Nicole Syjuco on Parenting Her Son Andy in the Digital Era

Nicole Syjuco and her son Andy talk about the benefits of being in the digital age and why Andy loves playing Roblox so much!

The bond between a mother and her son is a deep connection that encompasses unwavering love and support. It’s also a lifelong source of strength and companionship, which was evident between Draco Builders vice-president and lifestyle influencer, Nicole Syjuco, and her 11-year-old son, Andy. The two recently joined Modern Parenting for a fun shoot that displayed their closeness.

“Andy and I have a very close relationship,” Nicole starts. “I always make sure he can communicate with me anytime. We message each other, send videos to each other, and he comes to me when he needs my help, or just to talk about anything. Andy knows that if he has any issue, he can come to me anytime. I strive to always listen to what he has to say instead of passing judgment. Because I want him to feel comfortable telling me anything.”

With Andy entering his teen years soon, Nicole shares that her parenting style has evolved through the years. “When he was younger, I gave him more freedom with his time. I let him play all day and hang out with friends. But now that he is older, I started setting boundaries when it comes to play time. Because I want him to start focusing on learning important lessons in school. I try to give him a good balance between studying and playing.”

Parenting in the digital age

Parenting in the digital age presents a unique set of challenges as modern moms and dads navigate the ever-evolving landscape of technology. They strive to find a balance between its benefits and potential risks for their children. For Nicole Syjuco, it’s all about reminding Andy of the right values. “I always teach him to be humble and to be kind to everyone. Andy is a very friendly and sociable child. He is very respectful and sensitive to the people around him, too.”

On top of this, she enforces particular rules about screen time. “On weekdays, I let him play for 30 minutes to an hour provided that he is able to do his homework without any complaints. During weekends, I let him play for a few extra hours as long as he finishes his homework and catches up on some reading. I encourage him to play outdoors with friends or go swimming first before he starts playing online.”

One game that Andy enjoys playing online is Roblox. “Basically, it’s a game where you create stuff. You can create games and you can also play them,” he explains during the shoot where he and his mom posed in several pieces from H&M. Incidentally, H&M has their own world in Roblox called H&M Loooptopia, where kids and kids-at-heart can collect pieces that they can ‘recycle’ to create new pieces in the Looop machine. This way, they can create thousands of unique looks that they can wear in-game!

“What I love about Roblox is the community. It’s very fun,” says Andy. “I’ve made a lot of friends.”

Nicole Syjuco on raising a digital native

There are definitely benefits to letting children have their own gadgets at an appropriate age. For Nicole, who travels a lot for work, giving Andy one allows them to communicate all the time. “I am able to communicate with him even if I am not physically there. We’re able to talk to each other through messaging apps and update each other. I’m able to send him school requirements online. And we even get to send funny memes and videos to each other!” she laughs. “Communicating with Andy has gotten so much easier and more convenient now that he has his own gadgets.”

However, protecting Andy from the dangers of the internet is also one of Nicole’s top priorities. “I make sure to limit his apps and screen time using the app limits option on the iPhone. I put parental controls in a lot of his games and apps. Plus, I make sure to check who he talks to online. And I don’t allow him to befriend strangers online. After all, you’ll never know who is speaking on the other end of the screen. I have made sure to set these boundaries so that he can continue gadget use, and I have also informed and explained to him some of the dangers online.”

In finding the balance between guiding Andy and letting him make his own decisions, Nicole admits that it’s still a constant process. “What we have been doing lately is we sometimes give him the freedom to choose whether he wants to go with us to certain places and events. We don’t want to force him to go with us everywhere. So we let him choose sometimes!”

In an increasingly connected world, guiding Andy is crucial for his safety and well-being. But fostering a stronger connection with him is the best thing Nicole Syjuco has been doing to continue empowering him to make informed choices.

Photography KIERAN PUNAY
Shoot Coordination ANTHONY MENDOZA
Art Direction MARC YELLOW

Read similar stories on Modern Parenting:

What is the Right Age to Give Kids a Smartphone?

Joy and Edric Mendoza on Raising Different Kids in the Digital Age

A Gamer’s Guide: How Parents Can Deal With Their Kids’ Mobile Game Addiction

Shop for Modern Parenting's print issues through these platforms.
Download this month's Modern Parenting magazine digital copy from:
Subscribe via [email protected]