Parents are the ultimate role models for children. A child's development is often influenced by the interactions that they have over time with their parents.
We discussed this further with Kai, a Filipina photographer and filmmaker based in Malaysia. She is also a young mother to Elio Irie, her son, who she raised to be an imaginative kid. Kai is an aspiring photographer who captures the spiritual fragments in time and weaves a story to evoke one’s emotion with words.
Read on as Kai shares some tips on motherhood, and prove that children’s behavioural characteristics are influenced by the way they are treated by their parents.
Introduce and tell us about yourselves.
E: Hi, my name is Elio. I’m seven years old and I'm almost eight.
K: My name is Kai. I create photography, film and digital media.
What is one positive and one negative thing about each other?
E: I love when my mom taught me how to make origami and I don't like it when she gets mad 🥺
K: The good personality about him is that he's really kind. He is a very good boy but sometimes quite naughty. That’s the only negative part about him.
Tell us what have you created during the shoot. How do you feel during the process?
E: We created some block people and helicopters using Lego blocks. The process was fun and I hope to join again next time!
K: Yeah, it was really fun. I get to see his creativity as we let him build anything he wants with his toys. I feel proud of him with the works that he creates with his imagination.
Your art photography pieces usually incorporate the space around the subject. Could you share your thoughts and inspiration behind this?
My works always revolve around that kind of subject. “Raw and old” can best describe my photography artworks. I wish to share the story of the person that I'm photographing and create a mini documentary of them.
(To Elio) We saw your love for Lego and Minecraft and recently, your masterpieces with coins. Could you tell us what you wish to experiment with in the future? Do you have a dream creation?
E: I wanna create a cool vehicle- a rocket! So I can travel to space and go to the war in space.
K: So your rocket can attack other spaceships?
E: Can attack the bad aliens!
It is essential for a parent to be present during a kid's childhood as it affects their development. From your socials, Elio has been exposed to the art community and the outside world. Both creative parents encourage him to try new things and meet new people.
How do you think this influences Elio's development and the bond between mother and son?
It influences Elio to have similar interests with us. By bringing him to our working environment, it automatically stimulates his creativity and our interests interconnect with each other.
The great thing about that is I can tell his characteristics throughout his whole growing process because I've seen how it develops.
(To Elio) You spent a lot of time with your mom before and during the pandemic. How do you feel when you are with your mother?
E: Safe. I loved it when mom's around and also when mom is working outside😝
K: I know why! Because there was nobody to stop him from playing video games once I went out.
What advice would you give to moms who are losing patience with their child? (e.g., moms ignore, lash out, or give kids electronic devices for peace and quiet)
Oh god! I'm still struggling with it too. I don't think there's any correct answer because every parent has their own style in educating.
Kids can naturally be impatient, which in turn can make you impatient, and the cycle continues. The suggestion would be to talk it out with our children. Try to keep having a connection and understanding at the forefront of our mind. Avoid lecturing them, and teaching them about self-control as well. Simply saying "Kid, I’m losing my patience," can also help, as it openly communicates with the kid how we are feeling and lets them respond to it.
“Love mostly comes on our door without knocking.
You fall in love with the most unexpected person at the most unexpected time.”
What is the most important lesson that your son has taught you?
I got pregnant when I was around 19 years old, I thought my life was going to be over as I couldn't prioritize myself at that time. However, Elio has shifted my perspective on it. He taught me that it was one of the most beautiful feelings to experience in my lifetime.
Children are independent creatures with minds of their own. Sometimes they can be very blunt. When it happened to Elio, I realized my own bias when I was young. Hence, I will try to correct him.
I’m also learning when I’m teaching my son. I grow and develop right alongside Elio.
(To Elio) What does beauty mean to you?
Beauty is like building a tree. That's nice!