Parenting: A Neophyte Leadership Story - iTeach ULead

Parenting: A Neophyte Leadership Story

As a new parent I was often told, “Parenthood doesn’t come with a manual!”

Truly, all of us who gave life to a newborn, have gone through a newbie stage.  There is really no fixed and fast rule that even our own parents can handover to us in a platter.

Up until now I cannot describe how confused, worried, yet overwhelmingly happy I was when I heard that first loud cry as I gave birth to a new living being.  It’s the best gift I ever received on New Year’s Eve!  Honestly, I appreciated my mother all the more the very moment I became one. But, I lost my mom early in life and I miss her that day when I delivered her healthy grandson to this world. And I miss her even more as I learn motherhood, mostly, all by myself. I guess no one can really prepare us for this unique kind of leadership which is also known as parenthood! All I know is that we are all destined to learn it and excel differently as a parent. 

As I embrace wholeheartedly the responsibility of being a mother, I realized that parenting is Mindful Leadership. It changes my perspective. I suddenly care more for my child and also for other people. I know that it will take a whole village to raise a child and there are things I cannot control except for the way my husband and I can prepare him for a better tomorrow by providing him the love and care that he needs.     

As a parent, we are trusted with an individual to nurture endlessly, putting us in a serious business of building a character through unconditional loving. It's a 24/7 leadership work with no days off that comes with smiles, hugs, and kisses as consolation. A leadership opportunity given to many but only few can embrace it with no difficulty.  I am just glad that God granted me the gift of motherhood when I felt that I was ready.

My neophyte leadership experience at work was already exciting and fulfilling until it turned out that it could be more when I became a mother.  Nothing beats the excitement and fulfillment of having to take care of a child of your own.  It’s a continuous learning process complete with joys, pains, and A-ha moments. As a parent trying to teach, coach, and mentor my son, I have plenty of unforgettable leadership experiences with him that is worth sharing.

Here is one of those moments close to my heart. It was when I knew that my son will grow up finding joy in creative learning. At 18, I am just so proud of the things my son has already accomplished for himself. His passion and dedication to study in school, to explore life, and to learn more about his faith are simply remarkable.

I remember quite clearly watching my boy, who was then about 3 or 4 years old, having a hard time writing the number 5.  We were inside a tricycle going home from school when he kept on doodling on his notebook a figure of a number that comes after 4. I was really thinking how best to describe the number so he could remember.

I always believed that we are all created equal when it comes to learning but we differ in pacing and learning styles. I know that children’s minds are like a Tabula Rasa – a blank, clear, and clean slate ready to be filled-out with ideas, figures, concepts, and experiences.  With my son having both parents as Architects, I was almost sure that he is also a Visual Learner.

And so, in helping him draw the number 5, I showed him how to guide his hands by saying out loud “Guhit, Buntis, Sumbrero!” or “Line, Pregnant, Hat!” And it worked!  I am sure while reading this you are also trying it out. Go on don’t be shy, keep in mind those three strokes that best describe the parts of the number 5.  I just cannot forget how his eyes lit up when he got the idea and loudly guided his hands on his notebook and got the number 5 right!

My son, Ian Paolo, remembers this particular coaching moment until now.  As a learner, he realized that he can best enjoy learning by visualizing and associating things. And as a coach, I knew then that I have to be more and more creative in helping him learn. Let us not forget, there were 8 more numbers left for him to learn and for me to creatively teach him.

For my family, creativity forms part of our everyday routine.  We ourselves, as adults, cannot afford to stop learning on how to coach others and improve ourselves as leaders. We know that our leadership will always significantly impact the behavior and performance of our son and the people in the firm we work with. 

With Ian now deciding whether to pursue a course in Engineering or Aeronautics, we will soon be facing more challenges to be creative in coaching him in order to help him succeed. We are also very much aware that we are not just building a professional here; we are upbringing a young man to become a responsible adult who has respect for people and sincere love for God. 

For parents and leaders like me, everyday is a good opportunity to know the LEARNING STYLES of your children and the people we are helping to develop as future leaders.  There is really no one-size-fits-all in the field of learning. The structure of our mind and body are just created so differently from each other that we have so much to appreciate. And nothing can be more fulfilling than seeing your children or employees grow while having fun learning.

Previously, learning styles are commonly classified into just three styles.  But with recent studies the classification has evolved and redefined further to help learners gain knowledge more efficiently while teachers facilitate learning more accurately . Below are the Seven Learning Styles:.

  1. Visual – They are the ones who doodle a lot on their notebooks. Their faces lit up when you let them see pictures or drawings to describe a concept or an idea. Visual learners can easily follow a procedure once shown or demonstrated step by step. Visual learners excel as Architects, Engineers, Designers, and Artists.
  2. Auditory – They love reading out loud and thinking out loud, too. Don’t panic, it’s alright. They may appear like talking to themselves but not exactly. You won’t see them answering back. They can just best absorb ideas and concepts when they hear it.  They establish musical patterns to help them remember. Try to recall how the children’s TV show “Sesame Street” described numbers or letters by letting the Muppet sing.   Musicians, Speech Pathologists, Audio-acoustic Engineers are excellent auditory learners. 
  3. Verbal – These type of learners love reading and writing to absorb ideas and express how they understand things. They love playing with words, making rhymes, and widening their vocabulary. They learn best with books, mnemonics, scripts, and role-plays. Verbal learners turn out to be great Public Administrators, Journalists, Writers, and Politicians.
  4. Physical – They are what we also call kinesthetic learners who can best understand a concept or a process by letting them do it. Aside from visual aids, demonstrations, and reading instructions; physical learners prefer to let their hands perform a certain task to make them understand. Often, physical learners succeed as Performance Artists, Dancers, Emergency Responders, Physical Education Instructors, and Sports Coaches.
  5. Logical – These are the type of learners who are good in establishing patterns with numbers. They can get easily engrossed in analyzing and connecting seemingly meaningless concepts. And they often work with logic and mathematical reasoning in solving complex problems. Logical learners pursue careers in Scientific Research, Accountancy, Medicine, and Computer Programming.
  6. Social – They are the people-person learners. They love connecting with people and communicating in verbal and non-verbal ways. They learn more by asking for advises and listening to opinions during discussions. They can actually learn best as they address emotions and show empathy toward another person. Social learners are often successful in the areas of Counseling, Teaching, Training & Coaching, Selling, and Human Resource Management 
  7. Solitary – These are learners who are independent and introspective. They love learning alone, free from any distractions. They learn more by focusing on a given thought or feelings. Authors and Researchers are mostly solitary learners.

Hopefully, this list can help you start studying how to best coach your children or the people you are leading at work. Remember, everyday is an opportunity for us parents and leaders to discover a new skill because God showered us with limitless talents and creativity.

And he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, with intelligence, with knowledge, and with all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold and silver and bronze.

Exodus 35: 31-32

Grace Fabello

Christian.  Mother.  Wife.  Architect.   


A gentle soul in the competitive industry of designs and structures. A servant leader who finds fulfillment in building strong relationships with family  and friends through Jesus.   

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