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  • Isabel Oli Shares Hacks To Limit Screen Time, Introduce Veggies, And Lessen Tantrums

    How does the mom handle toddler defiance and tantrums?
    by Kitty Elicay .
  • Raising a toddler comes with its own set of challenges (ever heard of a threenager?) Children between 18 and 24 months are beginning to show signs of independence, and yet they also seek comfort, security, and familiarity from their parents .

    3 parenting hacks from Isabel Oli

    Celebrity mom Isabel Oli-Prats knows this all too well. While her three-year-old daughter, Feather, is sweet and well-behaved, she also has her moments of picky eating and tantrums just like any toddler. So, at the recent “Smart Parenting Masterclass: Toddler Expertips” held in partnership with Nido 3+ at the Books and Borders Café last October 26, 2019, SmartParenting.com.ph asked Isabel for her tips on how she handles issues like excess screen time, healthy eating, and defiance.

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    How do you keep Feather healthy?

    Isabel shares that Feather eats healthily as much as possible, but she has her ‘picky’ moments. “Buti na lang, she loves fruits,” Isabel says.

    Since Feather loves fruits and always wants it after every meal, Isabel has started to make smoothies with her. The mom of two shares a ‘wais’ hack: “Minsan, dun ko dinadaan ‘yung vegetables,” she shares. “She loves chicken and beef, and soup. Minsan sina carrots, mga greens, nawawala sa eksena. So ginagawa ko habang [gumagawa ng smoothie] ilalagay ko [yung vegetables].”


    She also asks Feather to avoid sharing food with her classmates, especially now that viruses and illnesses spread easily. “I tell her, you can share food, but you don’t get food from other people. Kasi, you have a lot of food.”

    She adds, “It’s not just being maselan. It’s also to protect her from sickness. Kasi malay mo kakagaling lang pala [nung bata] ng sipon. Hindi mo alam.”

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    How did you wean Feather off screen time?

    Isabel admits that just like other moms, she used to give Feather gadgets to keep her busy. “Pero natanggal namin [ang excessive use],” she shares. Instead, they regulate the use of gadgets. “Kapag nasa labas, she is allowed. Pero naka-time, 30 minutes lang.”


    She says her husband, John Prats, installed an app to make sure Feather would only be able to use her gadget for the allotted time. The gadget will power off and you’d need a code to turn it on again. Isabel says controlling her daughter’s screen time was difficult at first, but Feather slowly adjusted.

    In a previous Smart Parenting article, John shares, “Si Feather, hindi naman namin siya pinagbabawalan, may time lang [kung kailan siya pwedeng gumamit]. Kaya ngayon happy kami na kapag sinabi naming stop, hindi na siya umiiyak. Naiintindihan niya, time is up.” He says because Feather knows the limit, there are no fights or tantrums when it’s time to put away the gadget — even just a gentle reminder works.

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    How do you deal with toddler defiance?


    Isabel says that when toddlers say ‘no,’ they mean it. “E alam mong hindi makakabuti sa kanila, so sino ba ang masusunod?"

    The first time Feather threw a tantrum, Isabel didn’t know what to do. “She can cry for 15 minutes straight!” she shares. “Masakit at first, kinakarga ko agad. Pero nung bandang huli, dapat timingan mo na rin. Pagod na rin ako.”

    Her advice: let the tantrum happen, even if she cries. “Basta nakikita kita, buhay ka naman diyan, just cry,” she says.

    After Feather has calmed down, that’s when Isabel will talk to her. “Sometimes firm, alam niyang ‘ay, hindi na masaya [si mommy]. We don’t tolerate [her] but hindi rin namin siya pinapagalitan.” 

    Sometimes you need to let a child express his emotions before consoling him — even if it means dealing with a huge tantrum. Click here for a mom's reason why.

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