Today's parents face a different set of challenges from other generations, and the most pressing of them is the kids' exposure to media. It seems pointless to go against the flow since everyone else allows it, but former actress Jennica Uytingco's recent Instagram post hopes to inspire and encourage parents who are trying to wean their young kids from gadgets.
The natural parenting advocate uploaded a photo of her older daughter Athena Mori, 3 years old, laying on a sofa and "reading" a book. Jennica says it was taken during a trip to the furniture store to source for items she could use in her business. She says it took her an hour to find what she needed, but Mori patiently waited like a well-behaved child.
"I am in awe of how she managed to keep herself busy with no help from me or her Tatay. In her imaginative mind, she turned a simple chair into a washing machine. A candle holder became a watering can and a picture frame became a blackboard (her fingers were her pretend chalk)," part of Jennica's caption reads.
She also said that when they had to wait some more while her husband Alwyn fell in line at the cashier, Mori didn't throw a tantrum like she used to when she would get impatient, and instead opened her book to "read" — "To think she cannot even read yet!" Jennica quipped.
Although Jennica and Alwyn never exposed their daughter much to electronic gadgets to keep her busy — Mori had blocks made from tree branches and grass and garden stones for toys when she was younger — the 29-year-old mom is glad they've overcome those days when they had to use gadgets to distract Mori.
"Gone are the days when she'd go on a full blown tantrum because she wants to use my phone or is too bored to wait for me while I window shop. She finally understood that whining, screaming, crying will not get her what she wants. Napapahiya pa ko dati sa palengke, sa park, sa mall. Pinagtitinginan kami ng mga tao but here we are now," she happily reports.
CONTINUE READING BELOW
"All our efforts to make her enjoy the simple things in life, our desire for her to know how to play on her own... It paid off!
"Worth it mga Inay. Kaya mo yan, be clear on what is allowed, what isn't while being calm and respectful to the child."
Jennica also reminded parents to be someone their kids can look up to when it comes to proper behavior.
"Most important of all is modelling the right attitude. You want to refrain from using your phone also when they are awake. Read a book, do hand work, chores and they will mimic this without you asking them to do so."