“It’s important, I think, for children to make mistakes. It’s important for them not to be rescued immediately by parents.”
It was her surgical precision and meticulous eye that earned Vicki Belo the trust it takes to become “doctor of the stars.”
From the start of her career, the celebrity dermatologist made it her laser-focused mission to bring out the beauty of her clientele, so as to make them feel desired.
The challenge was how she could use the same gifts to realize the best version of her daughter Scarlet Snow.
Difficult as it seemed, Belo realized the answer was as simple as not having to do anything at all.
Falling and getting up
“I deliberately watch her. Let her go as far as she can. Sometimes she falls. She’s actually a careful person. But it’s important, I think, for children to make mistakes. It’s important for them not to be rescued immediately by the parents,” Belo tells Lifestyle Asia.
She admits restraining the “helicopter mom” in herself that wants to hover over her daughter’s every move. But, she realizes, it’s for the best.
The 65-year-old recalls her own childhood where her parents let her explore and stray far, always standing behind just a safe distance away.
“So I think it’s important for Scarlet also that when she looks back, we’re here for you. But we’ll let you fall. We’ll let you get up. Because in life, it’s not good… your parents are not going to be with you forever,” Belo explains.
The doctor laments how the present generation is too vulnerable, a misfortune to which she attributes to parents easily tempted to shelter their children.
“They’re very nice but they give up or they get hurt so quickly… for something that wouldn’t bother people in their 30s and up. It’s like they’re not as strong. And I think it’s because we have tended to as parents tended to overprotect them, not allow them to fall, not allow them to fail, so they can get up,” Belo analyzes.
In Scarlet’s case, this means pushing her to keep going especially in endeavors where she’s not immediately good at.
“Scarlet’s very afraid. I think because she does most things well. When there are things she’s not good at, she doesn’t want to try. She gives up easily. If she’s not the best, she just stops,” Belo narrates.
She admits not having as many natural talents as her daughter growing up, which influenced her to be more persistent. Belo wants her daughter to also realize that before becoming an expert, everyone must start as a beginner.
“It breaks my heart that I have to be the strict parent,” Belo says.
While budgeting an allowance for mistakes, Belo ensures that Scarlet is always guided by the family’s core values.
“More or less, our goal is to raise Scarlet to begin with the end in mind. That’s what we always try to do. So I want Scarlet to be God-loving. We’re a Christian family so we want to make sure that she loves the Lord. We also want to make sure she’s not arrogant. She’s humble,” Belo highlights.
Their family motto is “HIS,” which stands for humility, integrity, and service. This translates to acting equal to everyone else, keeping one’s word and remaining honest, and leaving a positive impact on the world.
Belo couldn’t have higher hopes for Scarlet, whom she believes exemplifies all these qualities.
“Scarlet for some reason, I feel, well I really believe that she’s very, very blessed and that she has a purpose in this life. I really don’t know what it is. But she seems to have been a leader since she was born,” Belo points out.
Her husband, Hayden Kho, likewise noticed that everything is a “teaching moment” when it comes to Scarlet.
Their daughter was already on social media at the age of 1. Although unplanned, they realized that so many people gravitate toward Scarlet, with everyone seeing how bright she was.
“With Scarlet, I’m just watching and observing. But whenever she does something, I’m always so aware. What is the lesson to be learned?” Belo situates.
The cosmetics surgeon notices how ironic it was, owing to her background, that she doesn’t want compliments about Scarlet’s appearance to ultimately define her daughter.
“That’s not enough at all, Scarlet. You need to be intelligent. More than anything, you need to be of service to people. You better make a difference in this world,” Belo encourages her daughter.
Although she hasn’t quite pinpointed what Scarlet’s dream is, she’s observed her daughter’s affinity toward the planet and animals, in particular.
“I really hope that she makes a dent in the universe, a positive dent. And somehow she makes a difference in people’s lives… more than just living a happy life for herself, I hope she can also contribute to the world. And I’m seeing it. She’s very into the environment. She’s always about saving the animals,” Belo notices.
Scarlet informs herself on topics like global warming and the status of glaciers. She’s even conscious about throwing her trash.
At the same time, the mother recognizes that the “positive dent” must start with the parents.
“You cannot give what you don’t have. You don’t have self-love, how can you love someone else? If you’re not feeling cared for, how can you care for someone else? So I think self-care is extremely important. You need to have time for yourself,” Belo warns.
She said that parents who neglect themselves end up taking it out on their kids. The domino effect cascades from being impatient, to not having time, and then finally not teaching their children crucial lessons.
Belo says that, ultimately, time is the most useful gift that parents can give to their children.
“Even if you give them all the toys they want and all the games they want and their education. But you’re not there? It’s hard,” Belo suggests. The alternative, she says, is to find a way to make their presence felt despite any circumstances.
Lastly, she underscores the importance of parents giving their children responsibilities and teaching them life skills early on.
“If you don’t want your kids to have a hard time in their future lives, don’t spoil them in their early life. You have to set boundaries. Don’t spoil them, because the world will not spoil them,” Belo concludes.
Photography AYA CABAUATAN, assisted by JAY MARTINEZ
Art Direction MARC YELLOW
Sittings Editor DONG RONQUILLO
Videography JR RAMIREZ of Studio 100
Makeup MARIFE MORBIDO
Hair PATTY INOJALES
Styling BANG PINEDA, assisted by JANE MIEMBAN
Shoot coordination MAE TALAID and MJ ALMERO
Shot on location Belo Medical Clinic in BGC
Special thanks to JANNA INOCENTES of Belo Medical Group
Special thanks to BVLGARI
Dr. Vicki Belo and Scarlet Snow Belo are wearing the Serpenti Viper Collection by BVLGARI