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Editor’s note: We interviewed Andie for this story on 16 March 2020. As the Covid-19 situation is a rapidly evolving one, we urge all parents to closely follow the latest guidelines by MOH and MOE.

Covid-19 is certainly not a threat to be sneezed at. For families with young children, the worries may be endless. From keeping them safe and healthy, to dealing with their boundless stores of energy at home, to helping them understand all that is happening in the world around them – it can get pretty overwhelming.

Staying Rational and Responsible

For Andie Chen and Kate Pang, they’re taking the disruptions to their daily lives in their stride. It’s all about being rational and responsible, in Andie’s own words.

“I’ve always been one who keeps things objective, so we’re trying to strike a balance between being safe and still going about our lives in a responsible manner. Activities like traveling overseas, going to social gatherings or events with hundreds of people gathered in a confined space are things we avoid for now. It’s for the safety of my family and for the community too.”

The family still heads out to get some fresh air – opting for parks or for a swim to keep active during non-peak periods and choosing spots that are not crowded. With the greater emphasis on staying home, Andie has been enjoying their leisurely family time tremendously!

“The kids are kept busy with lots of reading and board games, and we’ve been cooking and making desserts with their help – they’re having lots of fun for sure. As for the rest of the family, we have been really enjoying having the luxury of having more leisurely meals together without needing to rush.”

Andie has also shared on his Instagram that he has begun to keep his children at home from their pre-school, to lessen the strain on the school.

Parental Knowledge

Much like the rest of Singapore, Andie has been stepping up hand-washing at home. His pro-tip for parents who are struggling to explain the necessity of such hygiene measures to their little ones?

“Kate and I have really taken it upon ourselves to read up about Covid-19 and digest all the information we learn, so that we can explain it to Aden and Avery in a fun and age-appropriate way. In this, the onus is on the parent to be proactive about understanding the situation for themselves first before they can teach their children well.”

He adds, “We also take the opportunity to slowly explain to our children why people wear masks and use hand sanitisers outside. It’s a great real-life application of all the knowledge about the virus!”

Focusing on the Good

With that familiar dose of positivity that we know and love about him, Andie shares, “I see how Covid-19 has been a real threat to the thousands of people all over the world who are suffering from it, and it’s absolutely heartbreaking. However, there may be a silver lining, and I try to focus on the positives when we talk about Covid to the children.”

He explains, “Covid-19 has shown that the human spirit is resilient in the face of the global crisis. Many have come forward to donate medical supplies or money to help other countries fight this pandemic.”

“The human spirit is really beautiful, and such examples have reinforced this. I want my children to see the good springing up from the chaos and be humbled and inspired to be better people themselves.”

Tags: Family Bonding /Health Matters