Navigating Holiday Dinners with Unwanted Parenting Advice: A Light-Hearted Filipino Approach

It's Christmas time in the Philippines – a season of joy, family reunions, and the inevitable flood of parenting advice from our relatives. We've all been there: you're enjoying the festivities, and suddenly a well-meaning tito or tita starts with their 'sabi-sabi ng mga matatanda' beliefs.   While these pieces of advice come from a place of love, they often reflect outdated notions that can limit our children's freedom to explore and grow. Let's look at some of these common beliefs and find ways to 'unbox' them!

1. "Wag ilabas ang baby pag hindi pa bininyagan, baka makuha ng masasamang espiritu."

("Babies need to stay at home until they’re baptized because evil spirits might take them.")

Unbox it: "We've got our amulets ready, just in case. And a little fresh air and sunshine are great for the baby, spirits aside."

2. "Huwag papaaraw sa bata, baka magkasakit."

("Don't let the child play under the sun, they might get sick.")

Unbox it: "We found out that vitamin D from the sun is actually good for them. Plus, we always use sun protection."

3. "Huwag hayaang maglaro sa lupa ang bata, baka mapasukan ng lamang-lupa."

("Don't let children play in the soil; earth spirits might enter them.")

Unbox it: "We've negotiated a peace treaty with the lamang-lupa. But jokes aside, playing in the dirt can actually boost their immune system."

4. "Wag hayaang maglaro ng masyado sa labas ang bata, baka ma-kidnap."

("Don't let kids play outside too much; they might get kidnapped.")

Unbox it: "We keep a close watch, and we teach them about safety. It's all about balance and letting them learn independence in a safe way."

5. "Huwag pasuotin ng kulay pula ang bata, baka lapitan ng engkanto."

("Don't dress children in red; enchanting spirits are attracted to it.")

Unbox it: "Our engkanto friends actually prefer neon green. But really, we dress our kids in what makes them happy and comfortable."

Facing unsolicited advice during holiday gatherings is part of our rich Filipino culture. By responding with humor and a modern perspective, we can respect our elders' views while gently guiding the conversation towards more progressive parenting approaches. Remember, our aim is to 'unbox' a world where our children can freely explore and grow. After a day full of learning and play, Tender Care® products like Tender Care® Head to Toe Baby Wash and Shampoo help ensure that our little ones stay clean, fresh, and ready for their next adventure.