If there is one thing Dawn Zulueta has done in her life that she is most proud about, it is being a mom to her kids Jacobo and Ayisha.
In an interview with the media, the former Walang Hanggan star said that the best thing about being a mother, “bukod sa meron kang mga bagong nilalang na dinadala sa mundo… I think ang the best din as a mom for me is iyong makapag-raise ka ng mga bata that can become the best that they can be.”
As a mother, Dawn believes in the importance of forming good habits and instilling discipline in a child during the early years of life.
The simple act of reminding your child everyday to finish their homework first before playing or watching TV can go a long way.
Dawn says, “When you get home [from school], the first thing you have to do after your snack is to do your assignment before playing.
“Iyong… it’s just a structure because you want to teach them later on na… these are habits.
“It’s habit-forming kasi that they’re going to bring with them when they grow up.
DEVELOPING MUTIPLE INTELLIGENCE. Dawn also notes the importance of helping your child hone his various talents, also known as “multiple intelligence.”
The topic is something that the actress has learned in the past by reading parenting books, and which she now applies to her own kids.
Multiple intelligence, she says, is best developed when kids are allowed to discover the things that they want on their own.
“I mean when you think about it it’s really very simple: education for us parents.
“Ako, I can relate to it because I’m a child also of that kind of an era. Remember I was raised in the ‘70s, wala pa pong computers noong mga times na iyon.
“So, talagang na-enhance ko talaga ang multiple intelligences ko because I played outdoors and parang I was really able to explore at na-expose talaga ako ng mabuti.”
Now, with her kids aged 7 and 3, Dawn refuses to give definite answers about what she thinks her kids’ futures would be like.
One reporter asked, “Do you see any of your kids entering showbiz?”
Dawn replies, “Parang nakikita ko iyong aking daughter, si Ayisha, kasi siguro dahil palagi niya akong pinapanood na nagme-makeup, nag-aayos ng buhok…
“Kasi, you know, I work, di ba? Parang nai-imbibe na ‘ata niya, so we’ll see.
“But I don’t encourage it yet dahil ang gusto ko kasing gawin ng mga anak namin ngayon iyong mag-aral muna talaga sila.
“Later on naman pagka naka-graduate na sila ng high school, college, they can decide on their own.”
Another reporter asked, in relation to her recent hosting stint for the Binibining Pilipinas 2013 pageant, “Would you let your daughter enter a beauty pageant in the future?”
“If that’s what she wants to do, then we will probably allow her.
“But of course, that’s only me speaking. I don’t know about her father, you have to interview him. I don’t know what he thinks.
“But it’s not naman something I encourage. Like, I still encourage my children to learn and get into other fields. Who knows, I might have the next president of the Philippines, di ba?
“Gusto ko munang, di ba, gusto ko muna silang mag-explore doon. Like, si Jacob is very people’s man.
“Unlike me, when I was growing up as a child, I was shy and my daughter takes after me. But Jacobo takes after his father who’s very people’s man.
“I mean, who knows, di ba? Maybe he will have a job as a lawyer. Kung iyon sana, why not, di ba?
“I mean, I’m not putting down iyong mga kagaya ko who entered the world of celebrities, kaya lang let’s see first also if they have other talents that they can hone.”
RESTRICTIONS AND PARENTAL GUIDANCE. Given that Dawn wants her kids to explore and learn as much as they can, what measures does she take to protect her kids from absorbing “wrong information” from the media, such as violence and crime?
“Yeah, you know, especially my son who’s almost 8 already in October, he’s starting to ask questions. ‘Why is there so much violence’ nga naman in the world?
“I don’t always try to shield it from them, kasi I believe that that’s the real world, that’s already the world we live in right now. They cannot also be too ignorant of it.
“But, at the same time, I limit it. I limit the kind naman of violence… the exposure to violence that the children can… there’s only so much, siyempre at their age, na pwede pa nilang ma-absorb.
“But the little that I can do, like for example in the news, iyon ine-explain ko sa kanila na, ‘You know, there are bad people in this world. That is why I send you to school and that is why I’m teaching you to have good habits, so that you do not become a bad person.’
“Iyong mga simple lang, e, di ba? Simple lang na ideas that stick in their minds and to tell them that, ‘You know, there should be more love in this world. That’s why I don’t like it when you fight with your sister. You know, it’s not nice, you’re not showing a good example.’ Mga ganyan, iyon ang importante.
“Iyong… you know, the children kasi, hindi mo naman sila completely mapo-protect, mashi-shield, because when they go out to school, even with their friends. If their friend has an iPad, they will see the violence or anything else that they’re watching.
“I think what’s important is when they’re at home or when they’re with you is that you really try to impart as much valuable and positive information as you can as a parent, because a child will always have his parents’ voice in his head forever.
“Like I do, kahit nga lolo at lola ko who raised me also, up to now I hear their voice of wisdom and reason in my head whenever I am faced with a challenge.
“Boses pa rin nila ang naririning ko, so iyan nade-develop iyan sa younger years, itong age nga nila when they’re in pre-school.”