The 10 Commandments for Parents

GMA News Online

Meg is an only child. Her parents love her dearly and provide for all her needs. In fact, they give her everything she asks for, pamper her, and never let her do any dirty work. She grew up with a nanny at her disposal, and even her parents were always at her beck and call.

Today, Meg is a 25-year-old graduate student and junior teacher. She confesses: “My parents loved me very much, but they expressed it by giving me everything I wanted. Now as an adult, I struggle with selfishness.”

According to research, children who are overindulged have a distorted sense of entitlement. They learn early on to manipulate their parents to get what they want. But what appears to be parents’ genuine “love” for their children actually does more harm than good. This so-called love may even condemn a spoiled child to live a dysfunctional life as an adult.

Raising spoiled brats was only one of the many topics discussed during the two-day seminar conducted by Dr. Thomas Lickona, a developmental psychologist and professor of education at the State University of New York at Cortland. He is a sought-after lecturer on character education and is, in fact, known as the Father of Character Education. His Manila lectures held last Sept. 21 and 22 were organized by PAREF Woodrose School.

The highlights of the seminar are summarized into this list of 10 commandments for parents.

1. Build a character-centered, not an entertainment-centered, family. Make character a priority in your family. The members of a family that focuses on building good character aspire to be the best persons that they can be. On the contrary, entertainment-centered family members seek entertainment, fun and good times. They easily get bored and always feel the need to entertain themselves. Dr. Lickona says, “They don’t have a higher sense of self.”

2. Keep the marriage strong. Research shows that good marriages mean better parenting. Couples need to make time to reconnect with each other on a daily basis. “After the marriage, it is more important for couples to have regular conversations,” says Dr. Lickona. He also emphasized that single parents can still be effective parents, saying that “it is more difficult, but it can be done.”

3. Avoid spoiling children by giving them meaningful chores. It is very easy to spoil a child. But the age-old practice of giving them age-appropriate work is very effective in making sure they grow up responsible. This becomes part of their character and allows them to feel pride in themselves. “Children need to feel privileged to be able to contribute to the family,” he says.

4. View children as adults in the making. Dr. Lickona challenges parents to take on a long-term perspective when looking at their children’s character and habits. “If they cannot pick up after themselves now, what would it look like when they’re adults?” Dr. Lickona asks. Parents need to correct bad habits early because it will become more difficult, if not impossible, to correct these when the children grow up.

5. Encourage children to have goals. According to a study done among gifted teenagers, those who learned to set goals reached a higher level of success over those who did not. Parents need to ask their children questions like, “What's the goal you’re working on this month?” or “How are you going to carry out your goal?”

6. Make time for your children. Couples need to share the responsibilities of family life with each other. Even if parents have tremendous responsibilities at work, they need to be intentional about setting aside time for the kids. Dr. Lickona believes that there is always time for important things and encourages parents to sacrifice personal leisure, like TV watching, once in a while in favor of time with the children.

7. Teach your children to have a relationship with God. Religion is an important backup for parents. Children must understand that they need to be accountable not only to their parents, but also to God. “They need to realize that there is a higher authority, that when they are in trouble, they can go to God,” Dr. Lickona shares.

8. Give children opportunities to practice the 10 essential virtues of wisdom, respect, justice, self-control, love, positive attitude, hard work, integrity, gratitude, and humility. Conversation and reasoning can only do so much to promote understanding and eventually develop character. Virtues are created through constant practice. The character of a person is molded by what he or she repeatedly does.

9. Cultivate discipline. Parents must hold their children accountable for their actions at all times. Children need to know what the house rules are and what is expected of them. Parents must simply lay it out and stick to it, no matter what. When children commit mistakes, teach them to apologize AND know what they are apologizing for. “Restitution is important—if you do something wrong, you need to do something right to restore the balance,” Dr. Lickona explains.

10. Know that you don’t need to be a perfect parent. “You just need to try,” says Dr. Lickona. Even if you have done all the right things, children will still make mistakes because they, too, are people with weaknesses. “Being a parent is the hardest but the most important work in the world,” he affirms. “But never give up–we’ve got God on our side.” –KG, GMA News

Originally posted in: GMA News Online

Posted at October 8, 2012 12:41pm

Article by Ime Morales
Photo by Patrice Cabauatan

Message of DepEd Secretary to PAREF

Message of Education Secretary Br. Armin A. Luistro FSC delivered during the PAREF Annual Membership Meeting (some excerpts)

First of all, on a personal note, I think this is a good way to express my gratitude to the PAREF schools and all of you on behalf of my five nephews and nieces who went through the PAREF system in Woodrose and in Southridge. I distinctly remember my elder brother, Toni Luistro, was into a major crisis because of his wife’s long standing illness, and with five children he barely had time to bring the children to school, work so he’d be able to support them, and take care of his wife during those years. And I only found this out after Monet died to realize that the support from the parents both in Southridge and Woodrose has become a constant source of support for her all the way until she died, and even beyond that, helping  my brother to take care of the five children.

During the wake of Monet I realized that a lot of the  PAREF parents  have actually doubled to be caregivers for Monet, because she was left all alone in the hospital, and you were a constant source of support for her during her illness, during her death, and after that for Toni and the rest of her children. With God’s grace the five children are doing very well. Toni has not remarried. I think he has devoted his life for his kids, and I have always thought that given the opportunity I would like to express the family’s gratitude to all of you. I think that mirrors the type of mission that PAREF parents have. It is beyond taking care of your kids in your PAREF Schools. It is about a PAREF family: a community of parents taking care of each other; it’s taking care of the family, taking care of kids, and beyond just school hours, realizing that is the very heart of your mission.

I would like to start with that and segue into what I feel maybe a lasting legacy, perhaps a distinct  help, that PAREF community could give to Philippine education. As you very well know, our Constitution enshrines the role of parents as the primary source of education for their kids. That enshrinement in the Philippine Constitution is something that would have to taken seriously, although in reality, I am not sure if people understand what that exactly means.

I think one  model,  an  extreme  model,  is  a  model  of  a  Home-Study  where  parents  take  the full responsibility. They  do  the  modules  inside  the  comfort  of  their  own  homes. They  take  the responsibility of actually teaching their kids and maybe with minimal or no help at all from real educators, unless they themselves have real training in pedagogy. That is one extreme. On the other extreme, you have the general sense that education must be left alone to the responsibility of experts those who are licensed teachers, those who run universities and schools and the role of the parents is to provide the resources, if they have them, bring them to school, leave them at the gate and pick them up and not have anything to do with the school unless called by the principal or the guidance counselor. Those are the two extremes of what Filipinos generally understand as what  is enshrined in the constitution as the primary role of parents as agents of education.

In several instances, and we have these in the public schools, we have a Parents-Teachers Association. And yet that model is a model that seeks to implement and put into  place the partnership between parents and teachers. But I have, even in our La Salle schools, our own bad experience of parents overdoing it or maybe doing it for the wrong reasons. We have in the experience of the public schools, parents who have stayed on, sued us, because they want to stay on as officers of Parents’ Associations twenty years after kids have graduated in that school.


I dare say, among the different models that try to put in place what is enshrined in our Constitution, I cannot think of any other model except the PAREF Foundation – where parents take on a very definite role, engages teachers and educators and institutionalizes this model of how parents and teachers can work together so they are a part of the curriculum, the community, and the environment that the school will be and what they intend their children and their graduates after they finished.

I have not seen any other model that worked so well, but I am sure in your years of engagement and the many communities that you have already formed, you have a lot of insights on how this may actually work: what are the learning and what are the tensions that are brought together in an engagement where both parents and teachers see themselves as working in tandem in creating that learning environment.  I am sure you have dealt with tensions and struggles to trying to find our specific places within that paradigm and I think that is something worth sharing with the rest of the country. After all no school can be ran without the definite support and engagement of the parent; but what type of engagement, what role do parents actually play? And maybe the PAREF community will be able to model what exactly that engagement should be….

My appeal is two-fold. Number one, maybe the PAREF schools can first of all look at your model of how your parents can engage the school and either publicize to ensure that the rest of the schools in the Philippines can learn from your model. Secondly, maybe you can think of other areas where existing PAREF schools with your resources can actually partner with the Department in addressing, at least portions, of the community that we need to serve… I am sorry to give you an assignment, but the task of addressing all the problems in the Department can seem to be overwhelming at times and we need all the help we can get and I just assume that this will be a great opportunity to plant  some seeds either to continue to be engaged in farm schools or maybe night schools in your current areas of responsibility and institutions. But more importantly something very distinct to the PAREF community and a model that I think is worth sharing now to both private and public schools: how parents can actually be fully engaged and how they can implement what is enshrined in our constitution that the parents are the primary agents of education for their children.

Thank you very much for this invitation to join you this morning. I am very pleased to call myself an affiliate of the PAREF  Community. We hope that you can continue to work even more closely together.

11 August 2012, University of Asia and the Pacific, City of Pasig

PAREF Southridge creates Christmas tree for a cause

Philippine Daily Inquirer

This holiday season, little hands will be busy building huge Christmas trees as part of Dusit Thani Manila’s annual Christmas Tree Project. Using recycled materials, children from nine elementary schools will have a month to prepare their 10-ft-tall trees.


Joaquin Consing, Joaquin Fernandez and Justin Medalla of Paref Southridge School for Boys

Participating schools are: De La Salle Santiago Zobel, its “Tree of Hope,” to be made of used books and plywood scraps; Everest School Manila, which will use newspapers to create a tree titled “Have Yourself an Everest Christmas”; German European School Manila and its tree called “Our Christmas Story,” to be built out of toilet paper tubes; Mahatma Gandhi International School, which will recycle shoe boxes covered in green and red wrappers to form “The Giving Tree.”

Other participants include MGC New Life Christian Academy, with its “3T: Tree, Technology and Truth” tree, to be built using old CDs and other electronic waste; Miriam College Grade School, which will use corn husks for its “Peaceful Christmas Tree”; Paref Southridge School and its “Tree of Faith,” to be created using plastic spoons; Singapore School Manila and its tree titled “With Love and Light,” featuring scrap bamboo; and Divine Healer Academy in Cabid-an, Sorsogon, the only provincial institution, which will build its “Puno ng Pangarap” also out of bamboo.

The schools, represented by faculty members and two or three students, discussed their tree concepts at a recent press conference in Dusit’s Tosca restaurant.

Recycled materials

The use of recycled materials for the trees is the hotel’s way of educating children on the importance of being environment-friendly. It’s also a symbolic gesture for some of the schools.

Old newspapers on Everest School’s tree represent the good news of Christ’s birth, while the rationale behind German European School Manila’s use of toilet paper tubes is that “as the world moves forward, traditions are being flushed away.”

Divine Healer Academy’s “Puno ng Pangarap” (tree of dreams) represents the school’s hope for a better future for their underprivileged students.

Other trees will be more than ornamental. De La Salle Zobel’s tree, designed like a tapering bookshelf, will contain used books to be donated to one of their adopted schools, Calambuyan Elementary School in Calatagan, Batangas.

Mahatma Gandhi International School’s used shoe boxes for “The Giving Tree” will each contain one gift from the school’s pupils, to be given to their chosen recipients. The tree’s round base will be converted into a table for a daycare center, while the aluminum cans and tabs to be used as decor will be donated to Tahanang Walang Hagdan as materials for canes and wheelchairs.

The trees will be displayed in Dusit’s lobby from Nov. 15 to Dec. 28. This year’s top three winners will be determined solely by votes. One can vote online through Facebook by liking the Dusit Thani Manila fan page, then liking their chosen photo. Or, one can go to the hotel to cast his/her vote (one ballot form for every P500 worth of purchase in the hotel).

Christmas spirit

This is the third year Dusit Thani is holding its Christmas Tree Project.

The contest opens with a tree-lighting ceremony on Nov. 15. The top three winners will each receive cash prizes, to be donated to their chosen charities.

“The first year, we had 12 individuals [create the trees], and we called the project ‘Unity in Diversity.’ Last year we had families, and so from just one person [per tree], we had six or seven people working on their Christmas trees,” said Dusit Thani Manila general manager Prateek Kumar. “For this year, we took it to the next level by involving children.”

“The Christmas spirit we felt in our first Christmas Tree Project [with 12 individuals] felt so magical, and we just want that magic to grow,” he added.

Theme for this year’s contest is “A Hundred Voices. Ten Hopes. One Christmas Story.” One hundred pupils from Singapore School Manila, Mahatma Gandhi, MGC New Life Christian Academy and Everest School Manila will serenade guests with Christmas carols at the tree-lighting ceremony on Nov. 15.

Ten Christmas trees will be on display—nine from the schools, and one from Dusit.

“Christmas is about hope, the future, giving—all these things are about children, more than anybody else,” said Kumar. “And building a Christmas tree will be like a fairy tale for these children.”

Article by Annelle S. Tayao
Photo by Romy Homillada

Originally posted in: Philippine Daily Inquirer
4:31 am | Sunday, October 21st, 2012

PAREF Directors Join International Conference in Ireland


PAREF sent a delegation to Education and Parents: Partnership, Policy and Leadership, a conference in Navan, Ireland  from April  3-7, 2013 sponsored by Lismullin  Institute. The international conference was participated by   K-12 schools that espouse strong home-school collaboration, from English-speaking countries.   Workshops and sharing of best practices were conducted among board trustees and school directors  of Oakcrest School, Willows Academy and Montrose School  (US), Tangara School for Girls  (Australia), Hawthorn School (Canada), Rosemont  School (Ireland), Oliver House, The Laurels and Oakwood School (UK), Kianda School (Kenya), Lagoon School (Nigeria), Tak Oi Secondary School (Hong Kong)  and PAREF Woodrose School, Rosehill School, and Southcrest School  (Philippines). 

Lectures included Character formation: Education in Virtues,  Single-Sex Education: The Current Perspective and The Global Vision of Educational Projects.  Ms. Adiel Aguiling (PAREF Central Office, Director for Personal Formation) shared with the body  PAREF's organizational development and services to schools and families, while Ms. Kathleen Pineda (Woodrose School, Director for Academic Standards and Personal Formation) talked about the outreach services and development programs initiated by parents, teachers and students.  Ms. Jane Pulido (PAREF trustee), Ms. Gina Rama (Rosehill, Exec. Director) and Ms. Emylou Visaya (Southcrest School, Exec. Director) also formed part of the PAREF delegation.

From Ireland,  the five PAREF representatives proceeded to Madrid, Spain for work sessions with Fomento de Centros de Enseñanza, the harbinger of home-school collaboration.

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