When asked to describe her parenting style, Lea replies with a grin: “It’s funny, but I’m very laid back. When she falls, I don’t panic. Her yaya will go, ‘Naku, nadapa siya, nadapa siya,’ but I’m all right because I know she’ll be okay.”
She does believe in spanking, however. “I got spanked as a kid and I grew up okay. But each child is different. There are some for whom a talking to will do because spanking doesn’t work. I don’t believe in a cookie cutter approach when it comes to raising a child. If my husband Robert and I have another child, we know we’ll have to start from square one because each child’s personality is different.”
Lea admits that being a parent—especially being a mom—requires a lot of patience. “Nicole can be very, very makulit,” she shares. “She’s incredibly persistent until she gets you to do what she wants. If she wants me to stand up or do something, she’s like, ‘Help, help,’ and I’m like, ‘No, honey, Mommy’s sitting down’ and she’ll insist ‘Mommy, help’ so I go, ‘Okay, what do you want to do?’ and then she’ll smile because she gets her way. But there are some days when she doesn’t get her way… but she can be a very stubborn because she’s a Taurus,” she adds fondly.
It’s a good thing that Nicole’s stubborn streak doesn’t extend to most kids’ penchant for toys. “I just tell her, ‘No, honey, no, honey,’ and she’ll eventually forget it,” Lea says.
“She also knows if I’m mad or getting upset,” Lea explains further. “My voice starts to change—it just gets low and steady and she knows what that means. She knows what it means when I’m mad. So she changes her expression and backpedals. Thankfully, she’s very perceptive.”