Hayden and Vicki recalled this moment during Scarlet Snow's pre-birthday celebration at Jollibee Ortigas Roosevelt, San Juan, last March 2.
Hayden recounted, "Kumakain kami, no? I was on my phone. Bawal mag-phone sa house namin, pero nagkataon, wala pa yung food namin. Hawak-hawak ko yung phone ko.
"Nandiyan si Victoria sa harapan ko—iyan naman seating arrangement namin lagi... Then all of the sudden, naka-sad face. Ako, nasa phone ako, e. Narinig ko si Vick, sabi niya, 'Scarlet, what's wrong?'
"And she goes, 'I'm sad.'"
Hayden said Scarlet Snow did not speak for a while and just frowned, which prompted him to ask, "Scarlet, are you sad? Why are you sad?"
Scarlet replied, "Because I don't feel you love me."
Hayden put away his phone, and Vicki asked why she felt that way. Scarlet's answer was, "Because you're always busy. Even if we're together, you're always busy."
"Guilty na guilty ako," Hayden said. "'Scarlet, why do you say you don't feel loved?'
"'We're always together, but you're always busy with work. Even if you are here, you're always busy. Always busy.'
"Talagang naiiyak na siya.
"Sabi ko lang, 'You know what, Scarlet, if I were in your position and everyone is super busy, I would always feel bad. So, I'm sorry Scarlet if I'm always busy. Will you forgive me?'
"'Tapos sabi ko, 'How about you Vicks? How about you Mommy? Would you feel bad if Scarlet and I are always busy?'
"'Tapos sabi niya, 'Yes, I'll also feel bad.'
"Sabi ko, 'So, what you feel in your heart is okay. It's okay to feel sad. But from now on, we'll make sure that we're not as busy.'
"Parang, we'll make time for you. We'll play. No phones, no talking to anybody.
"And then she started smiling na.
"Mamaya, binaliktad ko na, 'But you know what Scarlet, sometimes I also feel bad.'
"She goes, 'Why?'
"'Because sometimes I feel you are also very busy... Because when you are on your phone or your iPad, you don't talk to us anymore.'
"Lumaki mata niya. Bumaliktad kasi ngayon, di ba? 'So, sometimes, I don't feel loved!'"
For her part, Vicki felt proud that it was Scarlet who taught them a lesson. But she also pointed out the importance of acknowledging a child's feeling about a situation.
"Yung lesson diyan though, nakikita ko ito palagi sa Pinoy...mini-minimize yung feelings ng bata," she remarked. "Kunwari sasabihin niya, 'I feel you don't love me. You're always busy.'
"'Uy, huwag ka ngang ganyan. Ang arte-arte mo.'
"I think yung importante, makinig ka muna, 'tapos i-repeat mo sa kanila kung ano sinabi, 'tapos yung ginawa ni Hayden, later on, ipa-remind mo rin sa kanila kung ganun din sila..."
Hayden added, "Minsan kasi, napapansin ko rin...kunwari nagsasalita na galit yung bata, ang ginagawa ng parents, parang pinagtatawanan ka. 'Tignan mo ang cute. Nagpapa-cute.' Parang, dini-dismiss mo yung feeling ng bata?
"Para sa akin, very important na—kunwari nagkamali yung words na ginagamit, kino-correct namin. Pero yung emotions, kailangan tulungan natin ma-share nang tama."
This story originally appeared on Pep.ph.
* Minor edits have been made by the Femalenetwork.com editors.