Jessy is the proud mom of four daughters (ages six, five, two and one). Read on to find out how she deals with an all-female cast at home.
Who influences your parenting style?
My legendary, kind-hearted and generous mother influences my parenting style to a great extent. She is an illiterate, she doesn't recognise letters, and she only knows digits. Since young, she has never put any pressure on me or my siblings when it comes to academic. In fact, she didn't even know what school I was attending in Singapore, whether I failed or passed my exam, and whether I was promoted or retained. I remembered when I was in my primary school, she always told me to take my allowance from the drawer in the morning. This protocol continued throughout my schooling period. Somehow, she had indirectly instilled responsibility in all her children. She had given me utmost trust in money, taking care of my siblings, choosing my husband and so on. She often encourages us to have more babies and worry less about finances as the almighty will take care of it. In Chinese, this is called “天生天養”.
Personally, my hubby and I seldom worry about our children, whether it's academic or physical growth. We consciously remind ourselves to put their happiness on the front line and ensure they have a happy childhood. Academic is not everything. Robert Kiyosaki said: “Every child is a genius in his/her own way.” I totally agree. Trial and error, failure and success are all part of basic learning in life. I feel that I am a very lenient and easy-go-lucky mommy, but the lesser I worry, the happier the whole family will be. 🙂
How do you develop close relationships with your children?
I left my 5-figure, high-pay job in April 2018 as I had a shift in my priorities. I always felt guilty for not spending enough time with my children due to my demanding work schedule. Since I left my job, I dedicated myself to be a full-time mother, full-time chauffeur, full-time playmate and full-time meal companion. My children have become the centre of my life. They are my number one priority. Whenever there is a conflict of schedule, I can make a split-second decision on what I will choose to spend my time on. I never fail to choose spending time with my children over self-development course, investment course, high tea with friends and so on. At times when I need to be away for an extended period, my mom will come to Singapore to help me look after my children. My mom has this special ability to calm my nerves and allow me to focus on other things that will bring about benefits to everyone in the family.
My hubby and I love to bring our children out on weekends for outdoor activities. Even though such activities may be extremely tiring for us, it helps to reduce the time the children spend on the iPad and increase the time for bonding. I think the key to developing close relationships with our children isn't just saying “I love you” on a regular basis. Children need to be able to appreciate our love through our actions, and time spent with them is the greatest affirmation of this.
What is the best piece of parenting advice or guidance you have ever received?
Children are the greatest gift from God. Every child is a genius in their own way. In order to show that we love them, words are insufficient. Actions and time spent with them are mandatory.
Parents form their reality box by saying to their children, “You can do this; you can't do that.” I am guilty of this too! However, I am learning to let their creativity flow. Parents these days tend to worry too much about the academic performance of their children. We should learn to appreciate their talent and encourage them to improve on their strengths.
What are some of the biggest challenges you face in parenting? How do you deal with them?
My biggest challenge is my emotions and impatience. Sometimes I let my emotions lead the way and punish my children to stop them from crying. I forget that they are crying for a reason. We need to realise that young children are unable to convey their feelings through words appropriately due to their limited vocabulary. My hubby always said that our children exist to train up my patience. I choose to believe him, so whenever they cause me to feel agitated, I will consciously remind myself that they are training me. This has become a very effective way to control my emotions.
As a parent, what is the one thing that you want to do better or be better at?
The one thing I want to be better at is to minimise the quarrels between my hubby and me in front of our children. This is because I understand that what our children see and hear will shape the way they think and behave in future. Therefore, I want to better manage my marriage and be an understanding wife and a responsible mother.
What advice do you have for parents who have kids of the same age?
I have four kids of different age groups and they are as naughty as you can imagine. But I constantly remind myself to look on the bright side of things. Be grateful about their existence. Be grateful that they are healthy and active. Be grateful that they ask countless questions about almost everything they see or hear. Always give them a heart-to-heart hug and remind them that you love them every single day.
With the COVID-19 virus raging out there, how do you deal with working from home with the kids around?
Be calm and learn to appreciate the present. For me, I let the girls do whatever they want while I continue to do my work .
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