Scarlet Snow Belodoesn't even try to to be charming, but she has cast a spell on all of us just by being herself. The social media darling who turns 4 years old today, March 3, 2019, would probably get away with a lot if it was up to us, her social media followers, who find even her mischievous antics delightful.
Thankfully, the parenting lies on the shoulders of doctors Vicki Belo and Hayden Kho, who both do their best to raise Scarlet Snow like any other kid despite her growing popularity. They are very hands-on parents, but Hayden credits Vicki for many of Scarlet's positive traits.
In an interview with reporters during Scarlet Snow’s launch as the newest Jollibee ambassador yesterday, Hayden points out, “Si Vicki ang nagtuturo kay Scarlet how to be nurturing and caring. I really believe it’s the job of the dad to define the identity of the child, but there are things that a man cannot do and only a woman can do. ‘Yung pagiging malambing ni Scarlet, thinking of others, pagiging inclusive niya, it’s all from Vicki.”
Motherhood with her first two kids, Cristalle and Quark Henares, was a whole different world for Vicki. “Nung bata pa si Quark and Cristalle, nag-ta-trabaho ako, nag-sa-start ako ng practice [and] wala pa akong pera non. So pagtingin ko sa mga anak ko, medyo lumaki na,” she tells SmartParenting.com.ph.
But with the arrival of Scarlet, Vicki was given a chance to do parenting all over again. “Ang sarap. Talagang lagi kong kasama si Scarlet. Nakikita ko lahat — first walk, first word — everything! Enjoy na enjoy ako,” the mom of three shares. “I realized I missed a lot by being so goal-oriented while I was younger. So, my advice to parents is habang bata pa ‘yung mga anak ninyo, i-enjoy ninyo kasi ang bilis nila lumaki.”
Hayden adds, “As a matter of principle, parents should really carve out time for the kids.” He recalls a recent event when Scarlet called her dad out for being “too busy.”
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“Kumakain kami, and I was on my phone. Bawal mag-phone [while eating] pero nagkataon, wala pa ‘yung food and hawak-hawak ko ‘yung phone. Narinig ko si Vicki [asking Scarlet], ‘What’s wrong?’ All of a sudden, si Scarlet naka-sad face,” Hayden shares. “I asked her, ‘Scarlet, are you sad? Why are you sad?’”
Their daughter then blurted out, “Because I don’t feel you love me. You’re always busy. Even if we’re together, you’re always busy.”
Hayden, filled with guilt, asked everyone to leave the room, so he and Vicki could talk to Scarlet alone. “I asked her, ‘Scarlet, why do you say you don’t feel loved?’ And she answers, ‘Because we’re always together, but you’re always busy at work. Even if you’re here, you’re still always busy.’ Talagang naiiyak siya,” Hayden shares.
Hayden immediately apologized for his behavior. “I told her, ‘You know what, Scarlet, if I were in your position, and everyone around me is super busy, I will also feel bad. So, I’m sorry Scarlet, if I’m always busy. Will you forgive me?”
Hayden also made a promise to avoid being on his phone all the time and telling her, “’It’s okay to feel sad. From now on, we will make sure we will make time for you and when we play, no phones, no talking to anybody.’ And then she started smiling again.”
After giving out his apology, however, Hayden decided to turn the tables, saying to Scarlet that he also feels bad about Scarlet’s behavior. “When you’re on your iPad, you don’t talk to us anymore. You don’t make us pansin. So, sometimes, I [also] don’t feel loved,” he shares.
While Hayden’s response offers a handy trick to deal with your child and change her screen time habits, Vicki says that moment showed the importance of acknowledging your child’s emotions. Parents need to realize that they should avoid minimizing their children’s feeling.
“I think ang importante is makinig ka muna tapos i-repeat mo sa kanila kung ano ang sinabi nila,” Vicki says. Afterward, parents should also use those situations to make children realize that they are also guilty of the same behavior.
Those who have been following the family on social media know Scarlet is already starting to become assertive, even defiant. Vicki sees it as a good thing — now that Scarlet is starting to understand how the world works, it’s easier for her mom and dad to discipline her.
“When she [misbehaves], I always say, ‘pause and look at me.’ She knows when she’s done something wrong. She will avoid your eyes,” Vicki shares.
Vicki uses their Christian faith to get through to Scarlet, saying things like, “Do you think Jesus is going to be happy with what you did?” and “Do you want to say sorry to Jesus?” So far, it’s been effective, according to the mom.
“You just have to make her stop [what she’s doing] because she’s so hyper. But once you make her still [or calm down], she listens,” Vicki shares. “And she’s very forgiving. When I was a child, I will hold resentment when I am scolded. But Scarlet in one minute will say, ‘I love you,’ and she’ll be back to normal.”
Vicki has learned to get down on Scarlet’s eye level whenever they talk. “Before I talk to her from my age to her age. Now, I’m trying to be like a three- or four-year-old,” she shares. That small change has really brought the mom and daughter closer. “[Scarlet told me] ‘You know, mommy, before I didn’t like to play with you, but now you’re so much fun.’”
Vicki also wants her daughter to be more independent as she grows — the doctor views life skills as crucial for a child’s development. So Scarlet Snow has been tasked with chores since she was 2 years old.
“She’s learning to cook and how to sweep. She has pets she can take care of and she’s learning how to feed them,” Vicki shares. “She’s very neat — she always packs away her clothes and she knows how to fold them.”
Not that she always gets a job done — patience is a virtue when it comes to teaching your child. As Vicki says, “The key is not to overwhelm your child. Maybe every week [teach her] something new, or every three days if you feel she’s ready. Huwag lahat sabay-sabay.”