John Prats and Divine Lee-Go share how parenting changed them
By Kristelle Bechayda
There is no doubt that when a child comes along, adjustments are bound to happen. Apart from having to get used to caring for an infant, priorities also shift. This might be a life-changing moment for first-time parents as they are suddenly entrusted with the life of an innocent child.
At the recent launch of Johnson & Johnson’s #ChooseGentle movement campaign, celebrity parents John Prats and Divine Lee-Go share the changes they have gone through since having children, as well as the parenting styles they got from their own parents.
Before tying the knot with his wife, Isabel Oli, John already had an idea what kind of dad he was going to be. “I wished that when I had kids, I wanted to be the cool dad. No rules, just having fun with my kids. It’s a good thing it’s what happened,” he says.
The actor now has a three-year-old daughter named Lilly Feather and a nine-month-old son named Daniel Freedom. He describes himself as a laid-back parent. “My wife is the disciplinarian, she’s very OC with everything. I’m the more playful one because I work almost everyday, so I want my kids to remember me as a happy person.”
Divine, on the other hand, didn’t have preconceived notions about parenting and adds, “Before becoming a parent, you’d think, ‘I’m going to be like this, like that.’ But when the baby comes, all bets are off. Everything really changes. There is no perfect nor right parenting style. It depends on your kid, on how you will deal with him.”
John and Divine have made several changes with their lifestyle since then. The actor describes that when he welcomed his firstborn, he didn’t just refer to it as an adjustment period, but a moment of complete turn-around.
“When Feather came out, my life totally changed. I remembered when my wife and I got married, it almost felt the same. But with Feather, it became totally different. You suddenly had a purpose because you’re responsible for your child’s future. You want to be careful and gentle when it comes to handling her life,” John shares.
For Divine, who is currently on the last trimester of her second pregnancy, she became more practical and traded her luxuries with baby essentials. “Before di ba, YOLO? Gimik, travel, Coachella music fest but now you have a kid, iniisip mo ‘Nako, sale ng diapers ngayon, magstock na ako.’ It’s more like ang planning mo, more on the kid na talaga,” she shares.
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Had so much fun meeting everyone during the #JOHNSONSPH event! Most of the mommies I only know thru their FB profiles or Ig names. Happy to meet you guys! I love how the @johnsonsbabyph team was able to make each area both fun and educational for parents and babies. We were taught about gentle parenting – connecting thru the right actions, using the right words and being consistent. Thru this Choose Gentle Movement, we hope to raise a kinder, positive and more confident generation of children. #Choosegentle
Her concerns now revolve around her one-year-old son Basquiat Delfin or Baz and in a few months, her second child too. Divine adds that having children has helped her understand her parents more.
Parenting styles learned
Now that they have gotten the hang of parenting, John and Divine have developed their own styles and have also drawn inspiration from how they were raised. Whenever Feather does something wrong, John would talk to his daughter, just as his dad did to him.
“Si Feather kasi nakakaintindi na siya. So pag may ginawa siyang mali, I talk to her. Naiintindihan niya eh pagnagcha-change yung facial reaction ko. Alam niya at hindi na niya gagawin ulit,” says the actor.
Divine also learned the same technique from her father and tries to practice explaining situations to Baz even if he is still young to understand.
“Parang naiintindihan niya na ako kahit ‘di pa siya nagsasalita. When you talk to him, parang he kind of understands what’s bawal or what’s not good. So I think that’s what I’m going to adapt from my dad,” she says. “I want him to have options, kumbaga masanay siya na ine-explain sa kanya kung bakit bawal siya. So at least, naiintindihan niya why. So he can make good decisions when he grows older.”