Wednesday, September 30, 2015


By Angeline M Duran Santiago

There may be some of you that read the title I put on up here and you squirmed in your seat and said, "Oh, no, not another praise your child sermon when what today's kids really need is a big smack on their behind." 

So, nope, I'm not writing about patting them on the back and letting our kids do whatever they want, and nope, I am not saying we look the other way when they talk down to us, disrespecting and living like it's ok to grow up without manners and boundaries.

I am writing about praising your child for the right reason.

We should praise our kids when we know that we've spoken to them about something, that they keep forgetting to do or just won't do correctly,  at least one hundred and ten times and then suddenly, angelic voices fill the room and we find them doing the unexpected. In this piece I want to recognize my son, Jacob. I mean, I walk in and he'd doing homework. Wait. You didn't get that. I should be writing capitals all over the place, with sound effects like in the movie, "The Mask" with Jim Carey. My son is giving his all not just for football, but also classwork. 

It' s not easy getting our children to put their one hundred percent into hours of homework. Today's standards in school makes many kids feel as if they've failed way before high school has even begun. The way coaches treat their players it seems they've already determined the success story with being the kid who evens the team out. This world is full of messages to discourage and make you feel small.

But, as I walk in and see him doing great things, I praise him for remembering our talks. I praise him by saying, "I love to see what you're doing with your school work." I recognize that his bedroom looks pretty cool and that he has made an attempt to show me that he is taking better care of his responsibilities, especially in regards to the Type 1 Diabetes. 

I celebrate my son, as I hope you will do with your child as well, because I have to ask multiple times, "Do you have your homework? Do you have your glucose bag? Do you have your pump on? Did you check your sugar?" While all he may be hearing is, "Waaa Waaa Waaa Waaa" So, yes, I am clapping my hands and saying, "Whoo Hoo!" 

It's great to see him immersed in a math that I have no idea what the heck he's doing. And, oh my goodness, I must confess I feel such a relief when I ask him, "Hey, buddy, how's it going? Do you need my help with the homework?" (And inside I am like, NOOOOO, I don't know how to do this one!!!!!) Then, he says, "No, mom, thanks, I got this!" and I'm all like, "OK, sweetie, cause you know if you need my help, I'm right here for you, just let me know." But, I walk away and inside I am dancing and screaming, "YES!!!! He can do this on his own." But, then, I go and begin a google search on what he's doing for the moment of "just in case" he comes with a question. I will be like, "Oh sure, yes, let's sit down and look at it."

And, let me tell you, that's when faith really kicks in because if I didn't believe in miracles before, I will pray my heart out for one right then and there.

So, I'm proud of you my child. I am happy you are doing well and that you have remembered some of the things I have asked of you because they will bring you great success and victory. Place the Lord above all things in your life and He will always guide and bless you in all you do. I love you.
And, I pray, you will share with your child as well.

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