Parenting tips from a single mom
As a single parent, actress-television host Bettina Carlos can’t let herself get overwhelmed by fears.
“You’re the only one physically there to parent your child. And when you’re a first-time mother, you tend to be paranoid over some things. But that fear won’t help you; it won’t do you any good,” Bettina, who has a 7-year-old daughter whom she fondly calls Gummy, said at the recent Nido 3+ 5+ City Challenge at KidZania Manila.
“So, it’s important that you lift up your child and your life to the one who can really protect you,” she pointed out. “And that’s God.”
While Gummy grew up without a father—whom she has yet to meet—Bettina and her kid can manage just because of the efficient “family setup” they have in place.
It also helps that Gummy is well-trained from such a young age.
“We’re together in almost everything. She’s with me when I work or when I’m in the kitchen. Now, we’re together when she’s home-schooled… So, she knows how to behave in different situations no matter where we are,” said Bettina, adding that communication is also key.
“When mommy’s working, she helps me or she has her alone time. I communicate with her that this is our schedule—what’s going to happen today, if she wants to go with me,” she said.
But though they’re practicably inseparable, Bettina makes sure to give her child breathing space and a chance to think for herself.
“I take a step back, ask her and give her choices… But I see to it to oversee her choices and make her accountable for them,” she said.
Her parenting style, Bettina—who was last seen in the Kapuso programs “Hay, Bahay!” and “Sa Piling Ni Nanay”—is a “cross between lenient and authoritative.”
Bettina also feels that parents shouldn’t be too afraid to let their kids go out and explore.
“Contrary to belief, doing this will do more good than harm,” she said.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.