Even if you send your children to a good school, unconsciously they are developing their traits based on what they see at home. I grew up seeing my parents waking up at dawn every working day, preparing breakfast, lunch food for kids to bring to school, and then rushing off to their offices to work. Even with 2 yayas to look after us, my parents always seemed to rush.
My mother was unbelievably frugal. She would cook a big pot of dish, let's say adobong kangkong (river spinach with some meat in soy sauce), and that would be our food for the whole week. She won't cook anything else until that dish was completely finished. I knew we were not poor, my mother had a good steady income working as a staff for a U.N. agency in Manila, but she hated the thought of running out of money, so she lived way below her means.
My father was very loud and outgoing. He had a mouth of a truck driver. Having 3 swear words rolled in a sentence followed by a hearty laugh was natural for him. He was the opposite of my mother but he also practiced frugality to please my mother. When he wanted new clothes my mother would always convince him that he didn't need it, even when his shirts and socks were full of stitches.
I inherited the combined traits of my parents. I'm frugal and loud. I didn't see this immediately. It was pointed out to me by the handyman throughout the years. He'd casually
I also had the habit of recycling - left over chicken to chicken spread, meat and vegetables would become soups, left over fish would become sushi rolls, used toothpick would be reused to clean between tiles, disposable diapers would be reused with cloth diapers (I'd throw out the cotton and wash the left over plastic shield). Anybody tried this?
The handyman would also ask me nicely to stop swearing. I used to say in defense that I can't help it because it's in my genes from my father. I now intentionally choose my words because I don't want my kids making the same excuse when they grow up. It's hard for me to stop swearing completely, especially when I'm angry or when I drop things in the kitchen and get spattered by hot oil while cooking.
History repeats itself
There is nothing wrong with having the same traits as your parents, if they are good traits. I was well on my way to becoming just like my mother, and that's not such a bad thing. Unless, I want the finer things in life and the freedom to do what I want without having to worry about money.
To break the cycle of history repeating itself requires a conscious and intentional undoing. You must stop doing what your parents did, unless you want to be exactly like them. Think of who you would like to be. Copy what they are doing.
I am homeschooling my children because I want to raise entrepreneurs. But I must be an entrepreneur myself. I cannot stop until I become successful, because quitting would be a bad example.
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