For Mother’s Day this year – celebrated on August 12 in Thailand – Prestige caught up with three moms, and their kids, to discuss the very special bond shared between mother and child. In this installment, Prijaynat “Niap” Kalampasut chats with Supasara Chongkolrattanaporn, her daughter Thanathida and her son Thanatach.
Suparasa Chongkolrattanaporn, graduated with a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree – Finance major – from the United States, and currently holds the title of Vice President at Mahajak Electric (Thailand) Co. Ltd, an affiliated company that distributes elevator, escalator, and automatic car parking systems.
Known to her friends and family as “Nok”, Supasara is mother to 18-year-old daughter Thanathida (Jenny) Wisesdenchai and 15-year-old son Thanatach (TJ) Wisesdenchai. Of course, children don’t exactly come with instruction manuals and so juggling a career and being a mother is far from easy. Becoming a mother meant a steep learning curve for Supasara, who says she has had to adapt to the unique set of challenges and responsibilities of motherhood along the way. Be that as it may, it is evident from the enthusiastic manner in which she discusses her children, and her role as a parent, that motherhood has brought an abundance of joy in her life.
When it comes to parenting style, her ability to be mother, friend, protector and confidante all at once has forged a strong bond with her children. “I’m so grateful to my mother and father for having been such warm and supportive parents,” she says. “That’s what I want to always be for my own kids.”
Making time for her family has always been a priority for Supasara, who often took her children to work with her when they were little. “Once they started going to school, I used to organise after-school activities and games we can all enjoy as a family. I also read them stories daily which they thoroughly enjoyed. Regular family vacations abroad are also a must in this household.”
Jenny and TJ are more than content to spend time with their mother, and share her fondness for sports. In fact, both Jenny and TJ have developed a prowess for squash (both having participated in tournaments, locally and abroad, as part of the national team). In addition to regularly indulging in their love for omakase, the trio also possess the same thrill-seeking gene, which means amusement parks and rollercoaster rides whenever the occasion arises.
Supasara is a fun mom, but also a stern one when it comes to school and education. Thus, communication and open discussions with her children are key in helping her guide them and encourage them to be the best versions of themselves. “When I wanted to enroll at Shrewsbury International School,” says Jenny, “my mother was very supportive, and I’m forever grateful for that.”
Mom also ensures her children have access to an array of extracurricular tutoring sessions to assist them in their weaker subjects if needed. “I feel very lucky because they are such great kids,” she smiles. “There were no terrible twos or teen angst stages at all.”
The fact that Jenny, who is in the process of applying for college in the UK, is so adamant on joining the family company and becoming a successful businesswoman, is a direct result of her admiration for her mother. And if mom has taught her anything, it’s how to be independent and hardworking. “Of course, we argue sometimes,” laughs Jenny. “But we can always talk things through. It might sound cliché, but I am truly proud to be her daughter. She is my role model, and a great example of hard work and perseverance. And she really has a gift for problem-solving, which is why I always turn to her for anything.”
Although son TJ has yet to decide on a career path, he has demonstrated a keen interest in design technology, which he is currently studying at school. Unsurprisingly, given his love for football, he also has his eye on moving to the UK later for an undergraduate degree. As for what he inherited from mother, it’s his knack for organising and keeping everything in order – from his own bedroom to his daily routine.
“I get that from her,” he laughs. “She’s extremely organised in every aspect of her life, which is something I admire about her. In fact, the older I get, the more I feel like I need to beat her at it. But what I love most about my mum is that she is really fun to talk to. I can talk to her about anything.”
One of the most important things Supasara teaches Jenny and TJ is to always be mindful in everything they do, and to always be aware of the consequences of their actions and decisions. “She also reminds us to be humble,” says TJ.
“Of course, we would love for our children to join the company which we have worked so hard to build and grow,” says Supasara with a smile, “but I don’t want to force them into anything. Ultimately, as a parent, my hope is that they grow up to have a moral compass and to be good and responsible members of society. I want them to be able to figure things out on their own but, of course, I will always be their number one supporter in all their endeavours.”
With Mother’s Day just around the corner, the family will be celebrating the occasion the traditional Thai way, with Supasara receiving jasmine garland offerings from her children followed by a festive family get-together meal with the grandparents.