Family

Talks about Mommy Ginger’s moments with her husband, child and the other members of the family.

There has been much talk about whether parents should let their kids play with gadgets. I’ve come across millions of articles when I searched kids and gadgets Philippines. Some of these are…

Noemi’s column: https://www.manilatimes.net/2018/07/29/business/columnists-business/are-digital-gadgets-good-for-our-kids/424235/

The Asian Parent’s Article: https://ph.theasianparent.com/being-smart-about-kids-and-gadgets

GMA’s feature: https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/scitech/technology/657754/experts-warn-parents-gadgets-expose-children-to-cyber-risks/story/

I read these and some other articles, and this topic now becomes one of the most difficult conundrums for the parents.

Our personal belief when it comes to using gadgets is to limit screen time. Ever since she was 3 years old, she was exposed to playing with games on her iPad. She was never the type who would freak out when we take her gadgets away from her. When we would tell her to stop, she would.

She would then grab and read a book, or play with blocks, pillows, dolls or toys within her reach.

Being in the tech industry, too, we know that there are some games and applications that can help enhance creativity. We also play with her while she’s playing these games (usually Minecraft and Roblox). This way, we can monitor and see what she’s up to since we’re in the same game (we see who she’s chatting with, etc.). We know she’s a digital native, and later on, knowing how to use technology will be as natural as using a spoon and fork for her and her peers. We don’t want to stop her, too, from understanding how things work. We do our best though to guide her (teach her about privacy, etc.).

I was curious to find out what other moms think about this topic. Here are some of the replies.

Mommy Berlin Domingo

Mommy Berlin is the mommy of five boys (Gabriel, Miguel, Daniel, Yael, and Samuel). Follow her at https://momiberlin.com and FB, Twitter, and IG: @momiberlin

Do your kids have personal tech devices?
Yes, they have their own devices. They have a laptop which they use at school but the mobile phone, they have to surrender to me on weekdays.

Do you think we should keep gadgets away from kids?
Yes, during school time and before bedtime to lessen temptation to use.

How do you limit the use of gadgets?
Mobile phones are with me on weekdays and they can have it on Friday after class until Sunday before bedtime. At home, Saturday is help day and after all the cleaning and errands, they can have their mobile phone and laptop with them.

Mommy Ley Reinares – Almeda

Mommy Ley is the mommy of Addy (10), Arriana (3Y) and Amanda (almost 2Y). Follow her at www.leyalmeda.com and Instagram: Instagram.com/mommyplannerley

Do your kids have personal tech devices?
Addy at 10 and in Grade 5 has no Cellphone. When I asked if he wants a cellphone, iPad or laptop, he answered that he wanted a laptop, so he can do his projects and research at home without waiting for me.

Do you think we should keep gadgets away from kids?
Yes! But it depends on the kids personality pa din. All of my 3 kids naman practice less screen time.

How do you limit the use of gadgets?

With Addy, since I was a single mom, it was hard. So talaga Disney sya; plus, I was a first time mom. When he was 2, I would notice that he kept on blinking his eye, so I stopped him from watching TV and using the iPad.

So with, Arriana, I decided na no gadget talaga until 2 years old. I was homeschooling Addy at that time, so I make sure to include Arriana with the activities. We have a messy house but it means quality time with them while learning. We have iPads at home and a nintendo switch, but even during weekends, they don’t clamor to use them.

They want to play outside instead. Addy on the other hand became interested with sports, particularly basketball. Since he was 3, he’s has been training (not formally thou). My husband taught him. Arriana naman was exposed to arts as early as 6 months.

When Amanda came it was easier! We dont turned on our TV na nga. And of course, we lead by example. We limit the use of cp when we are all together. It is a big factor talaga. Its easy to raise multiple kids when you have a good role model as they mirror eh. So now, the 2 girls copy Kuya Addy.

Mommy Donna Donor

Mommy Donna is the mommy of Kib (13YO). Follow her at www.donnaandkib.com and Facebook www.facebook.com/donnaandkib

Do your kids have personal tech devices?
Yes, he does.

Do you think we should keep gadgets away from kids?
Yes, because they tend to be disctracted and ignore things around them. It causes hearing problem (pag tinawag mo, hindi sasagot.. haha!).

How do you limit the use of gadgets?
He can only have gadget privileges when he is done with all his daily tasks.

Mommy Ciara Magallanes

Mommy Ciara is the mommy of Olivia (1YO). Follow her at www.mommydiaries.co , Facebook https://facebook.com/MommyDiariesPH and Instagram: https://instagram.com/ciaramagallanes

Do your kids have personal tech devices?
No. my kid doesn’t have one.

Do you think we should keep gadgets away from kids?
Studies show that excessive use of gadgets has negative effects on kids such as impaired learning development, delay in speech development, attention span is shorter, and less socialization to name a few. So we really limit the use of gadgets. Most of the days, no gadgets at all talaga. But in times of desperation haha or whenever I need some breather, I’d allow her some screen time but it is limited to 30 minutes a day only.

How do you limit the use of gadgets?
He can only have gadget privileges when he is done with all his daily tasks.

We are advocates of actual play. Kids learn through play. In fact, we conceptualized this what we like to call P.L.A.Y. formula for kids to reach their optimum potential. This stands for Pretend Play. Limitless. Adapt. Yipee.

All this are about letting kids explore the World. They are pint-sized scientists, and they love to experiment to learn how things work. Their potential is limitless!

Mealtime Confessions

In our household, one of the things that we are strict with is that we don’t allow gadgets during mealtimes. Zeeka can only use her iPad again after eating. And admittedly, getting her to focus on having a meal with us was hard at first.

We looked at what would make her or kids interested in eating a meal together with us or their parents and we noticed that kids who love eating and conversing had a FUN time with their parents. Everyone at the table was engaged in a conversation, because everyone was PRESENT (no thoughts drifting to finishing work stuff, etc.).

We also need to do our part as parents to make kids interested with things offline as much as they are interested with things online.

Today, I’m sharing a video that we (The Arboledas) shot during one of our dinners. It’s called Mealtime Confessions. We were inspired by the videos that featured real conversations over dinner (like the one of Chuckie and Ella): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ysMe-C1DwI

Hope you like it!

We invite you talk to your kids during mealtimes. You can also do your own version of #MealtimeConfessions.

What our children need more than the material things that we give is our love and attention. Let’s give them that 🙂

Dear Life,

It’s been 39 years of both exhilarating and boring moments.

Even with the boring and the not-so-great moments, you’ve wheedled your way into making me love you more with the charm of true love, the excitement of a new born child, the thrill of building businesses and the passion for writing and blogging.

First of all, I thank you for introducing me to a jocular and charming man. To be honest, EJ was not quite whom I expected to end up with for a life partner. You always had me end up with the “brute” and not the “brains” (no offense to my ex’s whom I am all friends with…). After months of getting to know him though, I knew he was THE ONE.

Me with my silly husband, EJ 🙂

And after several years of marriage, I still think him to be the man who inspires me to be the best that I can be. I love how smart and funny he is. I’m such an intense person that I thank you for giving me someone who’s more chill. Let not his “chillness” be mistaken for lack of drive. He is the most driven person I know with great leadership skills. I really admire and respect him. He’s a great father and a great leader. He could challenge me at anything, and there never is a dull moment with him. I am grateful for showing me the path that led to him.

The next thing that made me love you more is the minute I laid eyes on this feisty little baby, who could not be swaddled. Looking into Zeeka’s eyes makes me think that I have nothing to worry about. She has the confidence, the values, the inquisitiveness and curiosity, the drive and the attitude to take on the world by storm.

Sweet Little Zeeka and Moi!

She’s so sweet and loving that sometimes I wonder “what did I do to deserve such an amazing little girl?”. Life, I am so proud of her and this is something that I know I will be for the rest of years and decades together.

Life, you made me love you more when you introduced me to my purpose. My purpose of helping other business owners and freelancers introduced itself to me like an effulgent sun. Everything was clearer. I knew and know exactly where I want to be in the future.

With these businesses, you tested my values, grit, tenacity and perseverance. You also taught me to be a guide for different people from different walks of life who make up teams I love so dearly (#TeamManilaWorkshops and #TeamTaxumo). Yes, there were moments when I wanted to give up (several and too many to count) but you always showed me the reason why I shouldn’t. With these endeavors also, you introduced me to amazing people who are continuously helping me make the world a better place. You introduced me to a lot of amazing partners and new friends whom I know I will cherish for life.

Last but not the least (and definitely not the last reason why I love you more, Life), thank you for making me discover blogging more than a decade ago. Thank you for introducing me to something that I really enjoy doing. Writing is a break from everything. It’s what I love doing for my ME-time.

Me writing down outlines and ideas for my blogs before writing on the laptop… yup, old skool! hehe!

This is where I could express myself. Thank you for introducing me to this tool where I can share my thoughts, experiences and views on mompreneurship, women in the workplace, parenting, business, taxation, productivity, finance, beauty, etc.

There are so many more reasons why I love you so much more than I did before, Life. And as I enter this 39th year of being with you, all I wish is that you continue to be patient with me and stick with me as I have so much more that I want to do!

Make me love you more!

Love,

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Admittedly, I had a childhood where I didn’t worry (or at least my parents didn’t make me worry) about a lot of things. For that, I am grateful. Contrary to what people might be thinking, I wasn’t a spoiled brat. If I wanted something, I had to find a way to get it (especially since my mom was against a lot of things I wanted to do… hehe! Peace, mom!). 

I really believe that it’s not the amount of money that makes a person innovative or inventive. I believe though that money may give the person more capacity for failure after trying out things, but I don’t not think that money automatically makes you creative and inventive. 

In raising and educating your kids, there will always be that struggle of choosing consumerism versus creation. When do “I” as a parent buy stuff for my child and when do I ask them to look for a way to create the solution. When do I give them the answer and when do I let them find the answer on their own?

In raising Zeeka, we follow these two simple things or two steps. One, we give her the foundation of having a good education. Every child will eventually need to learn and absorb the basics in their own time, like read, spell, subtract, add, observe, control movement, etc.  Then second, after learning the foundation, we help her utilise these learnings in life. No matter where the child learns the foundation (whether in school from a teacher, at home from the parent. etc.), I believe that the role of the parents is to encourage them to use these learning and skills.

Lyrics that we wrote!

This is a sample of how we do it. Once, she wanted to memorise the song Chillin’ like a Villain (from the Descendants). We wanted to teach her that songs comes from words, and when she knows how to spell and write words, she can create her own songs! What we did is that we wrote the lyrics of the song and she had to read it then sing it! With that, she understood the importance of spelling and writing. 

Please visit https://www.facebook.com/makerfairemanila for more info!

Also, another thing that we do is we expose her to different people and different situations. Today, we will be bringing her to the Manila Mini Maker Faire. From June 22 (Saturday) to June 23 (Sunday), the Manila Mini Maker Faire (MMMF) will be at The Mind Museum. 

The Manila Mini Maker Faire will have over 150 makers from all over the country and from neighbouring countries in Asia. For this year, most of the projects that will be highlighted are environmentally sustainable projects. Aside from the projects, their will be workshops on Bokashi mud ball making, robotics, paper engineering, 3D design, eco art organic painting, etc. 

If you want to bring your family, please check out http://manila.makerfaire.com

How about you? How do you teach your kids to be inventors and innovators? Hope you can share with us how you do it, too!

A flying carpet. An evil sorcerer. A magic lamp. A diamond in the rough. And a quest to win the heart of a princess. All of these sound exciting.

This is the reason why I think Aladdin is one of the best Disney movies of all time. And I was so excited when I heard the news that Disney is doing a live-version of the film. 

I didn’t let the chance pass when Globe invited me, my husband and my daughter Zeeka to watch it. The movie didn’t disappoint. 

Stepping Into A Wondrous Experience with Disney and Globe 

Zeeka and I got to experience what it was like on Agrabah through “A Wondrous Place” at the premiere of Disney’s Aladdin last May 25th at the SM Aura. 

We got to walk in an Agrabah-themed marketplace and enjoyed magical activities together. There was a magic carpet you can ride and take pictures on.. You can also win gold coins in fun games and activities that you can exchange for movie tickets. 

Zeeka had fun playing kinetic sand and making her own crystal necklace. 

I also had awesome freebies from Globe. I got my own Abu shirt and a purple blanket to keep me warm while watching. 

Rediscovering Aladdin’s Magical World 

I knew Disney was preparing something special for Aladdin fans. And I was pleasantly surprised with the twists they added to the movie’s live-version. 

Check out this side-by-side comparison of the trailers. 

First of all, the casting was on point! Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott were perfect for the roles. One would think Mena was the inspiration for the drawing of Disney’s Aladdin. And Naomi had the beauty and elegance fit for royalty. 

But it was Will Smith’s Genie that made it extraordinary. 

There was some criticism about him playing the Genie at first, but watching the film made absolute sense. 

Of course, Robin William’s Genie still tops the bill. But Will gave the Genie a much-needed glow-up and he made it his own. 

He was fun and hilarious, and you can tell that he knew how to work the crowd. See for yourself here: 

I also love that Jasmine wasn’t portrayed as a weak and helpless princess who cries at the smallest inconvenience. She was strong, opinionated, and she knew what she was capable of. 

Jasmine was bound by the words of people around her. Her overprotective father kept her hidden behind the walls of the palace. Jafar emphasized her lack of experience and her being a woman, which meant that she was just an eyepiece. 

In the end, she proved that she didn’t need anyone to save her. 

Aladdin was also funny, awkward, and charming at the same time. Zeeka had so much fun watching him and the Genie dance inside the cave. And the jam scene was also hilarious.

Mena’s parkour skills upped the ante, and it made Aladdin stand out even more. Mena was able to show Aladdin’s vulnerability, especially when he was conflicted about setting the Genie free or fulfilling his lifelong wish. 

The movie was everything I imagined it would be, and I’m really glad I got to see it happen in my lifetime. 

3 Life Lessons We Learned from Disney’s Aladdin 

Let me share with you three life lessons we learned while watching Aladdin. Here are some of the quotes that stood out to me while watching the film. 

You’ve got to be confident about what you have to offer

Genie

Throughout the film, you can see how Jasmine and Aladdin had doubts about themselves and what they can do. 

Aladdin wasn’t a prince but he definitely had the wits and the heart of one. And although she was a princess, Jasmine was limited because of who she was.  

The rules of the land dictated that she needed to marry a prince for the good of the kingdom. On the other hand, Aladdin was always told that he amounted to nothing.

But you know what made these two click? Both of them decided to believe in themselves and what they had to offer. Because of that, they got to take control of their lives and change the lives of others too. 

Sometimes we fall into this trap and we think that we are not enough. 

We’re not good enough as parents. We’re not expert enough to land that deal we’ve always wanted. We’re not ready to take on that huge project. 

We get scared of failure when in fact it’s a part of the process. We think too much of what others would think about us. We talk harshly about ourselves and forget the things we’ve already achieved. 

Truth is, we all have the potential to be great. The problem is, we often get in our heads too much. 

Mindset is everything. That’s why we need to change our scripts when we talk to ourselves. 

We need to be more encouraging, more patient, and kinder to ourselves. We need to be more grateful for what we have. 

And yes, we need to be more confident with what we have to offer. 

Sometimes you just have to take a risk

Aladdin

There are two kinds of people in the world. 

One are those who would stay in the balcony and sleep the whole night. The other would be those who’d hop on a magic carpet ride. 

The first ones would probably think of how dangerous the ride would be. No helmets, no seatbelts, and the chances of falling to your death is more than 95%. But the second ones are those who would be like, hey, you don’t see a magic carpet all the time right? 

Sure, you can choose to be comfortable and safe. But wouldn’t it be lifechanging to see the world from a different perspective? 

Everything in life is uncertain, and sometimes even the best-laid plans fail. But that’s the fun of it all. Your biggest mistakes can also be your best blessing. It’s all a matter of perspective. 

Sometimes the best things in life lie just beyond the safety line. And all you need to do is take a leap of faith to get it. 

I made you look like a prince on the outside, but I didn’t change anything on the inside. Prince Ali got you to the door, but Aladdin has to open it.

Genie

Most of us go out of our way to impress other people. And most of the time we end up becoming more miserable because of this. 

Just like Aladdin, we often think we need to be rich or powerful to be accepted. But in the end, it was his true self that made the princess fall for him.

So the biggest lesson here is to be yourself. The right people will love and accept you for who you are. And your truth will always be enough to them. 

Disney did a great job of bringing this classic tale up to date. The actors were great, the execution was spectacular, and the magic was kept alive. 

Even if I’ve already watched Aladdin a hundred times, Disney was still able to pull a lot of surprises. It was still as magical as ever, and I’m glad I got to share the experience with my little girl. 

Did you get to watch it? How was your experience? Share it with us below.