MY DAUGHTER, Yanna, was fussy while seating on a high-chair when we were dining at a fastfood chain. So I immediately grabbed my phone and played a downloaded nursery rhyme from Youtube. A woman, seated at the table beside us, approached me and said, “Maayo pa siya noh malingaw ana. Kining akoa, dili gyud (It’s good that your daughter is enjoying it. My son doesn’t like it.) I was stunned for a few seconds before I was able to utter my reply — “Pero mas okay man pud kay dili gyud into gadgets imong anak (But it’s better that your son isn’t hooked on gadgets).”
Honestly, I felt guilty. YT videos are our major lifeline when things get out of hand especially during meal time, which is definitely improper. Watching on screen is passive. Children learn best from interacting with others.
News about gadget use got into every parent’s nerves and even caused alarm recently. It was about the “Momo challenge.” Hoax or not, it has given parents a lesson and a reminder that everything must have limitations and should be put under control.
I have also asked some mothers about their take on gadget use and here are their two cents.
PLEASE ATTACH: 19L—ARA1
As a parent, I always make sure that I know what my child is doing with the installed apps on his phone, may it be games or videos. I don’t allow him to use Facebook because there are many information, pictures, and videos which are not suitable for children. I also check his YouTube history and filter the videos he is allowed to watch. We always talk to him about the harm that it might cause young kids for not following parents’ rules when it comes to using the internet. We always inform him about the reality and explain to him why he is not allowed to do such things. I always monitor and ask him about his day, and if he is curious about something he should always ask us first.
PLEASE ATTACH: 19L-ARA2
My husband Rey doesn’t allow our son Yuergen to use gadgets because he believes this can affect his vision and speech. So he surrounds Yuergen with books and other reading materials. But when he’s not around, I allow Yuergen to use my smartphone for 30 minutes a day (15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the afternoon). I believe that early exposure to modern technology can also help him develop his learning. With proper supervision, I know this can help him cope in the digital world.
PLEASE ATTACH: 19L-ARA3
As a mother of a 5-year-old inquisitive boy, it's more important to talk to him and be with him while watching videos and using gadgets. And kids should not be allowed to just choose videos or games they find appealing.
As for André, we don't allow him to use gadgets on weekdays and instead encourage him to play with his toys and to read books. So when 'momo' went viral, I asked him about it and he said he's not watching anything scary. I think am also just lucky that my son's into trucks, construction equipment, and race cars.
The writer will appreciate comments, questions, and story suggestions. Contact her through firstname.lastname@example.org, Ara Casas-Tumuran on Facebook, and @tumuranfamily on Instagram.