A PARENT'S RESPONSIBILITIES & PRIDE
by Yujin Kim-Flordeliz
As a parent we have many responsibilities to our children. We should be responsible in providing our children excellent education, food, shelter, clothing, and making sure that
they remain safe all the time. It is really tough to be a parent because the list of our duties just goes on and on. Well, because of these reasons we may not be able to pay enough attention to caring for our children’s teeth.
I think the most important and challenging part of a mother’s job is teaching her children effective and healthy habits to last a lifetime. They should be taught basic oral health skills and why they are important to them, then I am sure they will hopefully continue to follow a healthy regimen even without us looking over their shoulders.
I am very cautious when it comes to my children’s teeth. When I became a first time mom to my daughter, Yuri, who is now five (5) years old, I was excited for all things would first happen to her, for all things that she would do first, and everything.
I still remember when Yuri’s first tooth showed up, I was very delighted and excited. The tooth looked very cute and she looked very cute with that tiny little tooth. After some weeks the next tooth appeared and some more weeks and months later the others all popped out. Then I have finally realized when she got all these pearly white teeth that she grew up very fast. Yes, now she is a preschool kid.
When I enrolled her in a nursery school the principal praised her for having white and beautiful teeth. According to her teacher, she is the only one among her classmates who has a complete set of teeth (she got only 15 classmates).
Well, I trained my daughter, caring for her teeth by not letting her to have too much sweets like candies, junk foods, and soda; which can cause tooth decay. Unlike other kids she grew up with; very, very little candies with her. She has reached the age of 3 without taking any soda.
She was first exposed to softdrinks when she had to live with my parents and since my parents have a sari-sari store (being the first grandchild) she became a little spoiled with her grandparents. I hate to say this but Yuri stays at the store most of the time and she just gets anything she wants from the store.
However she is really an extraordinary kid. l am glad to say that my daughter never ever forgets to brush her teeth no matter how tired or sleepy she is. Sometimes she will remind her lola that she has eaten some candies or snacks and she would tell her lola to let her brush her teeth. Then lola would say, “you already brushed your teeth an hour ago” but my daughter would reply “yeah I know that lola but didn’t I tell you that I have eaten a lot of candies from the store awhile ago?” That’s how cautious she is when it comes to her teeth. Sometimes she would ask my sister “Mommy Neh, don’t you think my teeth are yellow?” or she would tell and ask her to look closely at her teeth and check whether her teeth became bad or remained good.
I have a nephew named Renz who is a year younger than her but his front teeth were already bad when he was 3 years old maybe because of too many candies and they were not properly brushed, well my sister admits that! So Yuri always reminds her cousin not to forget to brush his teeth as well as her little brother Andrei.
Actually Yuri got one very precious award from her nursery school which I am very proud of. It was THE MOST TIDY award! Her teacher proudly told me that Yuri is really neat. She didn’t go to school without taking a bath. She always brought a hanky everyday (according to her nursery teacher, Yuri would always get her hanky from her pocket every time she would sneeze or once her hands were wet). And yes her teacher even told me that Yuri was always the last student who would always finish brushing her teeth after their morning snacks at the school.
Seeing and hearing from others that my child looks healthy and clean, that she has a perfect set of teeth, and that at an early age she knows proper grooming… I take all these things very fulfilling. As a mother with too many great responsibilities, knowing her child is healthy is so rewarding!
As for my son, Andrei, his teeth are not complete yet but many say like his sister his teeth seem all very perfect that should be cared properly from now. By the way, Yuri’s first visit to the dentist was when she was only 8 months old in Korea and Andrei’s was when he was 10 months old. I don’t know but even I took Yuri to the dentist earlier she was kind of afraid to meet a dentist each time we went to see one maybe because she was not only comfortable or familiar with the person (dentist). We have brought her four times to the dental clinic since she was 8 months old. Her first was in Korea and her three other visits were in the Philippines, her last was when she was four years old. I strongly think that we had better take our kids to the dentist as soon as their first tooth popped and visiting just one dentist at a time will help our kid to feel comfortable and not feeling scared.
And for the last thing I would like to share is when Andrei first became very interested in brushing his teeth. It was when he first saw his sister brushing her teeth during bath time (their first time together). He grabbed his sister’s toothbrush and did what exactly his sister doing with that toothbrush. We bought Andrei’s toothbrush the next day and from then my two siblings brush their teeth together almost the same time everyday. And it is really cute to see them having fun brushing their teeth. Yuri would teach Andrei how to brush his teeth properly and sometimes she would brush her brother’s teeth and Andrei would do the same to his sister.
I love my kids very much. My ultimate hope is to see both of them healthy and grow old with so much love and care for one another. I also dream of being a more responsible parent to them.