Lessons from a child during Circuit Breaker
Dance artist Faye Lim, 36, picked up precious life lessons from her five-year-old son Ollie during the stay-home period. (Photo: Larry Toh)

Lessons from a child during Circuit Breaker

In this time of the Circuit Breaker, staying home and spending more time with family members who live together has been an unusual experience for many. Some might find the round-the-clock proximity frustrating. Others might be grateful for the opportunity to bond and reconnect with loved ones.

For dance artist Faye Lim, director of the child-friendly dance arts group, Rolypoly Family, spending more time with her five-year-old son Ollie during this stay-home period has taught her valuable lessons, both as a parent and artist. She shares three takeaways with The A List.

How to be a better teacher
One day, while I was tending to our plants, Ollie came around to teach me how to clean the leaves, something he learnt at school. He was very detailed and he explained the steps in a gentler tone and with more patience than I had when I was teaching him, just moments ago, how to transfer soil. That was a humbling and inspiring moment for me – my son reflecting the kind of teacher I strive to be.

Giving my son the freedom to engage with my work
I remember, as a child, wanting to understand more about my parents’ work, and the more they shared, the closer I felt to them. So I used to be more eager to involve Ollie in my work.

But these days, I give him space to decide if, and when, my work engages him. I leave my art and teaching materials lying around, and Ollie, being curious as children are, will pick them up and play with them on his own. It is very encouraging that he is interested in my practice and my work because I have shaped my work around him.

The importance of social and emotional connection
Ollie raised his hand during a virtual class to ask to talk about Easter, which had just passed. His teacher took his point to heart and gave the children some time to do that, before going back to their reading activity. I was very grateful that his teacher was open and responsive and that she understood the need for the children to share and connect socially and emotionally.

The reply has been edited for clarity. For ideas on how to keep children engaged at home during the Circuit Breaker, visit Rolypoly Family’s website here or explore #SGCultureAnywhere.

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