By Kristelle Bechayda
Part of raising children is also letting them find their own way in the world. Teaching them how to be independent is one of the best gifts we can give, but doing that is sometimes easier said than done, especially when we’ve been with them every step of the way.
At the recently held Reshape Glamp of Nankid, Moms and Babies was able to sit down with Dr. Hayden Kho and Dr. Vicki Belo, who shared how they let their four-year-old daughter Scarlet Snow explore and widen her horizons at a safe pace.
Providing a safe environment
Young children are generally curious of their surroundings and Dr. Hayden and Dr. Vicki are more than open to answering every inquiry from their daughter.
“We encourage her to ask questions,” explained Dr. Hayden, who takes Scarlet’s questions seriously. “So whenever she hears a word that she doesn’t recognize, she always asks. If we don’t know the answer, we actually research or Google back to her. We don’t make things up.”
Through reading, traveling and minimum gadget exposure, Dr. Hayden and Dr. Vicki are slowly introducing Scarlet to what the world has to offer. In fact, their four-year-old has already been to several countries where she gets to explore a bit more because nobody recognizes her.
“I believe in just letting her go far enough. She always looks back. She’s actually careful like Hayden. She doesn’t run wild. I call her a diesel engine because she’s very careful with everything,” described Dr. Vicki of her daughter.
Scarlet has the same approach when she meets new people. According to her mom, the four-year-old is observant of strangers first before she warms up to them.
“The way to get to Scarlet and make her your friend is to just don’t make her pansin first. Let her gauge you, then she’ll slowly come up to you. I think we let her explore as we can let her explore, as long as she looks back and we’re there so she feels safe,” added Dr. Vicki.
We owe it to the children
Hayden and Dr. Vicky seem to have mastered this part of parenting and when asked on their tips for anxious parents on letting their children have more independence, Dr. Vicki advised to provide a defined space where their kids can safely run around.
“Little by little, you really have to guide them,” she said. “Don’t be so overprotective, because you will not live forever. What happens to your child if he is left alone and you’re no longer there, di ba? You owe it to them to let them explore.”
As a way to lessen anxiety, Dr. Hayden suggested to find out what’s going on in your child’s life and to also engage in community activities.
“Try to even envision what’s the ideal world for your child. Try to make that world happen. If you have to participate in things in school or in your community, then participate, di ba? The rest, since you can’t control everything, leave them to God. Like my wife said, there’s nowhere safer than being in the hands of God,” he ended.