PHILIPINES - A young man opened up to me about his father.
He spent years trying to understand the separation of his parents and to deal with his skepticism about his father's love. Yet it seems, in all those years, he hardly felt his father's dedication. "It seems he doesn't care for me anymore," said the young man.
I had to pause and think about what he said. I didn't want him to think I was biased or judgmental.
It is very difficult for children to understand and accept that what they have learned about what a parent should be is contrary to what is happening in their lives. We have always wished for happiness, peace and harmony.
When my father passed away in 1980, my mother became head of the family and showed us unwavering love and dedication. She does so to this today.
She moved heaven and earth to meet our basic needs, including a proper education.
She never stops reminding me and my siblings about the importance of parental love.
Now that I have children of my own, I have raised my two sons following the same principles my parents reinforced in me.
As adults, we realise that honour and love could mean different things. Children honour their parents because they are taught to respect those older than they, and because their parents gave birth to them.
Love is different from respect. While I believe that I have done all I could for my children, I cannot demand or expect them to love me if they don't feel like reciprocating.
This is where our choices for rearing our kids come in.