Mdm Hazna Md Esa had to come down hard on routines for her daughters, but the pay-off was better than expected – both for schoolwork and family bonding time.
This story is part of our series of 7 parent reflections on the impact of this extraordinary year on our children. By Neo Wen Tong.
“Initially, I thought my two daughters were quite independent because they were quietly doing their own things while I was working from home. Then I realised it was because they were watching YouTube the whole time!” Mdm Hazna shares candidly.
Adiva Amelia is in Primary 5, and Adiva Elena Shakira is in Secondary 3.
“I had to remind them of the consequences and prod them to be more disciplined. Yes, there were a few tears when I took away some screen time privileges, but they realised they had to get on the right track. We soon settled into a routine, where after they finish their work, they would get about two hours with the laptop for leisure, and then the laptop gets returned to me.”
Adiva Elena Shakira spends much of her free time practising and improving on her drawing skills.
Some of the art done by the sisters during this period.
Though Home-Based Learning (HBL) did not start off seamlessly, Mdm Hazna says that after ironing out the teething issues, there were more highs than lows during the period that she spent all day at home with her daughters.
Daily meal times provided the opportunity for the family to spend time together and be available to each other. “My elder daughter started opening up more to me, sharing her issues, problems, and thoughts,” Mdm Hazna said. “At this age, they may seem quite independent, but they still need our attention. Now that she is willing to open up to me, it will help to mitigate problems she may be facing, now and in the future.”
Mdm Hazna and her daughters
The family also started the routine of having twice-weekly movie nights. Their choice of genre? “Horror,” Mdm Hazna laughs. “We enjoy the scare and we sometimes scream and hold each other, but it’s so fun to watch together.”
These moments – bonding with her daughters, seeing them develop self-discipline and responsibility – formed the positives takeaways of the HBL period for Mdm Hazna. “For me, I choose to see their effort instead of just how much they have learnt for a subject. I’m proud to see that they truly have put in a lot of effort.”