By Kristelle Bechayda
Our children have a different definition of playing compared to what we were used to. Instead of running around with other kids and getting scrapes in the process, most of them have their necks bent over digital screens as they find enjoyment in simulated games. However, actress and mother Rica Peralejo-Bonifacio still sticks to active playing when it comes to Philip’s playtime. Here are some of the things she shared during the Cheez Whiz Mild launch:
I let Philip play everyday. We don’t schedule it, like allotting 3 hours a day. We play from morning until night. It doesn’t leave us. Even when we homeschool, I still try incorporate it when I teach something to Philip. I believe you can have a playful approach in everything, even learning. Siguro the only time I’m not being playful is when I’m trying to discipline him. Also, when he was just little, I met this child development expert who told me that play is a big part of their development. That stuck with me.
No, I don’t impose rules for Philip’s playtime, except that I need him to fix up after. It’s more of an encouragement. I want to teach him that he can’t just scatter his toys all over and leave them when he moves on to another activity. I want him to know that everytime he plays, he also has to fix up afterward.
You know what, Philip used to be hooked to gadgets. It was a short while and my husband and I were saying na minsan lang naman but the truth is, the gadget is so addicting. Hindi mo talaga siya ma co-control, so we decided not to let him use them anymore. In the beginning, it was hard but after a while, nakita namin na kaya pala. Philip became more observant and engaging to others. For me, my take is to not let kids use gadgets as much as possible. We still let Philip use them, but only when we want to show him something educational.
How to lessen your child’s gadget usage
My advice is you can buy the book by Andy Crouch, the Tech Wise Family. It’s a good book that helped me become more resolved in not letting Philip use gadgets. This works even for me and my husband. We no longer bring our phones to the bed and we don’t look at our phones before 10 in the morning. I also think it has to begin with you. It can’t begin from your child. You need to have a strong reason why you’re doing that for your child because otherwise, you will keep on giving in.