We wanted to share what we believe in to give you and insider view around our “why”. These 5 beliefs are the engine behind what we do. From the stories of the kind humans we proudly call our friends, the things we are passionate about like travel and cooking, and even the things we recommend in our shop.
It’s important to know that we didn’t start off with these 5 beliefs. We sort of stumbled on them over the years. Some have evolved and some will continue to evolve as the world around us changes too. Over the years we organically became the source of information and guidance for our family of friends because we were the first to have a baby. The one thing I always say is to take the advice from anyone (including ours) with a grain of salt. What works for us might not work for you. Listen to your instincts as parents – we mean it (see #4 below)!
1. Nurture Wonder and Curiosity
This is number 1 on the list because this was the “first born” in our belief system. And it all started so simply with reading. We read to them before they were even born LoL. We will share more about how special bedtime is (and continues to be) for us next week on what we’re calling “Thoughtful Thursdays”! New Moms, if you’re reading this, you don’t want to miss considering this simple strategy that can grow with you and baby.
2. Invest in Experiences and reflect on them as a family
Discussions with other parents was often around what our philosophy about schooling was. We were often asked what assessment books we give our kids and what prep schools we send them to in preparation for their exams. With the exception of a couple of months last year**, the answer to that was always none of the above. The one thing that we are seriously committed to since they were little is learning through play.
3. EmbracE Diversity in all forms and find Positive ways to Action Inclusion
Born in Singapore, I lived half of my life in a country that not only embraced different race and cultures, they also practiced inclusion. More about that in later posts but I bring that up to say; because this was what I knew, it didn’t feel like I was raising my girls in a special way. This was a belief system that was inherent and organic. Diversity comes in all forms and one we value a whole lot is diversity of thought. Books and travel (see #2 above) are also powerful tools that naturally challenge and inspire the mind to think broadly.
It is also important to us that we do our part in whatever way we can. Nothing is too small or insignificant. We don’t take our cues from the media because this is a way of life. The media is an unreliable friend as it focuses on the latest and greatest. Because this is a way of being, we also don’t like to label things “big” and “small” because all acts of kindness are significant. For things to have a lasting impact, it has to come first from a place of sincerity, inspiration and love.
4. Your Instinct knows the answeR. Listen to it.
I sometimes also refer to this as my conscience because personally, I think instincts only appear to be otherworldly because your mind is processing a collection of experiences and data from your subconscious at hyper speed. Perhaps that gut feeling is a gut feeling because you’ve either seen, heard or felt it before but it’s stored so far in the recesses of your mind that you can’t reach for it clearly enough to call it rational thought.
5. Have Faith that a little universal magic guides those who come from a place of goodness.
Wow. There is just so much to unpack in these last two beliefs. So much is directly related to some of our life changing experiences. These stories deserve the proper time and respect due. Maybe we will even have a live session with an actual Doctor. Someone who has known Izzie since the day she came home from the NICU. She also happens to be one of our favorite humans. So… stay tuned! In the meantime, remember that while it is important to seek advise and guidance, know and have confidence that nobody – seriously, nobody – knows your family better than you do!
Stay safe, healthy and above all else… Kind.
p.s. **Last year, we had a fabulous tutor (turned family friend) from City Kid Explorers. She came to tutor Isabella once a week. We needed help for Izzie to focus on how she could organize her daily work better. Then in the summer, Allie insisted she needed practice during the summer holidays to prep for her SHSATs. This is the only time that we have had a tutor for them and extra work outside of school.
While we no longer have any other tutor (ours moved to Texas), we highly recommend City Kid Explorers. Founders Jackie and Maggie are amazing human beings who truly care about the students and their families. They take a very personal approach to understand what you are looking for and what your child needs. It is no surprise that we got the results we were looking for in a few short months. I’m not sure about availability but I believe they also offer summer programs. Go check them out!