Bonding with their boys is the key for Brandon and Jenny Chau, son and daughter-in-law of the late Chau Kai-bong. Known for being Hong Kong socialites, Jenny and Brandon Chau were both career-focused until they had children. Looking back, Jenny describes investment banking as having “bad hours”, but becoming a mother altered her priorities, as concern over the early years of bonding and education came first. Brandon feels that work has become important in a new way – he has a responsibility to provide for his family. Meanwhile, he strives to find as much time as possible to spend with his children. How do you keep your balance between work and family? Jenny: At first I found it hard to get the balance – I do charity work and other projects. I think our generation is encouraged to do more than just stay at home. I spend a lot of time with the kids, looking after them daily and considering their education – but I do limit the number of dinners I go out for. Brandon: I come home quite early if I don’t have to entertain clients, so I can eat with the family and play with the kids before they go to sleep. I try to read to them as many nights a week as I can, and at the weekend I take them to playgroups and find things to do together; we have two boys, so we schedule boy time. What are the most precious family moments? Jenny: If Brandon is away, the boys sleep in my bed and are very sweet with me and tell me that they love me. Brandon: The boy time I have with them is very important to me, especially when it’s one-to-one – we really bond. What are the pros and cons of being celebrity parents? Jenny: The good thing is that my kids are exposed to different sides of life, but you don’t want your kids’ photos all over the place. We constantly worry about our children’s privacy. When go out we don’t usually take the kids. When they are older we will teach them that it doesn’t matter what is in the press, so that they can understand the situation. We will let them decide if they want to come out with us, knowing that they might attract attention. What is your approach to your children’s education? Jenny: We both believe that no matter what kids learn at school or from books, we parents are their prime role model. Brandon: We try to set the right example so we think about that even in our daily life. We try to explain things to our kids. Jenny: Kids are like little photocopies of their parents. So we are very careful: At home we always use “please” and “thank you”. We are careful about how we treat others and we eat all our vegetables. If you don’t explain something, like a rule, kids are likely to ask why. So I treat them like adults, I tell them the reason so they can try to understand. At first they might only get the feeling, but eventually they will understand. As a parent, what do you consider ‘happiness’ to be? Jenny: Harmony, listening to each other and respecting each other. It can be hard, especially between two brothers, but I feel happy when we all co-exist in a peaceful state. Brandon: Harmony is a traditional Chinese value. For me, it is the most important thing. Aside from that, it’s about being together, being there for each other, being there for my kids. What are your major do’s and don’ts for parents? Brandon: Do invest as much time as you can with your kids; children are worth spending time with. Jenny: Don’t ever not listen – sometimes kids keep talking and you think you can interrupt and tell them something, but no matter what silly things they say, if you listen and try to understand it builds their confidence and they feel that you care. Brandon: You have to be very patient. Do you think that children growing up in Hong Kong are too pressured? Brandon: Education starts early and children are expected to do things at an early stage compared to when we were young – and I think parents find that difficult too. Jenny: Sometimes academic achievement is not so necessary at such a young age. But some kids are more pampered than in other places – most people here have helpers, and some kids are less independent and don’t know how to look after themselves. Our children are three and five so this year we are aiming to teach them to be more independent, to help with things and not have everything done for them.