A FAM­ILY AF­FAIR

Singapore Tatler - - STYLE - Pho­tog­ra­phy BREN­DAN ZHANG Styling CHERYL CHAN

To cel­e­brate the 10th an­niver­sary of its Peek­a­boo bag, Fendi launched the #Me­and­mypeek­a­boo cam­paign to cel­e­brate the re­la­tion­ships be­tween moth­ers and daugh­ters. In­spired by the se­ries, Cheryl Chan talks to so­ci­ety mums Caroline Low-heah and Jace­lyn Lai, and their off­spring, on the strength of their bonds

Caroline Low-heah and El­iz­a­beth Heah

Mu­tual re­spect. That is the one thing that Caroline Low-heah, clin­i­cal di­rec­tor at Drs Jiten and Caroline Med­i­cal Cen­tre, has al­ways be­lieved to be im­por­tant in her re­la­tion­ship with her daugh­ter El­iz­a­beth. “I think one has to re­spect each other’s po­si­tion,” Caroline stresses. “I re­spect her as a daugh­ter and she re­spects me as a mother. Given to­day’s gen­er­a­tion, the line is blurred and the tra­di­tional par­ent­ing con­cept of ‘I speak, you lis­ten’ doesn’t hold up. We have mu­tual re­spect for each other and that sums up our re­la­tion­ship, but it can’t be this friend­type of re­la­tion­ship. It only works to a cer­tain ex­tent, but if you know where you stand with each other, it’s a lot eas­ier.” El­iz­a­beth, a house­man at the Sin­ga­pore Gen­eral Hospi­tal’s Depart­ment of Ob­stet­rics and Gy­nae­col­ogy, agrees. “Tra­di­tional par­ent­ing is so dif­fer­ent from mod­ern par­ent­ing. There needs to be a bal­ance be­tween hav­ing a sense of author­ity and an open­ness where you can ap­proach your mother and not be afraid to let her know you’ve made a mis­take,” she says. “I think that’s very im­por­tant in to­day’s so­ci­ety be­cause it not only helps to strengthen the par­ent-child re­la­tion­ship, it also helps the chil­dren be­come more re­spon­si­ble.”

Jace­lyn, Ka­te­rina and Mi­caela Lai

Don’t call Jace­lyn Lai a tiger mum. The stay-at-home mother of four de­scribes her par­ent­ing style as “chill” and prides her­self in al­low­ing her chil­dren to grow up at their own pace. “I hold to the be­lief that we should have the con­fi­dence in our kids that they know how to man­age their own lives,” she says. “If you im­part the right val­ues to them, then you should be con­fi­dent that they would be able to make the right de­ci­sions. Of course, there will al­ways be a cou­ple of de­tours along the way, but life isn’t per­fect. They need to be able to make mis­takes and learn from them.” “I think she’s found the bal­ance be­tween be­ing a tiger mum and a cool mum,” chimes her old­est daugh­ter Ka­te­rina, a busi­ness de­vel­op­ment as­so­ciate at Boun­tie, a start-up gaming com­pany. “Some­times too cool!” youngest daugh­ter Mi­caela, an in­ter­na­tional school stu­dent, quips. “The most im­por­tant thing my mum has taught me is to al­ways have com­pas­sion,” Ka­te­rina con­tin­ues. “At the end of the day, the clothes, jew­ellery and make-up don’t mat­ter. What re­ally mat­ters is how you treat other peo­ple.”

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