. I ran, I blogged/wrote, I read my books, etc. I still did all the things I have been doing the past 11 months but with one difference. I kept tab of Gabo all day and weekend long. Touched base with him all.the.time.

And that worked like magic…

Disclaimer: Not all kids are the same. My parenting style may not work with your kids…I find that you have to really know what makes them tick to pull the right strings. I know I know. We all wish there was a flowchart somewhere specific to our own kids. Alas, you will have to go your own way here…I can only share what worked for me. Big Love, Cha.


  1. I have the same sentinments. With my girls of course. Hubby and me also believe in raising kids in between being caged and free-range, but sometimes especially living in a country like AU where we get caught up with work, domesticity, etc, etc (in short, no extra help around) sometimes we tend to let the kids loose with a free reign. And then realise in a fleeting moment that, oops, whoa… let’s pull the reign a little bit tighter. I think it gets harder when they become teenagers. Personally, we have up and down moments. Its bitter sweet. I think in the long term, as long as they are able to work out who the psychos are, they’ll be fine. I love Steve Biddulph books! I read (borrowed from the library) a long time ago his book Manhood. Look for that one too! xx