Celebrity mum, model, and actress Jessica C shares her parenting approach, and her children’s experiences and favourite moments at Kids’ Gallery.
Q: How do you envision your children’s journey growing up?
Jessica C: I've always envisioned them – especially for my daughter (Tessa) – growing up happy and confident, being brave to try new things, because I feel that being children is when you get to explore and find yourself, and discover what you like and what you don't like.
Q: How do you and Andy differ in your parenting styles?
Jessica C: Andy is more carefree when it comes to everything. He has so much confidence in our kids (Tessa and Elvis), and he just believes in them, that everything is going to work out; Andy is very protective, of course, when it comes to safety. He guards the kids, and he worries about anything dangerous.
Whereas for me, as a mum, I find more pressure always thinking: “Am I doing enough for my kids?” and “Am I presenting the right opportunities for them?” So as a mum, those are the sort of thoughts running through my head. I'm the one who plans everything, and I think most mums are. And then, dads just agree and go with it.
Q: Would you want your daughter (Tessa) and son (Elvis) to be models, actress/actor like yourself, or an action star like Andy?
Jessica C: I get that question a lot actually – if I want Tessa to be a model or an actress, or if Elvis is going to be the next Andy On. It's funny because I feel naturally they do take on these personalities. They see us. Tessa sees me getting dressed up, she sees me getting my make-up done, and pictures taken.
Now I can't stop it, Tessa loves to pose, we will be out, and she'll be like: “Mummy, take my picture!”
We're not going to force anything on them – if that's what they want to do, or if the opportunity is there, then great. If not, let’s see!
Q: Tell us about your children’s musical experience in Beauty and the Beast.
Jessica C: Beauty and the Beast was Tessa’s first musical theatre experience. And that entire journey – from the beginning, to figuring out the story, to learning the lines, to learning the dances, and the songs… and finally, to putting that on stage and showing mum and dad, and just being so proud of it – is just such a special memory for her (Tessa).Q: Can you share your daughter’s Kids’ Gallery transformation?
Jessica C: Tessa has always been confident around me, around people she knew, but when she was around other people she didn't know, I could see her closing in, and feeling less confident.
But after Kids' Gallery, she just walks into the room, and confidently introduces herself: "I'm Tessa, this is me.” That’s when I knew enrolling them into Kids’ Gallery courses is the right decision. I feel that Kids' Gallery is a place kids can open up and be inspired; there's no limit to what they think.I remember Tessa coming home and telling me about her day - she told me that they were allowed to tell silly stories about their morning, what they ate for breakfast, and they were asked to make it into a little story. She was giggling while telling me all about it. I love that she had the freedom to do that at Kids' Gallery.
Q: How would you describe Kids’ Gallery, and how has the experience helped your children?
Jessica C: Kids' Gallery is fantastic – it's everything I could have wished for. I want to be able to help her in all those outlets – her creativity, her imagination, her confidence. And of course, I don't have all the answers, but I feel that Kids' Gallery has it all figured out. They have the experience, the success stories, the tools, and the materials to really guide your child in the right direction. I feel like children still get to be kids in Kids' Gallery: they get to enjoy, they get to grow, and they get to learn so much about themselves. It has just been nothing but a wonderful experience for me. We're just so happy to be a part of the Kids' Gallery community.