My Take on Kids and Technology

November 29, 2017
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Tech-kids

When Selene was still a baby, I remember being resolute on my idea that she will face a phone screen until she is a teenager. Fast forward 4 years, I’ve learned that technology isn’t the devil. At almost 2 years old, Selene was singing the alphabet, a few nursery rhymes, bahay kubo and even reciting words for every letter of the alphabet – all because she watched them again and again on Youtube.
That was then I realized, “Hey, this can actually be a tool for learning! Maybe she can just Youtube watch her way to college.” Hahaha! However productive it was and more lenient I became, it still didn’t eradicate my original fear of my kids being too dependent on tech (phones, ipads) that they’ll be glued to it 24/7 and prefer it to interacting with people in real life.

The key to it is US, the parents. We have to set limits and be firm on those limits. There was a time I allowed Selene to use my phone all the time especially when I was working on my laptop or out in a meeting (and she happened to be with me) – that she got used to getting my phone whenever she wanted. Man oh man, did I dig myself a rabbit hole that was hard to get out of. I had a tough time reinforcing the limits I imposed in the first place, especially since she already knew how to argue and negotiate at that age.

I realized how easy it is to silence a tantrum or placate a hyper and over-active child – just by giving them your phone. It makes them “quiet and behaved” in an instant – heck I could even buy Selene her own phone and placate her forever. Imagine, no more stress, no more “Mom mom mom, talk to me. Mom mom mom look at me. Mom mom mom, can I experiment on water bottles and mixing sugar and everything else I see in plain sight?” Imagine hearing this while you’re working on a deadline or are talking to an important client or need to cook/wash dishes/do laundry, etc.
That’s when I realized why so many kids have their own tablets and cellphones at an early age. Parenthood is certainly much easier and less stressful (in the short term, at least) with them around. Rather than stress out disciplining a child you know is on the verge of throwing a tantrum, just give them a tablet to play with and life is much peaceful. But then we don’t realize the effects of this until we need them to do something and they’re glued to their tablets, irritable when we distract them.

This is exactly what I don’t want to subconsciously form in my two kids. While I won’t stop them from using technology and getting acquainted with it an early age, I will not let technology own them and make them feel incomplete without it in their lives. I tell myself (again and again no matter how hard) that I will go through a crying spell and tantrum than fork my phone over the moment she demands for it. Habits – good or bad – form at this age and I strongly believe that this is the crucial stage where they have to learn they can not get everything they want. Now. And not when they’re teenagers who are already used to getting their way.

With that, I reiterate – I embrace technology and its advantages for my kids’ development. But it’s also my duty to make sure to police its usage so they don’t become attached to it that it becomes unproductive. Also, we all have different parenting styles and different kids who have different personalities so there is no one way to approach technology. I fully respect others’ ways on tackling this. I’m certainly not saying that my take on this is gospel truth. To each definitely their own! 🙂

Selene personalizing her own My JBL headphones

My First JBL

JBL’s first headphones for kids launch at Kidzania
With this, one of the things I like about Selene having her own 100% kid-safe headphones is she can use the phone or listen to music without disturbing anyone else around her. Sometimes, when we’re at a public place and I let her use the phone, she cranks it up so loud that I need to tell her to tone it down. The headphones are 100% ensured that even the highest level of volume doesn’t affect their hearing. It’s kid-proof too so even if they throw it around, it’s much more durable than any other headphones.
During the launch, all the kids were treated to a whole day play at Kidzania – one of my most favorite places to take Selene. It teaches them the value of work, care for spending and importance of saving money as it also immerses them in different professions. So they know how it is to be a grocery bagger, construction worker, gasoline staff, housekeeping staff to news reporter, doctor, dentist, pilot. I swear, I wish there were Kidzania when I was a kid – I’d be there every week. LOL!

Photodiary

Waiting for the program to start.


The JBL JR300 headphones for kids comes in a variety of playful colors!

They even have Bluetooth-powered earphones for that wireless experience. Ang galing.

Vern and Verniece’s cute baby brother, Verne.

Selene and her ate Luccia, Aliza Apostol’s beautiful daughter.

Learning Emergency 101 where they learned CPR!

Look at those engaged and eager faces! I love Kidzania. Just wish there were seats for guardians!

After 3 Kidzania experiences, she finally had the guts to do the firefighter station!

One of her favorite stations – the Mcdonalds Make-Your-Own-Burger.

CSI!! I wanted to be a forensic scientist before – too much CSI binge watching.

She was so into this station too – she couldn’t stop talking about finding clues and catching the bad guy.

Painting time.

Thank you JBL Philippines for a fun day out! If you’re keen on learning more about JBL products (their blush pink headphones for adults is on my wishlist!), check out their Facebook Page. You may shop online here.
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