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Bianca Gonzalez owns up to her and her husband JC Intal's weaknesses in following house rules in gadget use. Their daughters Lucia and Carmen will turn 6 and 3 years old, respectively, in October 2021.
"To be completely honest," Bianca said, "my husband and I are guilty of not having screen rules for ourselves versus imposing screen rules on our kids, which is a conflict for me."
The TV host and writer was responding to the question asked by SmartParenting.com.ph at the launch of the Similac e-xplorers app last June 17. She's the brand ambassador of the Similac Gain School milk formula for kids.
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Bianca pointed out, specifically referring to Lucia, "If I tell my kid she can’t use her gadget, and I’m on my phone the whole day, parang, di ba, malilito siya? That’s currently my problem right now."
But she also noted, "Our kids understand that, especially mommy’s work, it’s in front of the laptop at lot. She sort of gets that, ‘Okay, I don’t go out for work anymore. But when I work from home, it’s on the computer.’"
For the kids, Bianca said she and JC, a former pro basketball player and now visual artist, have agreed on setting rules. They allow Lucia and Carmen to watch the shows the girls like only on weekends but also follow what they call the "rest eyes" rule.
She explained, "It’s not like they can keep the screen on the whole day. So after they watch a few episodes half an hour, 40 minutes minsan pag ipu-push nila, I say, ‘It’s time for rest eyes.’ They rest their eyes for an hour, an hour and a half, two hours before watching again.
For the rest of the week, Bianca and JC allow Lucia and Carmen to plays games on the girls' gadgets but only for a limited time and with educational content, just like the Similac e-xplorers app, which is free to download. She described it as "doesn’t feel like educational because it’s also a game."
She also admitted, "I used to be so praning on screen time. Wala, eh, this is the generation they are growing up in, so I cannot fully vilify screen time kasi they have to adapt also.
"I mean this is their birth normal versus us. We didn’t have gadgets growing up. So, I think a good balance of both physical play and screen time will be good for them."