Parenting and home schooling

On Young Love

Living with a thirteen year old is quite a tricky thing. He’s a teenager, but not quite old enough (or mature enough) to be let go completely.

We do give our son, Pablo, a little more room to try to do things on his own. He can go to the mall with his friends, take himself to a couple of his trainings, and I no longer chaperone him to his parties.

His dad and I are fully aware that he’s at that age when he wants a little more independence for himself. I read about it in my favorite book on boys, Wild Things by Stephen James and David Thomas, and he’s expressed this desire to be on his own to do things.


“To complete the process of individuation (that is, forming his own distinct sense of self, apart from his parents), a boy needs growing autonomy, increased responsibility, and manageable opportunities to figure out who he is. He wants to be himself – even though he has little idea who he is. The hardest emotional, psychological and spiritual work a boy will do is in becoming his own man” (Wild Things, James/Thomas)

Thank God, we live around BGC, which I think is the safest place in Manila to let your kids walk around, cross roads, and all that.

We also let him take the TNV on his own, from time to time.

Puppy love

I’d like to think that we have a good and open relationship with our children. They can discuss anything with us. From their dreams to their dream girls, haha!

I think at his age, the topic on romance and relationships and yes, young love, is unavoidable.


Pablo has been receiving love letters from girls since he was 10 years old. Some are even bold enough to express their feelings for him in person. He had been attracted to a couple of girls, himself.

So far, he’s been able to handle it well.

As for the girls, I can’t speak for them. We have no authority over them. We cannot teach them, but we can teach our son.

And this is what we always remind Pablo:”…do not stir up or awaken love until it pleases” Song of Solomon 8:4. We tell Pablo to be careful in his relationships with his female friends.

To always remember to honor them and respect their parents. In the way he speaks to them and in the way he acts around them.

Yes, we teach him not to touch them in ways that may defile or disrespect them, whether he likes these girls or not. And warns him about misleading them into thinking he wants to be romantic with them.

”You don’t want to hurt your friends,” we tell him.

On careers and romantic futures

One of the things we tell Pablo about pursuing a girl is that he must envision her in his future; and to enter an exclusive relationship with him, she must also feel the same way.

We explained to him the risks of long engagements.

”A lot of things may happen that you are both not ready for, and times will be tough after that.” I speak that from experience.


Yes, we tell him that many of their dreams, not just his, may be set aside if he gets into a serious relationship he’s not ready for. If you’re wondering if we’ve talked about the birds and the bees with him – the answer is YES, WE HAVE.

We tell it to him because that is the hard truth. Our son needs to know the truth.

We also tell him, ”You need someone who is confident enough to let you follow your dreams, and you need to be strong enough to let her follow hers.”

”Find a woman who loves Jesus more than she loves you. You must be the same. Marriage is hard as it is, and only a man and a woman who center on Jesus, can remain loving and faithful, supportive, and forgiving to the imperfect other.”

(READ: The world will teach them)

Releasing the control

I don’t know how much of what we’re saying to him goes into his young coconut. We know very well that we can’t control our sons and that ultimately, they will make their own decisions in life.

We believe that God loves our children more than we love them; that he has their future in his hands, so He will take care of them.

As parents, we need to learn to trust the LORD for the lives of our children.

We are not the best parents in the world, but we have done our best to establish strong foundations in our son’s life during his younger years. We need to find peace with it.

It’s very difficult. We can only do so much. We cannot protect our children all their lives. We need to let them grow up, discover life for themselves, meet people of different stature and beliefs, make mistakes and learn to cry out to God and pick themselves up when they fall.

Our part is to teach them what God says in His Word about matters in life and to live lives of example to them (Proverbs 11:18-19). To rebuke when necessary.

To pray.

And to put our hopes in Jesus that when the time comes, they will choose well.

“Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction, and do not forsake the teaching of your mother. For they are a garland of grace on your head, and a pendantaround your neck. ” Proverbs 1:9.


  • Michi

    My son has no crush yet and I’m not sure kung ano magiging reaction ko pag meron na. I’m not yet ready. Baby pa rin tingin ko sa anak ko kahit lagi niya sinasabi, pre-teen na siya. hehehe!

  • Veni Anabo

    This is so relatable mommy. I have 2 teenage girls, one just turned 18 last week. And I can say that having teenage girls is more difficult than having boys. There are a lot of things we are too afraid in this world that we thought they are too fragile to encounter it. We as loving and responsible parents need to really guide them and teach them how to fight this world we live in.

    And yes. Ang hirap pag kasali na ang lovelife nila sa storya. Hahaha I really cried. Haha Well, this is our story. #Motherhood

  • Mommy Anna

    My little kulit is very open that he has a “pretty girl” since he was in preschool. Sabi ko ang aga naman, at least alam ko ganun pa lang. Idont know lang pag teenage years na sis how to handle.

    • May De Jesus-Palacpac

      From what I learned from my friend whose boys are much older already, they established an open relationship with their kids while bata pa. Yung they can open up about anything without us overreacting. That way, when they’re teenagers, they will not hesitate to also let us know what’s going on with them. Pero self control talaga on our part to try not to impose to them our own opinions and decisions. They really need to figure it out by themselves. Guide lang tayo.

  • Berlin | Momi Berlin

    Have three teenage boys and I miss the old them when they used to hug me and even kiss me. They are also sometimes aloof and not too comfortable telling stories just like before. Now, my goal is to improve my relationship with them and break the ice between us.

    On having loves and crushes. I guess we can’t stop them but yes, we can only guide them.

  • Sonia Seivwright

    I appreciate the parents’ approach and transparency in guiding their son on pursuing a girl and entering an exclusive relationship. Their advice on finding someone who loves Jesus more than they love each other and being supportive of each other’s dreams is commendable. It’s also admirable how they acknowledge that ultimately, their son will make his own decisions in life and that they need to trust in God’s plan for him.

  • Stephanie

    This story touched my heart – I remember being in the same situation with my teenage boy! I appreciate the insight you offer.

  • Kimberley Asante

    Your thoughtful approach to navigating young love with your son is truly inspiring. It’s admirable how you balance giving him independence while also guiding him with wisdom and love. Your reflections on these delicate parenting moments offer a lot of insight.

  • Karen Morse

    Despite a tricky time to navigate with “first love” emotions, you are handling it very well and teaching your son the foundation of what love is and what it isn’t. I appreciate you reminding/teaching him to respect the girl AND her parents. Sometimes, that gets overlooked these days, so bravo on reminding Pablo about that important part of relationships.

  • Melanie E

    My girls are at a similar age and also want to be allowed more freedom than they have been. It’s a difficult age as they want more freedom but you also need to make sure they are safe. Thankfully we haven’t had to worry about boys too much as they want to focus on their studies, something I’ve been advocating for years. It is an area that they need support and careful guidance with.

  • The Joyous Living

    I remember as a teen the big thing at church was “I kissed dating goodbye.” Times change, ideas change but what remains true is faith and family and LOVE. Love reading about how much you love and support your young one and are encouraging him to embrace love in a Godly fashion.

  • Olga

    I feel you! My sons are still young (3 and 6), but I’m already thinking about what to do when they are teenagers. I hope they will be able to receive and give love and build close relationships.

  • Archana Singh

    I used to live around BGC and totally vouch when you say BGC is the safest place in Manila to let your kids walk around crossroads, and all that. Wow. Also, I LOVED YOUR EXPERIENCE. You handled your son really well.

  • pedja

    Ah, you are going through a very challenging phase with your son. And you are handling it very well. It’s something that awaits me and my wife with our two.

  • Clarice

    This is such a beautiful read. I know that parenting can be challenging but I love how open you are with your son.

    I agree with you that we need to honest with them and it is important to have real conversations with them including the birds and the bees and how they should act/ treat their friends and the opposite sex.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.