Lea Salonga’s talent and achievements have made the whole nation proud. Now a mother to 12-year-old Nicole, she shares her parenting style and how she nurtures her child’s talents through letting her discover her gifts and experience them in her own way.
What are your dreams for your daughter?
All I can ask for is that she’s led to her own unique path. At the moment, she’s in the process of figuring out what her gifts are and how to use them. I do have a feeling she’ll be an artist her whole life. Coming form an artistic family, that’s perfectly fine with my husband Rob and me.
How has your own growing up experience influenced your parenting style?
My mother was very protective (borne perhaps out of losing her first child only two hours after he was born), so my style is less so. I’m allowing Nicole to experience a lot of the kind of life I never had. She’s far more outdoorsy than I ever was, learning to bike, ride scooters, ice skate, and ski, and she’s got the scars to prove it.
What lessons about motherhood did you learn from your mom?
The most important thing is to recognize the gifts your child possesses, and help steer them in the right direction. Not every child is meant to be a doctor or a lawyer. My kid sure isn’t.
What advice can you give to moms who want their children to succeed?
Steer your child toward a path where what they want, what they need, and what they’re meant to be converge. Provide them with the tools that will get them there. And give them plenty of guidance, love, and support.