Skip to content
Free shipping for orders above $30
Free shipping for orders above $30

Interview with Michelle & Serene, Co-Founders of Love Bonds

7 March 2021 | By Gillian Choo

Michelle & Serene's interview is also one of the many stories from our book, In Time, We Blossom. If you'd like to read more stories like this, you can download our free e-book here

"There are great moments and less-than-great moments in parenting. Our aim is to encourage more of the great." 

- Serene, on the inspiration behind Love Bonds

Little ones can be such chatterboxes, full of admiration and awe at the world around them. "Mama, mama...," they exclaim, recounting a tiny incident from their day that filled them with wonder. How can a well-meaning parent make the most of this barrage of chatter? Can they harness their child’s curiosity to dig deep, to get to the heart of the matter, and to truly connect?

Serene and Michelle have set themselves the goal of addressing just this dilemma. They created Love Bonds to help parents encourage meaningful conversations with their children, through a curated collection of storybooks and magazines (with its accompanying conversation guides) and conversation starters cards. We sat down with the two ladies to learn more about the mission of Love Bonds, and were truly energised by what they had to share.

Gillian: Tell us a little about how Love Bonds was born? 

Michelle: Our friendship goes back 17 years because our husbands are friends. After we became mothers, our bond strengthened as we could better understand each other as parents and our difficulties. I had heard that motherhood changes people, and when I had my first daughter (now aged 4), I felt it. Imparting good values became a real passion. Meaningful, intentional conversations foster lasting bonds, but busy parents cannot always find common grounds to nurture these. A little guidance goes a long way!

Serene: Schools do their utmost to impart values, but I believe that character development starts from home. Michelle and I set a goal to encourage conversations that really matter. Books are a great medium to nudge little learners to understand and remember, so we began to curate a collection of beautiful children’s books. But a vital ingredient was missing – tools to engage a child more deeply through these books. And so our conversation guides were born to spark meaningful dialogue between parent and child.

Why is Love Bonds so relevant today?

Serene: Early childhood is precious as attachment is at its greatest, and its bonds are everlasting and invaluable. This takes me back to my own childhood filled with chatter and banter with my mum, which I cherish even as an adult.

At a younger age, shared experiences are so formative. For example, parents and children alike cherish visits to the zoo. But lasting impressions and memories arise from the banter and sharing between parents and child as they walk through the zoo. Our children’s generation diverges from our own with the impact of the digital world. In the midst of this noise, parents have to strive harder to keep their child’s attention and nurture deeper bonds.

Michelle: My typically Asian parents were not ‘talkers’. This impacted my teen years, and I would turn to close friends to talk about my problems. My greatest wish is that my children continue to turn to me on important matters, so that we stay connected and close as they blossom into adults.

Have there been challenges?

Serene: Yes! Changing a habit is always difficult. We are weaning children away from digital devices and encouraging them to process and articulate their thoughts. Habits take weeks to change and implement, so it is not always smooth sailing.

Michelle: Also, parental mindset can be a stumbling block. Parents do not want to accept vulnerability and failure. But we are ingraining a fundamental habit in families, via a process, a journey. There will be good and bad days; days when it comes together nicely and days when your child simply wants no part of a conversation.

Love Bonds resources, or any other resources for that matter, are not magic potions. They are tools that parents can use with their children to spark meaningful conversations and open up opportunities to talk about things that truly matter— values. Forming strong bonds in the family is a long but rewarding journey, where resilience and consistency are key.

What have your proudest moments been?

Michelle: When i see my daughter living the values that we talk about. I am so proud that my 4-year-old is a loving and caring sister to my younger daughter, aged 2.

Serene: It is humbling when my son chooses to share his experiences and his puzzlement at daily life with me. I feel privileged to share his little boy thoughts and reflections as he navigates his growing universe. Recently, he has turned the conversation around and asked me questions about my work day, which is truly delightful! It shows that he has assimilated the need to relate to those that matter to him.

Is there such a thing as ‘perfect parenting’?

Serene: I do not strive to be a perfect parent— only a faithful parent. The most important relationship in parenting is that with our partner, in whom we turn to for support and assurance. There is no output without input, and that input is constant communication with a supportive partner on this parenting journey.

Michelle: As parents, we are a work in progress, and our goal is to learn and impart aspects of our journey to our children. So that they may grow up guided by values that they witnessed. For example, we have selected three all-important family values that we often discuss with our daughters— kindness, honesty and resilience.

"I want my kids to remember me by the conversations that we have had" 

- Serene, on what makes a strong bond

How do you feel you have blossomed as parents?

Serene: Parenthood is a shared journey; as our children grow, we grow. Parenting has no manual, but we rely on our faith to carry on and do the best that we can. This faith makes the journey special and allows us to blossom as parents.

Michelle: We are constantly growing on this meaningful journey. In parenting, we use our talents and abilities to do the best we can— we blossom as we help others.