You would think in a household with two parents as doctors, it would be a highly sterile and clean environment. But not with Dr. Angel Ho and her husband.
In fact, the dynamic doctor duo believe that kids need to grow up in an environment that allows them to explore and become more resilient. They define resilience as the ability to overcome or bounce back from any obstacles.
The Five Pillars Of Resilience they adhere to include Adaptability, Resourcefulness, Perseverance, Self-Reliance and Daringness.
“My husband and I are very busy. We work in the same hospital. But everything we learn as doctors is not applicable to parenting. We learn so much about illnesses only. Parenting is something we had to learn on the go,” Dr. Angel explains.
The pair met in medical school. They got married and had their two boys. Dr. Angel’s eldest son is almost four while her second is over a year old.
But years and years of medical school could not prepare them for the parenting journey ahead.
Too clean is not always a good thing
“There is this thing called the Hygiene Hypothesis. If you keep your kids in an environment that is too clean, they can develop allergies and are unable to develop their immune system,” Dr. Angel says.
Children need to build robust immunity when they are young, as this allows them to explore the world. From their explorations and experiences, they’ll learn about resilience in the long run.
“We believe strong immunity allows our children to explore the outdoors. And what they ultimately gain are the basic lessons in how to be resilient,” she elaborates.
As long as it’s not dangerous, Dr. Angel and her husband raise their sons in this manner to ensure they are ready to face real-world experiences in the future.
Preparing them to be ready for any situation
One of the reasons for readying her children to face any situation is because Dr. Angel herself grew up in a very protected environment. “I am an only child and my mum was very protective. Even when I left for college, I couldn’t even prepare myself a simple meal or operate a washing machine,” she shares.
“So in my house, my children do simple cooking, dishes, washing as long as we supervise them. You can do everything for them, but one day when you’re not around anymore, then they’re not prepared for the future,” Dr. Angel says.
Resilience is important for children’s growth and future because of its Five important Pillars – Adaptability, Resourcefulness, Perseverance, Self-reliance and Daringness.
Two of the most important qualities Dr. Angel believes children should have are Adaptability and Self-Reliance. “Things are always changing. We raise our children to prepare them to be Adaptable and accept and embrace new things and use them to their advantage,” she adds.
For instance, she will always try to expose her children to different environments to test their adaptability. Whether it is helping out in the kitchen or introducing them to a new playground, it tests a child’s ability to integrate with their surroundings. Even when they face conflict, Dr. Angel doesn’t immediately run to the rescue, she allows her sons to develop a sense of self-reliance to get out of a sticky situation. She only steps in to help if they are in danger.
One method of parenting she believes is effective in helping to develop self-reliance is explaining and reasoning with her children. Children who understand reasoning are able to trust their instincts in the future and be Self-reliant.
For instance, an important takeaway lesson Dr. Angel imparts is how she reasoned with her son not to play with the knives in the kitchen. “Rather than just saying don’t touch or no, which will spark curiosity, we explain to them that knives are sharp and it could lead to them getting injured,” she explains.
This is how they learn right from wrong and good from the bad. Many of these things need to be taught when they are young as it would be harder to grasp later on in life.
The same goes for letting her son make or choose his own breakfast. “He goes to the fridge to take whatever he wants and if he makes a mess, then we get him to clean it up. That is also a lesson in Self-reliance.”
To date, Dr. Angel and her husband boast two healthy boys who are being raised to be Resilient with this parenting style.
Resilience is a crucial factor in determining future success. Both Dr Angel and her husband see resilience as an aptitude that can be grown and developed over time; as a mechanism for facing life’s challenges by first providing a foundation in immunity.
One of the ways to develop said foundation is through a diet that takes into consideration the importance of prebiotics and probiotics – resilience against sickness and disease can offer your child a much-needed boost.
Secondly, apart from choosing healthier foods and beverages, formulated milk powder for children like AptaGro™’s Step 3 and Step 4 are formulated with a patented combination of Prebiotics and Probiotic along with important nutrients to help to support physical and mental development so children are better prepared to make the most of life’s opportunities.
Ultimately, the objective is to help our children absorb life’s most important lessons – to Persevere in the face of difficulty; to be Daring with novel solutions when solving problems; to be Resourceful with available assets; to be Adaptable to changing situations, and to do it all independently with Self-Reliance.
These qualities can be best internalised when our children have a healthy body and mind, as a result of combining both immunity with specialised nutrition. As they mature into adulthood, they will be better equipped to overcome the obstacles that lead to success. This is Dr. Angel’s ultimate goal and one that will secure her children’s wellbeing.