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  • Chesca Garcia-Kramer: 'For Every Child, the Language of Love Is Different'

    Chesca reveals she is the disciplinarian in the family.
    by Jocelyn Valle .
  • Every part of Team Kramer’s new home has been designed according to the needs and hobbies of its dwellers: dad Doug, mom Chesca, and their kids Kendra, Scarlett, and Gavin. It has a playground for the kids and a theatre for Doug, who loves watching movies. It also has a classroom as Chesca homeschools the little ones.

    “It’s similar to our previous house, but we made it more spacious,” Chesca told SmartParenting.com.ph. She thought a bit when asked how many rooms their current residence has. “Oh, my God, a lot of rooms. Maybe 11 or 12 rooms.” She added that it has four floors. 

    The 39-year-old actress and TV host explained why she and her husband, who’s a professional basketball player, opted for homeschooling.

    “For one, it was time,” she said. “Spend more time with the children, flexibility…Also, I want to try it out. I want to be the one to teach my children, although I have a teacher helping me who’s already [working] full time with me. So it’s her and me. We own our time. I want to teach them and be able to deal with them more. And for them to do more extra-curricular activities.”

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    Future-proofing children

    We caught up with Chesca at the unveiling the “HP New Asian Learning Experience Study.” She was joined by HP Philippines managing director Pallasena V Viswanath and educator Edric Mendoza during a discussion on the findings of an online survey conducted by the global brand. The survey covered seven Asian countries, but only results from the Philippines were revealed. The key insights were:

    • Future-proofing children are the most significant concern for Filipino parents.
    • Asian millennial parents want their children to develop strong social skills and be happy.
    • All parents suffer a disconnect between values and actions. 
    • Children must be prepared for a transition to digital learning environments.
    • Parents love to help their children learn because it’s the best time for them to bond.
    • The most significant sacrifice parents are making for their children’s education is enrolling them in extracurricular activities.

    The study’s findings also revealed that discipline ranks the highest in character traits evaluation in the Philippines. Next came open-mindedness, intelligence, emotional stability, and resilience.

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    Disciplinarian in the family

    Chesca admits to being quite the disciplinarian. At home, she’s the stricter parent, while Doug is the more lenient one. “So it’s a good balance,” she points out, adding that the best way to discipline children is to spend time with them. “Because you cannot discipline your child who doesn’t know you.”

    Chesca employs a specific discipline style for Kendra, 10, Scarlett, 7, and Gavin, 6. “For every child, there’s a different way of speaking to them, talking to them, even their language of love is different,” said the mother of three.

    “With Scarlett, you cannot raise your voice when you discipline her. You must talk to her and explain things to her. Kendra, on the other hand, is also very different in such a way that pressure becomes good. Gavin is in between Kendra and Scarlett.”

    Chesca noted that Scarlett is a planner. “Before the day starts, she’ll ask everybody, ‘What is the plan?’ You have to tell her about the plan. Because if you don’t tell her the plan, then she’ll tell you, ‘We’re not doing anything? There’s nothing to do?’ Even in the classroom, we have to put everything that she has to do there.”

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    How to teach responsibility

    The Kramer couple has started giving more responsibility to Kendra. “Now that she’s 10 years old, she’s given a planner,” Chesca said of their eldest child. “This planner now [accounts] how she’ll plan her day. ‘Okay, Kendra, on Mondays, here are the things that you have to do. How will you do that?’ We’re teaching her accountability.”


    Chesca acknowledged that her children started quite young in using gadgets, particularly the iPad, and instilling discipline in the use of device didn’t come easy for her family.

    “I have a husband who’s very techie, so it’s quite hard when you have iPads and all these stuff lying around,” she said. “What I do is first, you have to discipline the parent. I always remind my husband.”

    For her part, Chesca puts her phone on silent when she’s home, especially when she’s homeschooling her kids. She allows Kendra to use the iPad for about 30 minutes because she uses it to check the Pinterest app for style inspiration for her own line of hair accessories called Kendra and Scarlett Bows.

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    Screen time rules in the Team Kramer household

    Gadgets are off-limits to Scarlett and Gavin. The kids are all encouraged to engage in active and creative activities, such as playing outdoors or in their indoor playground, drawing, and reading.


    “I’m a spender when it comes with books,” Chesca said. “In fact, Doug would say, ‘What, books again? We have no space.’ And I’d say, ‘Well, create more space. Create more shelves.’ I tell my kids, ‘You know, in the movies that you watch, they can only do so much. But with books, there’s so much more. It’s an endless travel, an endless adventure. Who knows what your mind can think of.’

    “For me, something tangible like that is valuable. You know, I have books from when I was a kid that I’ve passed on to my children. And my mom has books that she has passed on to me. It’s truly valuable. For me, print is print. It’s something that you can take with you and share with your children. That’s what I appreciate about books.”

    Chesca then shared with a smile an observation she’s made. “You know what’s funny, parents say, ‘In a wink of an eye my children are all grown up.’ Exactly,” she said. “With just a wink of an eye, they’re all grown up. Would you waste that time just by looking at their iPad? Spend that time playing physically with them. Make that time worth it. That’s also how you instill discipline, instill values. When you’re there emotionally with them.”

    Judy Ann Santos talked about the wide age gaps of her kids and her parenting style for each one. Click here to go the story. 

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