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“No one-size-fits-all approach to disciplining kids”

Image credit: Ms Violette Chng

The Parenting Journey is a five-part interview series where real parents dish out real talk about their parenting experiences. Follow the series here.

In the second part of our parent interview series, we look at the journey of Ms Violette Chng, a HR Manager with a private hospital and her husband Mr Andy Koh, who works in the public service sector. Together they are proud parents of three children, 11-year-old Donovan who is in the Gifted Education Programme, nine-year-old Dione and five-year-old Davian.

Share with us how you discipline each child, according to their personalities.
Every child is different. Understanding their personality and what works for them is most important. As the saying goes, different strokes for different folks so there is no one-size-fits-all approach to disciplining the kids. However, it’s always tricky when you try to be consistent while using different approaches with each kid. For example, with Donovan, he has always beeng n able to understand and converse with any adult. Hence sitting him down and rationalisithe situation works best for him. Dione, being the only girl among the siblings, enjoys going shopping with me. So not able to go out is already punishment for her.

What is your husband’s role in parenting in your family?
Their daddy manages the academic aspect and goes through their assignments, while I handle discipline issues. We also make it a point to have family time on weekends.

Do you talk about your job with your children?
I do involve them, and share what I do whenever there is an opportunity. As I work in private healthcare, I brought them to my company’s Kids at Work event. They got to understand how infection is controlled in a hospital as well as try their hand at basic bandaging and cardio pulmonary resuscitation. This also inspired them to think about what they want to do when they grow up.

What are your thoughts on using electronic gadgets as learning tools for your child?
Anything in moderation is good. The Internet has an abundance of information and it is a wonderful tool to gain information. However, we need to exercise supervision in this area. This gives us parents the opportunity to educate them on the dos and don’ts and dangers of the Internet.

What are some educational products you buy to encourage your children’s love for learning?
I encourage my children to read. Donovan has already completed the whole Harry Potter series. My sisters who are their aunts, will also buy them educational toys and books for their birthdays and special occasions. We have also started introducing them to books by local authors to let them understand Singapore literature.

What are some of the biggest lessons since becoming a parent that you would like to share with fellow parents?
Learning is endless; as the kids are learning from us, we are also learning from them. There are times when you look at your kids’ responses and wonder to yourself how on earth they came up with such great ideas.

Lastly, do you have any advice for parents like yourself?
Listen to them with an open mind. Sometimes they may only be innocently seeking your attention. Spending time with them is the best gift that you can give them.

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