Mother of spelling champs Kavya and Vanya Shivashankar shares tips on parenting for success

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - I quickly discovered that Sandhya Shivashankar, mother of Scripps Spelling Bee champions Kavya and Vanya Shivashankar, has a big smile to match her big heart. Sandhya and her daughter, Vanya, were my guests Friday on 41 Action News Midday in our salute to moms.

"I'm like any other loving parent I just try to support my kids and be there for them," Sandhya said.

"I teach them to be disciplined, to work hard and be humble," she added.

Her daughter, Kavya won the 2009 National Scripps Howard Spelling Bee and is now attending college in New York.  Vanya won the Olathe Spelling Bee earlier this year and will be competing in the National Scripps Howard Spelling Bee that starts on May 27. She will be competing against 280 contesting and the tournament will be broadcast on ESPN.

Vanya praised her mom for being there to support her.

"My dad is the one who really coaches us on our spelling;  but  my mom is always encouraging us and she just makes sure that we have everything we need and we're getting our rest. I really love her so much and I appreciate her," Vanya said.

Vanya explained that she is preparing for the National Spelling Been right now and thanked both of her parents for their support.

We'll be cheering for you Vanya!

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