What is it like to be running an enrichment centre and having a child at the same time? Selene Diong, Principal Instructor of Sparkanauts shares with us her parenting journey.
TNAP: Being the Principal Instructor of Sparkanauts Early Enrichment Centre, do you feel that you are better informed and equipped of what to do as a mother?
It is my first and foremost responsibility to continue to be updated with brain studies relating to children. I find this part about reading and applying brain research on children the most fulfilling and intriguing among everything that I do. It was my understanding of the child’s brains that helped me to observe accurately my daughter’s developmental stages and identify activities that would benefit her.
What was also very valuable to me was the fact that I get to talk to parents that attend classes with us. It is truly that the opportunity to hear their experiences with their children and their little successes that mold me as a parent.
The most precious moment in the job for me is the opportunity to interact with the children. Watching them grow at each of their developmental stages as babies and how they morph into toddlers and kindergarten goers has encouraged me a lot. I panic less as a parent because watching these children grow helped me to set realistic expectations of my own child. For example, I was urged to send my child to a school at a young age otherwise she would “have problems adapting when they are older” or would “lack in knowledge compared to the rest”. However, the children I see has proved otherwise.
TNAP: What is/was the biggest challenge(s) you had to overcome so far in parenting your child?
To avoid testing the child. This was easier to avoid when Annabelle was still a young baby because she had no means to show any output. However, as she begin to respond more positively, I find myself constantly trying to test her – if she knows how to play a certain note on the keyboard, read a certain word or complete a certain gymnastic action. The outcome has always been the same each time I try to test her – she shuns that particular activity. On the other hand, she does beautifully in the activities that she is not tested on and responds positively to those activities.
TNAP: How do you juggle between your career and family?
I believe that a strong family must first begin with a strong relationship between husband and wife. When our daughter see that her parents are loving towards each other, she would feel secure as a child. My husband and I will go on weekly dates to enhance our relationship.
When it comes to juggling both my career and family, my priorities are clear. My family will always come before my career. Ensuring that my priorities are clear will help me make any decisions that are required of me.
TNAP: What is the most important life lesson you would want your child to take away as he/she grows up and why?
To always be contented. As the saying goes “The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything but they make the most of everything.”
TNAP: Any parenting secrets or words of encouragement to share with our readers?
Model the exact behavior you want your child to adopt. The best lesson for any child is learnt when your child quietly observes you.
For more interviews with mothers, go to Interviews.