【Creative Parenting Online Sharing Series】Session 3│ Presenter: Ms. Tammy Poon

Online Creative Parenting Sharing Session 3 – LIVE on YouTube

Apr 15, 2021 (Thursday), Time: 7:30pm to 8:30pm

  • Moderator: Dr. Angie, Founder of CreativeKids
  • Guest Presenter: Ms. Tammy Poon (CreativeKids alumna, and mother of 3)

The session is conducted in Cantonese. Watch in the player below, or click here

 

Summary (Part 1):

Tammy was one of Angies earliest students taking art lessons at the dining table in her apartment.

Growing Up and Thriving at Work

Tammy shares a glimpse of her own parents’ style of parenting. She appreciated that her parents gave her exposure to an array of areas including music, visual art, and sports, and let her develop her own passion along the way. Her parents are highly encouraging, yet not pushy – a fine balance that is not easy to grasp.

She used the word “intentional” to describe her parents when it comes to imparting important values and concepts, grasping “teachable moments” in everyday life. “They tried to understand our [her and her siblings’] world, instead of imposing their world onto us,” Tammy describes.

Growing up, she spent a lot of time in the arts, attending lessons with Auntie Angie, and playing multiple musical instruments. She then graduated in economics and started a career in finance. “ While the finance career seemingly is unrelated to the arts, I feel that I actually have applied what I’ve learned via the pursuit of the arts in my everyday work life – practice makes perfect, perseverance, teamwork, the pursuit of excellence, there is no end to improving, the appreciation for beauty and hard work, etc..”.

Her first-hand experience showed that the arts help children develop awareness and observation skills, and train attention to detail. “To me, painting a picture and learning to play a musical piece from scratch is a very constructive process. As an adult, working in business, every day we are trying to innovate…… to do things better – that’s another way of applying the creative spirit”.

Even “resilience”, a buzzword for the 21st century, can be built through the arts. “One important lesson I have learned through the arts is that – “there are times when even I tried my very best, the result didn’t come out to be as expected. The key is how do we get back up and learn to refine the game. These tiny failures along our childhood allow us to practice failing in a safe environment, and learn to get back on our feet afterward.”

Today, in her work, these life skills propel Tammy forward, to thrive for excellence and perform her best. Angie adds, “what’s more is to have a goal/standard for oneself, not just waiting for demands from parents/teachers. Yet it is equally important to strike a balance between that and over-demanding oneself (and causing an excessive sense of defeat)”.

Raising Three Boys

With three boys – aged 6, 5 and 2.5, Tammy has learned, and continues to learn, a lot as a mother. “I guess, what helps me anchor myself is first trying to grasp our role as parents – We are stewards. We don’t own our children. I keep reminding myself my main role is to help guide our kids to grow into independent minds and souls of their own, walking alongside them and hopefully inspiring them from time to time.”

To avoid comparing or feeling guilty because of what other families do, Tammy always reminds herself that “one size does not fit all”.

Books that inspired her

1) The Work / Parent Switch by British child psychologist, Anita Cleare

2) How to Raise an Adult by Julie Lythcott-Haims 

Balancing “Discipline” and “Love and care”

Tammy speaks about how she strives for a balance between disciplining her children, and showing her love for them:

1) Instead of trying to make her children “listen to her”, she aims to make them “listen but not become afraid of her”. An example is establishing a mutual understanding that even when parents are strict at times, the children have “a key” to their hearts. For Tammy, she made sure that her sons know that there are a few jokes/tricks that will always melt her heart.

2) Oftentimes, in children’s mind, parents are the absolute truth. In fact, it is important for the little ones to know that parents make mistakes too and would humbly apologize. “That is grasping a ‘teachable moment’ to show them that mom and dad are not the ‘absolute truth’ – far from it. Only God is the absolute truth.”

3) She uses short phrases to help her children gradually understand and remember key concepts, such as “Try hard 俾心機” and “Love one another 相親相愛”.

4) To teach them not to take things for granted, she supports them to create an inner drive to do things, not just because the tasks are required by parents or teachers.

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