Sunday, April 19, 2020

The Three Hats of Parenting

Yesterday, I came across a Facebook post that mentions the three hats of parenting. I got curious. The post is rather short and I knew there could be more I could read on, so I looked it up. Apparently, the concept was heard from a talk of Bo Sanchez, a preacher and bestselling author in the Philippines. Brother Bo said that parenting is a journey that requires parents to wear three kinds of hats.  It is a must for parents to change hats as the child grows. So what are these three?šŸ‘’

1. Controller’s Hat

When your kids are still small, a controller’s hat is what you must wear as a parent.  Young kids are still exploring the world around them and it is at this stage that they learn what is right and wrong.  As parents, it is your responsibility to mold them by teaching them and giving them instructions. Wearing the controller’s hat means you must be able to control situations.  For instance, when they throw tantrums because they don’t get that they want (e.g. a new toy), you can’t give in to their demands just to make them stop.  It is in your hands to make them follow you.  Obedience and discipline are key values that you need to instill in their young minds.

2. Coaching Hat

When your kids grow up to be teenagers, you cannot keep wearing your controller’s hat because it could backfire.  It could lead to your child rebelling and resenting his/her parents. At this stage, the best hat to wear is the coaching hat. 

What is a coach? A coach teaches, trains, and assists. In sports, a coach just sits by the bench and sends the player to play alone; he just watches from afar after giving him/her strategies. Just like a coach, parents of teenagers should teach, train, and assist their children. Parents should be there when the child needs them. However, the child needs to be given the freedom to do his/her own thing. Parents should learn to let go and trust that their teenagers will apply the strategies they have learned from their folks.

3. Consultant’s Hat

When your child is all grown up, meaning, s/he is already working or has family of his/her own, another kind of hat must be worn and that is the consultant’s hat.  

A consultant is someone who gives advice. It is different from the coaching hat because a coach can pull his player away from the game anytime. A consultant cannot do that. A consultant speaks only when asked. In short, at this point, the parent’s role is just to be there when their child needs them. Parents should not interfere with the child’s life especially if the child is already married.


At this point in our parenthood journey, Rolly and I are wearing the controller's hat.  To be honest, I am not sure if we are doing a good job as I often find myself reflecting if we are disciplining our kids well enough.  Our firstborn who is now five years old is smart and sassy, a little girl who knows what she wants and expresses it.  We have frequent power struggles, and there are times when we let ourselves lose for the sake of peace and quiet. You know as parents, sometimes you're just too tired to deal with the conflict. We resort to rewards or threats to make her obey, and we are not certain if that's the best way.  But as the journey progresses, we are hopeful that we will wise up more and more.  We want the best for our kids (who doesn't?), and by God's grace and with intention, we will try to make every hat we wear fit and function well. ❤️

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