5 Parenting Tips From #MetroMom Amanda Griffin-Jacob
Learn how you can raise your kids in a happy and healthy environment
Motherhood is never easy. Raising one child alone can already be challenging—imagine what it’s like being a mom of four kids! Supermom Amanda Griffin-Jacob is raising kids ages nine (Kieran), six (Kalon), four (Lila), and nine months (Kyle), and she does a great job at juggling parenting with maintaining a freelance career. Their family is based in both Singapore and the Philippines, which is why it takes a great deal of planning for them to efficiently manage their schedule in both countries.
We caught up with Amanda on a rare opportunity here in the Philippines with her whole family, and we sat down with her to hear her inspiring stories and tips about motherhood.
Love your children equally.
Doctors and psychologists say it’s common for parents to favor one child over another, because one child may have an easier temperament or behave better. While favoritism may not represent a difference in the amount of love you have for your children, it can still greatly impact the kids.
That’s why according to Amanda, it’s important to recognize how different your kids are from each other, and “love them all equally in their own special ways.”
Raise them in a green home.
Candies, junk food, sugary cereals—these are things that we normally associate with kids. But when you’ve got a mom as healthy and environment-conscious as Amanda, these treats are replaced with healthier options like granola and chia parfait, a favorite breakfast meal in the Jacob household.
Apart from eating healthy, Amanda also believes that it’s important to raise kids in an environmentally conscious home because once they get used to these kinds of good practices, they will bring this with them when they grow up.
“I try to be as much as a green mama as possible. We try to minimize our carbon footprint as much as possible. The kids use hand-me-downs, we try to avoid food wastage, we’re vegetarians,” said Amanda. “We try to instill this values in our children because at the end of the day, they’re the ones who are going to pay for us ruining the planet.”
Raise children who are tech-savvy and not tech-obsessed.
Technology is booming now more than ever, and it's becoming harder and harder for parents to shield their children from gadgets. And as Amanda noted, “Raising children in this digital age is proving to be quite a challenge.” Today, it’s common to see parents who let their kids tinker with gadgets on their own, while they are also glued to their own screens. You have to set a good example for your kids. You have to limit screen time and allocate more time for playing and really bonding with them over educational activities.
“You need to model good behavior. Meaning, if you’re always on your phone, they’re always going to be on their phone. So it starts with you, and I’m still a work in progress because I’m in my phone a lot, and I know a lot of moms are as well,” said Amanda.
Embrace the group.
Family planning is key to a happy family. Have more kids if you want more kids, but don’t feel pressured to create a big family when you’re not ready.
In Amanda’s case, it really was her decision to have a bigger family, so she’s fully committed to maintaining a big group.
“I come from a family of three kids. We were such a nuclear family. I didn’t have many cousins and I always really liked the idea of a big family and a big support system for my kids. So I was lucky that David also felt the same way,” shared Amanda. “I think it can get a bit overwhelming, having four kids, but I love it. I love being a mom of multiples because it’s never dull, it’s always fun, it’s always crazy.”
Have time for
It might sound impossible for a multi-tasking mom to make time to recharge and relax, but it’s one of the most important aspects in keeping your sanity. You won’t have the energy and love to give to your kids when you don’t have enough for yourself.
That’s why for Amanda, she makes sure she can “sort of kill two birds with one stone” with her me-time activity, which is yoga and running. “If I can get my me-time and self-care and health all ticked off in one sort of activity, then it’s really great. You learn to be sort of multi-purpose, multi-functional. For me, it’s yoga. On the mat, I find that it really helps me mentally, emotionally, and physically. I also run. I like to train for half marathons and marathons. I get into a meditative state when I’m running. It lets my ears and brain take a break.”
Want more motherhood and parenting tips? Catch Metro Moms, airing Sundays, 6:00 p.m., only on
Metro Channel, channel 52 on Sky Cable and channel 174 on HD. Watch Amanda's episode through replays throughout the week or on demand via iWant.