Ruffa on raising ‘tweens’

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Ruffa Gutierrez has always had publicized disputes with her mother Annabelle Rama but when it comes to being a mother herself, she has taken on a completely different approach.

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The actress and former beauty queen is as loving and doting as can be even now that her two daughters by ex-husband, Turkish businessman Yilmaz Bektas, are already going through their “tween” or pre-teen stage. Lorin is 9, while Venice is 8.

At this point, the mother in Gutierrez only wishes to raise her children with openness rather than strictness. She openly shared her parenting style with The Manila Times during an interview in the sidelines of her launch as brand ambassador of a premium haircare brand Kérastase at Valkyrie in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

“I’ll be a bit strict but I also want to be open to them when it comes to dealing with their [growing up]problems. That way, instead of opening up to their friends, I’m hoping they will open up to me. I want them to treat me as their best friend whom they also respect, love and admire,” she related.

Gutierrez fondly related how it amazes her that despite their closeness, her daughters have developed very different personalities. She described the younger Venice as “outgoing” and the elder Lorin as “calculated.”

“Venice makes more friends because she’s very open to others. She’s a social butterfly like me! Lorin [on the other hand]keeps to herself and her group. She doesn’t openly make friends, but I think it’s because she loves the people she grew up with so much that she doesn’t particularly want any kind of change. Not like Venice who you can put anywhere and she’ll easily adapt,” the ever glamourous celebrity elaborated.

Whichever way their personalities go, what their mom is grateful for is that they will always be surrounded with affection from the big Gutierrez showbiz clan, so much so that they have coped well with growing up with a single parent.

Gutierrez, explained, “They are surrounded with a lot of men in the family. They have their lolo, my dad [Eddie Gutierrez] and Tito Richard, Tito Raymond. I don’t think they are lacking when it comes to [fatherly]love.”

And even as her relationship with French-Arab businessman Jordan Mouyal seems to be going strong, the 41-year-old actress accepts the fact that her daughters will always only look to Bektas as their father, even if he is an absentee parent.

Asked for the best advice she can give to single parents like herself, she was quick to impart they should not rush into new relationships. In her case, it took almost a decade before she felt her daughters were ready to meet her new partner.

“It’s not about hiding things from them but we need to be very careful with what we present to them. We can’t make any more mistakes. I want my kids to grow up with a strong foundation and a good family. Hindi ‘yung papalit-palit ng boyfriend,” she expressed.

And so far so good for Mommy Ruffa who are so proud that her daughters are growing up to be well-rounded and kind-hearted despite exhibiting the natural stubbornness of young children.

“They say it’s not very easy to manage tweens,” she acknowledged. “But I just hope and I pray all the time and ask God to lead them to the right path.”

As of now, Internet time is what she finds most difficult to deal with in her daughters’ day to day activities. But if one day, Lorin and Venice choose to go into show business?

Gutierrez reasonably replied, “It depends on the project. But I definitely don’t want them to be in love teams right away. Diyan nag-uumpisa lahat ‘yan,” she said all too knowingly. “I want them to follow the footsteps of KC Concepcion who entered [showbiz]after college—when they are a bit mature to really delve into it.”

The modern parent maintained, “Gusto ko iba yung upbringing nila. Ayoko yung masyado silang artistang-artista. I want them to at least do something for their fellowmen and maybe even for the world.”

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