Moms and Dads

These Celebrity Moms Talk About Raising Kids in the Digital Age

Phoemela Baranda, Zeinab Harake, and Luxe Skin’s Anna Magkawas share how they handle raising kids in the advent of technology.

Technology can be both a friend and a foe and parents know this well — more so when it comes to social media. YouTube sensation Zeinab Harake, model Phoemela Baranda, and Luxe Skin founder Anna Magkawas recently sat down as panelists for Modern Parenting’s Parentalk 2023 last August 19 at Glorietta, where they discussed how they are raising their kids kids and navigating the pros and cons of being exposed in the digital age.

These Celebrity Moms Talk About Raising Kids in the Digital Age
Zeinab Harake, Anna Magkawas, and Phoemela Baranda during their Parentalk segment: Raising Kids in the Digital Age

Phoemela Baranda on giving support to her eldest getting a social media account

Phoemela is lucky to have been raised in what was called the analog and digital years. As a mom to a 24-year-old and a 2-year-old, quality time is very important for her and setting a good example for her youngest.

But when it comes to her eldest daughter Kim, it’s a different story. “She got into Big Brother and social media was already there for her. So I really try to support her because she chose naman na yes mom, I want my own social media and continue with it.”

The model-host admits though that watching the criticism against her daughter on Big Brother was tough. “The bashers that time, the trolls really hit us so bad that the whole family went through something. But we really made a point to learn from them and from then on, my eldest became more careful with social media.”

Anna Magkawas on raising her kids
Anna Magkawas

Anna Magkawas on what she allows her kids to watch

Anna, who has three kids, is lucky her youngest as of now only uses her phone for taking photos. “Hihiramin lang niya yung phone ko and then say, ‘Mommy, I’ll take a picture.’ Yun yung part na masaya siya.”

When her youngest is in the room, they try to see what they watch on the screen. “We monitor what they can only watch. Yung minsan mga silent, gestures lang, minsan hindi namin iyon ina-allow. Gusto namin naririnig nila yung pinapanood nila.”

For her sons, she is lucky that he’s into educational videos especially her second. “Hindi na namin kailangan siya turuan kasi siya na iyon. Yung panganay ko, doon medyo iba na.”

Anna recalled a conversation where her son said he wanted to become a YouTuber or content creator. “Yun naman in-explain ko naman na being a YouTuber, hindi lang dahil you want to gain subscribers or you want to have views. [You] have [to have] this certain niche, or yung gusto mo ipakita sa mga makakapanood sa iyo.”

Zeinab Harake on raising her kids
Zeinab Harake

Zeinab Harake on how she limits her kids from screen time

Zeinab, who commands a big following on YouTube, may be famous but she also tries to set an example and be careful when involving them in her vlogs or what they watch online.

“Nung napapansin ko na nagtatanong na, nagkakaisip na, mas nag-ingat ako.”

“Mas important yung treatment and physical play sa personal. Hindi mawawala iyon. Hindi porket nanunuod ng YouTube, ng TV, is doon na lang iikot yung mundo nila. So study, play, and pwede naman sila manood kapag patay na talaga yung oras. Pero hangga’t maari, mas okay ako na maglaro kayo [her kids] sa labas.”

Zeinab said that when it comes to her daughter Bia, she is still quite young to understand about the happenings around her. But for her son, that’s when she tries to explain. She also mentioned that while she does not mind the attention, she also tells the fans of her do’s and don’ts.

“Okay lang na dumugin ako ng tao pero pagdating sa mga bata, nag-iiba yung ugali ko. Like pag dito na may hawak akong bata sa mall at may manggugulo sa akin, pasensyahan, ibang Zeinab makikita niyo.”

“Mom side iyon so hindi pwede kwestyunin iyon. Ito yung way at paraan na protektahan yung mga anak ko. Gusto din namin maiparadaman yung buhay na mga mother and daughter moments at hindi kailangan ma-pressure ang bata para ma-entertain yung mga tao.”

Phoemela Baranda
Phoemela Baranda

On how they deal with online bashing

When it comes to dealing with bashers of their kids, it varies. In Phoemela’s case, she had to deal with her daughter’s controversy publicly because of Big Brother.

“I had to talk with my family. I had the support of my family and we talked about it. Personally, I vented out to them, I cried, I got mad at Kim, and talked to the parents of the guy then. But on social media, I kept quiet. I didn’t answer any tweets at that time. Netizens will always have something to say so I deactivated muna,” she said of the experience.

After talking to Kim, Phoemela emphasized that it’s important to talk it out within the family. “Social media for me, you can be open but if you’re not ready to talk, keep to yourself, be private first.”

For Anna, bashers will always be there. “As they say, you can’t please everybody. Ako kasi napansin ko na once pumasok ka in this kind of industry, once maging social media personality ka na, bashers will always be there. Hindi na siya mawawala and it’s up to us on how we handle it.”

Anna also added that she makes it a point to turn the comment into something positive.

Zeinab admits that criticism does get to her but the good thing is that fans who know her do not involve her kids. “Malaking epekto siya sa akin to the point na ang dami kong learnings. Hindi ko pwede sabihin na walang epekto. Hangga’t maari, pinag-pepray ko. Kasi ito na yung mundo na pinasok ko. Hindi naman ako pwede maging silent. Hangga’t maari pinaglalaban ko basta wala ako nasasaktan na ibang tao or natatapakan na tao, ipaglalaban ko. Nanay ako at hindi lang yung pagiging nanay yung vinavalidate ko kung hindi yung rights ko bilang tao.”

Parentalk 2023 is made possible thanks to Luxe Slim.

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