Kids being too attached to gadgets is every parent's biggest dilemma in this generation.
They’re handy with personal tablets and smartphones, all those touch screen devices.
There are two school of thoughts here.
We live in a computerized world. And children do get ahead learning with tech gadgets. As one mommy blogger puts it, “Like it or not, technology is the future and keeping children away from it will only enable them to fall behind as devices and apps continue to progress.”
On the other hand, those gadgets take away childhood activities such as playing outside and making new friends. They can also affect the children’s sleep. And with parents hooked on their gadgets, too, they draw family members away from each other.
How, then, to find a balance between the two?
GMA-7 actress/host Camille Prats has some suggestions.
In an exclusive interview with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) last May 17, the 31-year-old celebrity mom related how she reins in the use of gadgets in their home.
Camille said, "With Nathan, I always tell him that yung paggamit ng technology like iPad tablet, whatever, it's a privilege.
“It's not something that I owe to them and I always remind him of that.
"Sabi ko, 'You may use it for a couple of hours in a day, but I can get that from you anytime, that's not yours.
'“Kaya ingatan mo yung panahon na nagagamit mo siya, use it wisely, use it properly.
“'Kasi it's not something na kailangan mong gamitin. I can get that from you anytime.'"
Nevertheless, the Kapuso star was proud to say that Nathan has learned to discipline himself when it comes to gadget use.
Camille explained, “Alam din niya yung disiplina, pag sinabi kong enough gadget time, siya na mismo yung magkukusang papatayin.
"Or pag alam niya nang matagal niya nang hawak yung gadget, siya na mismo yung nagko-control, 'Oh, I'm, playing too much, I'm gonna go out and play ball, or soccer, or draw.'
"Parang siya na rin yung naghahanap ng alternative rather than just using gadgets."
PARENTING STYLE. As the interview went on, Camille talked about adopting a different parenting style for each of her two sons, Nathan and stepson Isaiah.
The Mars host said she's a lot more hands-on with Nathan than with Isaiah.
Nathan is Camille's only son with her late husband Anthony Linsangan.
The Kapuso actress is now married to VJ Yambao.
She explained, "Magkaiba kasi, like si Isaiah is a teenager, si Nathan naman is only nine years old.
“Pagdating sa pagdidisiplina dun kay Isaiah, I leave it to VJ, sa papa niya.
"Kasi he still has parents e, his mom and his dad, who, you know, should instill discipline.
“Pagdating kay Nathan, kaming dalawa naman ni VJ yun.
"Siguro yung pinaka-dynamics nun is, since our setup is a blended family, sometimes we have Isaiah, sometimes we don't."
HOME RULES. Camille said her family came to an agreement that they should follow their own set of home rules.
"Ang ni-layout lang talaga namin sa kanila when we got married, we have house rules.
"We have family rules, and these apply here, 'pag nandito sa bahay, ito yung rules natin.
"'Pag nandun sa iba, siyempre, I don't know, but in the house, we follow one specific rule and walang exempted sa rule na yun.
"And that's what we do with our boys, na pareho kayo palagi, hindi yung parang si Nathan lang
“Kasi he's the only one who lives with us and he [Isaiah] doesn't.
"No, talagang we made it very clear with them na these rules are applied to all of us as a family.
"Somehow, nagwo-work for us pero, siyempre, yung challenges as they grow older, nag-iiba-iba siya."
The former Wish I May actress also stressed the importance of continuously bonding with the kids.
"For me, I always make sure that I get along with them.
“Kasi kailangan magkasundo kami for them to be able to trust us as their parents.
"They have to like us first, di ba? So yun muna yung main goal namin."