Best of two worlds for toddler shuttling between grandparents

Mrs Stephanie Tan, her husband Sean, and his parents Tan Kim Hok, 76, and Madam Oh Pang Huck, 71, having a good time with 15-month-old Sarah in her grandparents' flat in Ang Mo Kio. The young couple have been shuttling between their parents' places w
Mrs Stephanie Tan, her husband Sean, and his parents Tan Kim Hok, 76, and Madam Oh Pang Huck, 71, having a good time with 15-month-old Sarah in her grandparents' flat in Ang Mo Kio. The young couple have been shuttling between their parents' places with their daughter. They will be moving to their new Sengkang home by the end of this year.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

Fifteen-month old Sarah can spout three-syllable words like apricot, have simple conversations and likes mingling with people.

Her mother, Mrs Stephanie Tan, 31, attributes this largely to the constant interaction the toddler gets from being around her extended family since birth.

For the last six months, Mrs Tan, a self-employed financial consultant, and her husband, a civil servant, have been shuttling back and forth between their parents' places.

They spend about three days at her parents' Yew Tee home, and the rest of the week with his side at their Ang Mo Kio flat.

Mrs Tan, who got married in 2014, had earlier been living with her in-laws while she and her husband waited for their Sengkang executive condominium, which they will move into by the end of this year.

 

"The travelling can be tiring but we have a car so it's much easier," said Mrs Tan about shuttling between her parents' homes. "It's also worth it - our daughter is close to both sides of our families and she enjoys the interaction with different people."

Besides her grandparents, she gets to play with Mrs Tan's younger brother and sister, as well as their neighbour's children.

"I wanted our child to learn how to relate to her grandparents and respect them," she said, adding that she is glad that her daughter is exposed to both Hokkien and Mandarin at home because of her in-laws.

"They will take her for walks downstairs, entertain her and it's good that she is not clingy to me all the time. They give suggestions but in terms of parenting and discipline, we have a lot of freedom."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 16, 2016, with the headline 'Best of two worlds for toddler shuttling between grandparents'. Print Edition | Subscribe