VIDEO: Meet the Schwapps
Stepping into the Schwapps' household is like stepping into a museum of fine art. One is immediately captured by the bright smiles and intimate chatter among family members. The walls are filled with exquisite pieces, symbolic of the strength of the family through their challenges and successes.
They are unit of five - Briana, Claire and Daniel, and their proud parents Melanie and Phillip make up the Schwapps family. Melanie, a writer and interior decorator, is very passionate about family and home. She takes great pride preparing a comfortable yet trendy space for her most prized possessions. "You might think mommy is just sitting and listening. No, she is looking for something to fix," chuckled her son Daniel.
Quality time and communications are very important in having a happy family. Melanie told Outlook she insisted that her kids were each other's friends first. Therefore, after homework, they would go outside and play with each other as television was banned from their weekly activities. Another staple in the Schwapps family is a gadget-free, compulsory dinnertime. All members of the family have to be present at the dinner table, where they would share the experiences and activities of the day. This allows them to be a part of each other's daily experiences.
This get-together also facilitates the building of trust and comfort which has resulted in an open relationship among children and parents. All three children admitted that they felt comfortable discussing anything with their parents. There is no need to reach outside the home for affection or validation.
Melanie says she encourages families to do activities and take trips together as a family. "It doesn't have to be expensive, as long as you are together."
Briana, the eldest of the children, echoed the same sentiments and added that most of their summers were spent playing Kalooki. She also made reference to regular family talent shows and parties held at the Schwapps' residence with performances by her superstar sister, Claire.
Briana and Daniel, who have left the nest for studies, explained that leaving home was the hardest thing they have ever done. This is quite shocking as teen/young adults are normally eager to leave home. Briana noted that it is extremely difficult in the initial stages, when you are in a new environment with no friends and you don't have your siblings around. Daniel agreed wholeheartedly and added that, in fact, being away has made him closer to his sisters. "Being with them every day, you take them for granted." However, with the use of technology, they have found ways to keep their bond strong. Much to their mother's annoyance, they have created a WhatsApp group called the 'Schwiblings' that they use to check in on each other and have conversations mothers should not be a part of.
With raw emotions, teary eyes and crackling voices, each family member shared their favourite traits.
Each member of the Schwapps family complements the other. It is a perfect blend of characters and has resulted in a home of strong values, love and stability.