Mau Phua

Her #1 fam­ily bond­ing strat­egy - it works!

Simply Her (Singapore) - - Front Page - Pho­tog­ra­phy Veron­ica Tay Styling Dol­phin Yeo Hair LJ/Hairstory, us­ing Arimino Makeup Sam Ong, us­ing Sis­ley May’s Out­fit Raoul Shang’s Out­fit Gap Kids Keyan’s Out­fit In­habit – The Other Store & Gap Kids

May Phua un­abashedly ad­mits that she’s not a very “on-the­ball” mum (“I don’t let my kids take as many en­rich­ment classes as they prob­a­bly should”), but that doesn’t bother her. What’s more im­por­tant for the bub­bly 37-year-old ac­tress ( last seen in Me­di­a­corp Chan­nel 8’s The Dream Mak­ers last year), is to pay at­ten­tion to her chil­dren’s needs, lis­ten to them and bond with them through con­ver­sa­tion.

A cher­ished rou­tine in May’s home is hav­ing qual­ity talk with her two boys, Shang, eight, and Keyan, four, be­fore bed­time ev­ery night. “They love telling me how their day went and what they got up to with their best friends in school. But some­times, we also chat about se­ri­ous is­sues, like dis­ci­pline and emo­tions.

“I never hide it when I’m up­set with the boys – they’ve seen me tear­ing up be­fore, and got scared and asked me what was wrong. I would say: ‘ You’ve hurt Mummy by do­ing some­thing wrong. If you love some­one, you shouldn’t do any­thing that hurts them.’ This way, they learn how to un­der­stand and re­spect oth­ers’ feel­ings,” she ex­plains.

But the learn­ing goes both ways, too. “We were brought up to lis­ten when our elders were talk­ing, but we shut off when it comes to our kids. Shang has

“I never hide it when I’m up­set with the boys – they’ve seen me tear­ing up be­fore, and got scared and asked me what was wrong.”

taught me that what chil­dren have to say is equally im­por­tant. He tells me: ‘ Mummy, you must lis­ten to me!’”

And from Keyan, May has learnt to be more ex­pres­sive. “Keyan is a lov­ing boy and shows af­fec­tion eas­ily – he’ll hug you and tell you he loves you. That’s some­thing my hus­band and I have picked up. My way of show­ing love and con­cern was to nag them; now, I say what I have to say and try not to nag so much!”

An­other im­por­tant bond­ing rit­ual is the fam­ily’s an­nual road trip, which they take with her in­laws and helper. So far, they’ve been on three, to var­i­ous parts of Aus­tralia. May swears by them as a way of teach­ing kids to be in­de­pen­dent.

“We pack, carry and look af­ter our own lug­gage – even the kids do this. We move around a lot, chang­ing mo­tels ev­ery two days, so it gets tir­ing. Once, when Shang was about six, we had just ar­rived at our mo­tel, and he was hun­gry and ask­ing for milk. I was ex­hausted, so I told him he’d have to look for the ket­tle and learn how to boil the wa­ter him­self. His fa­ther and I poured the wa­ter into the bot­tle for him, and taught him how many scoops of milk to put in. That was when he rst learnt how to pre­pare his own milk.”

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