Vanessa, 31 and Phil Kenchington, 33
Parents to Joshua Kenchington, 20 months
“We love to let Joshua explore and discover things for himself without being too restrictive. Outdoor play is a large part of his early years. We let him do that in our neighborhood as there’s plenty of greenery. We take him round the different parks and let him climb, run, pick up sticks and stones, stroke dogs or chase cats. It’s okay to get messy. The main thing is to give him a chance to explore the natural environment and to feel free.
It is refreshing to really see the world from his eyes –it’s magical. Rediscovering and admiring the simplest, mundane things like the shape of a leaf. Joshua is very sociable and loves to interact with the people working in the community, from the road sweeper to the resident cat in the nearby bookstore. There’s so much to learn from him, and he makes me think a lot more about the big picture issues, like the kind of world he will live in the future.”
Nur Rafidah & Abdul Rasyid, both 27
Parents to twins Afeeq and Azeeq, 8
“We hope they won’t grow up so fast. Everything changes so fast, so we want to enjoy every moment of their childhood. It’s not all about studying. We do crazy things together. The twins love to dance and come up with many dance routines. We love swimming, playing hide and seek as well as board games like ‘Game of Life’ together as a family. At this age it’s the best time to bond with them. Once they grow up, they’ll be busy with their own things. Our hopes for them are to be happy and gracious; that they don’t have to be rich to be happy, and that they will be grateful for what people do for them. I hope they learn about life and bend with the world, so they won’t be afraid of uncertainties when they grow up.
Chen Weishan and Cheong Kim Seng, both 31
Parents to Nathaniel, 4 and Adora, 2
“We enjoy routines where we get to do the same old things together, like going to Sembawang Hill Food Centre regularly as a family as it’s something we’ve been doing to since we were both dating at age 17. It’s good to celebrate our daily life and routines that we have have love so much over the years.
We hope that as our children grow older, they will still cherish the concept of family. With globalisation and the movement of people across borders, the sense and idea of family is very much displaced. Our greatest goal is that wherever they are, even if they go overseas and work, they will remember that this is a family and they are Singaporeans first of all. Though our children have differences between them, we want them to understand that they truly only have each other. We tell our children that though things change, this home will remain constant. They can come here to cry and share their joys and always feel that they are safe here.”
Mohamed Edhamriza bin Hamwal, 41 and Raja Farrah Amelia binte Abdul Jalil, 36
Parents to Ivan Nasri, 7, and twins Ihsan Nadi and Irin Nasha, 2
“We love to play as a family in open spaces and just let them run around. That’s their favourite thing to do. Childhood should be full of exposure and exploration, including the part where you fall down. We had a carefree childhood with nature where we used to climb trees and run around the void deck, so we want our children to play more and focus their energy on what interests them.
We also hope they will be kind and compassionate, to be able to explore other parts of the world and grow up with a wholesome view of life. Life is not just about what’s in Singapore, so being open minded can help them appreciate what they have and don’t have.”
Sarumathi, 37 and Arul Krishnan, 43
Parents to Aran, 7 and Tara, 4
“As a family unit, we try to do what the kids love to do, rather than each of us doing our own things. We love playing all sorts of games like Marshmallow – it’s basically a pillow fight on the bed with lots of pillows. There’s also Nintendo WII which we love, building lego and lots of outdoor sports where they run about on their scooters. Even when we’re baking a cake, the children will help to beat the batter. Family togetherness is simply having fun together. It doesn’t matter what we’re doing, as long as we’re doing it together.
It’s challenging being parents and being kids, unlike the past when life was simpler. We hope the kids grow up in a future that is safe, where they can dream and fulfill those dreams. And of course, still have fun together.”