Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Fisher-Price Joy of Learning Workshop with Ms Carrie Lupoli aka Chief Mum

Moms, dads, and even kids gather on the much-awaited Fisher-Price Joy of Learning (FPJOL) Workshop with no other than Ms Carrie E Lupoli aka Chief Mum, for a day of fun and learning at Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria Hotel in Quezon City. Father's day has never been this empowering!  

@2013 Planeville Mom Registration Area 

@2013 Planeville Mom


Carrie Lupoli aka Chief Mum, a mother of two, is a renowed child expert. She flew all the way from United States to Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines to share her expertise on parenting.

Carrie calling her husband to say Happy Father's Day :)

During the event, Carrie confessed she waited a long time to get pregnant, went through labor for over 60 hours (yes, sixty loooong freakin' hours!) and ended up going through C-section. That was super! (I went through four hours of labor and felt like I was dying!). Carrie moved from US to Singapore, and later on to Norway. After 12 years of being away from home, she moved back to the US. She is the founder of Live and Learn Consulting. 


Photo from http://seo-hacker.com

The Fisher-Price Child Research Team is promoting the advocacy on learning through play. They uphold the idea that "Through play, children learn about themselves and others, about how things work and about the world around them". Even the American Academy of Pediatrics acknowledges the significant role of play to healthy brain development. 


The workshop started with Carrie asking if we, mothers, were ever prepared to actually be a mother. That was a pretty interesting question because even those who planned their pregnancy said no. I guess no matter how long you waited for a baby, no matter how much resources you read, no amount of planning will ever be enough to prepare you in becoming a mom.

Photo from http://shadowness.com

Parenting is an enormous responsibility of raising another human being and making sure he gets nothing but the best that life has to offer. And since parenting is something you do not learn overnight, it can be as difficult, tiring and frustrating as getting lost in the woods. A map might not be enough, it may require a few detours and you will most likely lose a huge ground but like Carrie said, "Treasure it, remember it and even when it is hard, find the JOY in it". 


One thing that surely resonates in me during the FPJOL workshop is the importance of The Early Years. We need to establish three essential undertandings which are: (1) that the first five years in a child's life is when brain development occurs; (2) understand and document a child's progress throughout the first five years and; (3) that through interactive and joyful learning which is child-initiated and play-based, we can expose our children to the essential skills necessary for a strong foundation in later life (Lupoli, 2013). 

According to Carrie, the role of the parent during the early years is pivotal in a child's brain development. At six years old, the brain is more stabilized. This is also the best time when developmental psycologists may assess if a child is suffering from a brain disability. It is then important to understand and document developmental milestones during the first five years as it will be the basis in recognizing when parents should worry. What's fascinating though is that children are assessed through play, as Carrie shared. Know the signs. And when in doubt, seek intervention. 


Since we have established the essence of parents during the early years of a child's life, the only question left is, what is the best way to learn? Learning does not necessarily need to be boring and punitive

I believe we can all attest to this. One can learn math, cause and effect and even problem solving simply by playing building blocks. Especially with the kind of generation our kids have right now, when everything seems to be fast-paced, and attention span shorter, playing is an effective alternative to traditional methods. 

@2013 Planeville Mom      
Kids enjoying the bubbles with +Gymboree Play&Music 

Through child-initiated and play-based learning, a child has the opportunity to build relationship with others that will eventually help them to be responsible, independent and happy when they face the real world. As parents, what's important is we are there to encourage and protect by creating a safety environment.


This event made so much impact in my life that one blog post isn't enough for me to share everything I've learned.

Photo from https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com.
 Here are my few of the many AHA! moments:

• The first five years of a child's life is when the brain develops rapidly. It is the time when your kid absorbs anything like a sponge. We, parents, should take advantage of this stage.

• Language acquisition doesn't start when your child starts talking, it starts during pregnancy. Thus it is important to talk to your kid, read him books, play!

• Raising an independent adult is a conscious effort not just by the parents, but also by grandparents, helpers, to name a few. 

• At two, your child must know how to play with other kids, otherwise, you might need to consult a developmental expert.

• "Playing is not trivial. When they play, they are doing important work." -Carrie Lupoli

• If you realize you're doing something wrong, do not harbor on guilt. Move forward and materialize change.

As a first time mom who went through post postpartum depression, this has been a very empowering activity! I wish Fisher-Price and Richwell Club continue to organize such an  event and make this available to the general public. Two thumbs up to Ms Carrie Lupoli for a job well done! 

Striking a pose with Fisher-Price' Ambassador, Ms Audrey Tan Zubiri and Chief Mum, Carrie Lupoli 

I would also like to thank Moomy Musings for her generous effort. I am so happy to meet other moms and learn alongside with them. From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU!  


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