Today’s children are an entitled lot, proclaims actress Joanne Peh, who is seven months pregnant with her second child.
“At one time or another, we’ve all had to endure the antics of a screaming child in a restaurant, demanding an ice-cream dessert until the parents are so embarrassed and flustered that they order it just to keep the child quiet.”
And that’s not just a Singaporean phenomenon.
When Joanne spent about a month in Beijing, China, with her husband – actor Qi Yuwu – and daughter after giving birth to her in 2015, she found herself surrounded by kids from single child families behaving with the same level of disrespect.
Horrified by such protective parenting, it made her even more determined to raise her own 20-month-old daughter properly because she did not want her to feel entitled or privileged.
Now back in Singapore, and fresh from rounding up four months of extensive travelling for Unique Towns – a TV series that explores interesting places around the world – at the time of this interview, Joanne shares how she has embraced parenthood, and her strategies for child-raising.
Joanne has never revealed her daughter’s name to the public. On her Instagram page, she affectionately refers to her as Baby Qi.
Hiding their little one’s identity was a conscious decision between Joanne and Yuwu.
“She was born with both of us in the limelight,” explains Joanne.
“We want to give her the freedom to decide if she wants that kind of life.”
Baby Qi’s personality is starting to develop and her preferences and personality are emerging. Joanne isn’t keen to impose any activities or toys on her.
In fact, remembering how much she herself enjoyed creating objects out of her imagination as a child, she recently bought Lego blocks for Baby Qi to play with, but her daughter wasn’t interested at all.
Although disappointed, Joanne says: “It’s her choice. I’d rather my daughter choose her own interests, so she’d be more motivated to learn about it.”
In fact, this first-time mum can see herself using this approach when the time to introduce her to enrichment activities approaches.
Next page: She learnt to understand her baby’s needs