Scarlet Snow Belo said to parents: “I don’t feel you love me”

Hayden Kho Jr. and Vicki Belo retold a touching story during Scarlet Snow’s pre-birthday. According to, Hayden narrated an enlightening dinner conversation that the parents had with their 4-year-old child:

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. [We were eating, right? I was on my phone. We’re not usually allowed to use our phones at homes during dinnner but it just so happened that our food wasn’t ready yet. I was holding my phone.]

Nandiyan si Victoria sa harapan ko—iyan naman seating arrangement namin lagi. Nakikita sa social media. [Victoria was there in front me — that’s our usual seating arrangement. You see this on social media.]

Then all of the sudden, naka-sad face. Ako, nasa phone ako, eh. Narinig ko si Vick, sabi niya, ‘Scarlet, what’s wrong?’ [Then all of a sudden, Scarlet has a sad face. Me, I’m on my phone. I hear Vick ask, ‘Scarlet, what’s wrong?’]

And she goes, ‘I’m sad.’

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They share that Scarlet didn’t speak for a while, so he asked: “Scarlet, are you sad? Why are you sad?” and she replied: “Because I don’t feel you love me.” When prompted further, she explained: “Because you’re always busy. Even if we’re together, you’re always busy.”

Hayden continued the story:

Sabi ko, lahat ng mga yaya, ‘Everyone, out muna sandali.’ [I told all the help: everyone, leave the room for a while.]

Guilty na guilty ako. ‘Scarlet, why do you say you don’t feel loved?’ [I was so guilty.]

‘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. [She was on the verge of tears.]

Sabi ko lang [So I said]: ‘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 [Then I asked]: ‘How about you Vicks? How about you Mommy? Would you feel bad if Scarlet and I are always busy?’ Tapos sabi niya [So she said]: ‘Yes, I’ll also feel bad.’

Sabi ko, [I said] ‘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 [After, I turned it around]: ’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? [Her eyes went wide. The situation was reversed now, right?] ‘So, sometimes, I don’t feel loved!’

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Vicki added to this by saying:

Yung lesson diyan though, nakikita ko ito palagi sa Pinoy, lagi niyo mini-minimize yung feelings ng bata. [The lesson there though, is that I always see Pinoys minimizing the feelings of children.]

Kunwari sasabihin niya, [For example if they say], ‘I feel you don’t love me. You’re always busy.’

‘Uy, huwag ka ngang ganyan. Ang arte-arte mo.’ [Hey, don’t be like that. You’re so dramatic.]

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… [I think what’s important is that we listen first and repeat what is said. Then, what like Hayden did, remind them if they’re doing the same things, too.]

Hayden continued:

Minsan kasi, napapansin ko rin, kapag minsan—kunwari nagsasalita na galit yung bata, ang ginagawa ng parents, parang pinagtatawanan ka. [I also notice that sometimes, when the children are mad what parents tend to do is laugh at them.]

‘Tignan mo ang cute. Nagpapa-cute.’ Parang, dinidismiss 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.  [‘Look at them, how cute. They’re trying to be cute.’ It’s as if you’re dismissing their feelings. For me, it’s very important that — if we say something wrong, we correct ourselves. But for emotions, we have to help them share it properly.]

(WATCH: Scarlet Snow Belo dubbed Vanellope on the “Wreck-It Ralph” sequel and it’s so cute!)

I think it’s important for children to feel validated and listened to by their parents. Even ones as young as toddlers will appreciate it and feel the effects of this kind of upbringing as they grow older.  No one likes to feel belittled or undervalued.

What do you think about this bit of parenting advice?