Ralph Waldo Emerson once said “This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.”

time management for children

If there is one thing I am proud of my kids (even my departed son), they learned time management. Never were they tardy for school. Never did I ever have to yell at them “Come on, hurry up”. Sure, sometimes it was hard to wake them up but they knew the schedule of each school day and their play time. Their dad may not be a prompt person but you know the kids didn’t have to follow their father’s footsteps. There is no such thing as inherited trait of ““being late”. Teaching my children the values early on in life, particularly the important lesson of time management was crucial part of their growing years. I prepared them for a lifetime of self-discipline helped them in their adulthood.

Time management is not necessarily about getting lots of stuff done, because much more important than that is making sure that you are working on the right things, the things that truly need to be done.

During their pre-teen years, my two girls traveled twice to the USA and Canada through a children’s choir. This entailed discipline and time management skills when it came to costume changes that needed to be done in 1 minute. It also involved checking travel times and being prompt during rehearsals. I am proud to say that the two girls were never lectured by their choir conductor for tardiness.

How did I teach my kids?

time management for children

1. Set clear priorities on daily activities.

A valuable time management technique is to establish a work routine that suits individual physical requirements as well as schedules. This means give a daily schedule. There was a time for schoolwork, naps and play time. By the time, the girls ate solid food, I gave them an hour to finish their lunch. If they weren’t done, I removed the plate. The consequence of getting hungry is not eating their lunch properly. They learned that one has to eat at the proper time. Bedtime routine was also strictly followed. No late nights for my kids up to their pre-teen years. As they reached their teen years, I gave more allowances for them to arrange their schedules but still the bedtime and waking up rule was followed.

2. There are consequences if time is not managed properly.

Of course they knew this very clearly once they were at school. Tardiness had consequences. In fact, I remember as a kid, the tardy were listed in the blackboard.

3. Give them an idea on the possible duration of an activity.

As young kids, I didn’t want them to study long hours so I told them that the maximum is only 2 hours, from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. They had to finish their homework really quickly or their assigned tasks. I encourage them to start with the difficult homework first while they still had energy. It worked quite well and by the time they reached their fourth grade, the kids studied on their own. I reminded them though when bedtime was coming soon, ““It’s almost bedtime. Ten minutes more so wrap things up”.

At every stage of my kids’ life, I learned to adjust the lessons of time management. More leeway was given for them to make decisions on their own and handle their schedules properly. It helped that I installed time-telling tools such as clocks and calendars in every room of the house and gave them watches to monitor their time.

I often told them that if they didn’t manage their time well, they will be far less productive than they could be and get a lot less done. They will also feel much more stressed and overwhelmed, and struggle to find time to spend with the people they care about and to do the things they enjoy.

My two girls are not little girls anymore. In fact, they are adults, working and busy managing their work and social life. Lauren knows when to work hard, and play hard that she takes time off to travel.. M is devoted to her new job but takes the weekend off to socialize with her friends.

Without doubt, parents should give their children an early head start on the lesson of time management. With proper guidance and the right tools , kids will definitely learn this important lesson well.


tech_savvy_kidBack in the old days, you can keep kids settled down by giving them toys to play with, pen and paper to draw, storybooks to read, and box of crayons and coloring books to color. Those days are long gone.  Nowadays, if you want a restless child to sit back and relax, you would probably need an electronic device to come to the rescue.

Exposure to gadgets at young ages created a voracious appetite for all sorts of digital media and hi-tech gadgets. Even education has tapped into technology by integrating it in classroom learning. Many schools have realized that technology is essential in helping kids acquire necessary skills and knowledge to cope in a technological driven society.

Today’s young generation have access to different electronic devices for their entertainment. There’s TV, tablets, smartphones, video game consoles.  Tech-savvy kids have technology at the tips of their fingers.

Modern technology has changed the way of life of many people including the way kids entertain themselves and interact with others. Some say that electronic devices have created “anti-social” generation. People may have different notions about so-called “anti-social” behavior exhibited by today’s young generation. If you want a concrete example, all you have to do is make an observation the next time to go to a restaurant.

In most restaurants, you are bound to see kids using their parents’ smart phones or tablets.  You might also see other children playing with their game consoles or listening to music players. There are parents who find electronic devices helpful in keeping their kids entertained over long periods of time. Some say that many kids today spend more time on gadgets and less time talking to other people.  Sad but true.

Bianca, a mother of a seven year old girl was a little sad when she realized how kids bond with each other nowadays.  During a recent family reunion, she saw her daughter and her cousins sitting beside each other. It would have been a nice scene if only they were interacting with one another. Sadly, instead of talking, they were holding their respective iPads and playing different games. They would occasionally ask each other about game moves but conversations were kept to a minimum.

If you’re worried about your child’s insatiable appetite for online browsing, movie streaming, gaming, instant messaging, social media interacting, and so on, then perhaps, it’s time to think of ways to circumvent excessive usage of electronic gadgets.

With summer vacation just around the corner, many kids will have a lot of free time at home.  When there’s no homework and school projects looming in the background, kids can spend more time watching television, playing video games, messaging their friends, and posting on social media networks. Avoid letting electronic devices dominate your child’s summer vacation.

Here are ways that might help curb your child’s inclination for electronic devices.

Set a limit for electronic use. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), kids today spend an average of seven hours a day on entertainment media. Studies have shown that too much use of electronic media can lead to health issues such as attention problems, behavior issues, learning difficulties, sleeping problems, eating disorders, and obesity.  It is recommended that you limit your child’s usage of electronic devices to one to two hours a day. Teach your child about self-discipline in using gadgets.

Monitor children’s media use. It is also important to monitor usage.  Prevent your child from exposure to violence and sexual content by supervising what he or she watches on television and DVDs. Talk to your child about Internet safety rules. In this modern age, it is vital that you protect your child from the risk of cyberbullying. An innocent kid can become a potential target of online predators. Cyber bullies and online predators can hide behind a blanket of anonymity.

Talk to your child about websites that are safe to visit and those that are potentially dangerous and off limits. Explore provisions for parental controls to help you monitor what your child is doing online. When it comes to gaming, make sure that the video games that your child is playing are age appropriate.

It is recommend that you set up your computer, television, and video consoles in a central area in your home such as the living room, where members of the household often pass for easier monitoring.

Establish “no technology zones”.  Designate certain areas in your home where electronic devices are not allowed. For instance, you can make it a rule not to bring gadgets to the dining room so that the family can enjoy meal times.

Be a good example to your child.Set a good example to your child by limiting your use of electronic devices when the family is together.  For instance, refrain from texting or accepting calls during meals.

Promote real play time. Encourage your child to interact with other children through traditional games. When your kid has reached the allotted time limit for gadget use, give him or her other fun options to do.  Invite your child to go outside where he or she can play with other kids. Introduce your kid to games that you used to play when you were a child like piko (hopscotch), taguan (hide and seek), habulan (tag), patinteroagawan basetumbang preso, and so on.

For indoor activities, teach your child to play board games. Make it more fun by playing board games with the whole family. You can also enjoy putting together a jigsaw puzzle.

Leave gadgets when spending time with the family. Leave gadgets behind when you out with the family.  The absence of gadgets can help encourage family conversations especially when dining or going out.  Use gadget-free time to talk about things that are happening at work or in school. It will give you an opportunity to strengthen family ties.



Photo: “Alessi’s turn on the iPad” by Marcus Kwan, c/o Flickr. Some Rights Reserved.


Rachel Yapchiongco, also known as Rach to her friends, is a Psychology and Marketing Management graduate of De La Salle University.  Rachel is a chocolate lover, full-time mom to a charming young boy and married to an entrepreneur who has a passion for cooking. She shares parenting experiences and slices of everyday life on her personal blog calledHeart of Rachel.


by Ma. Rachel R. Yapchiongco , originally posted at the Philippine Online Chronicles , How to curb your child’s electronic device appetite


Me. I lovingly say soothing words with matching hugs and kisses when I wake the two younger children around 5am during school days. Twenty minutes after that, I yell at them “Baka dumating na ang service hindi pa kayo tapos, hindi pa nakakain ng breakfast. Dalian nyo na! Blah…blah…blah…” in the effort to hurry them up because they haven’t eaten breakfast yet and the school service is already waiting at the gate. Yes, I have done this, at 5:30am. Tsk.
BJ, a teenager. “I hate it when my mom yells. She makes me feel like I’m stupid. The more she yells, the more I want to do what she doesn’t want me to do. Talking to me and not yelling is better because the more she yells, the more I shut down my brain and stop listening to her.”
HK, a pre-teen. “Natatakot ako pag sumisigaw si Mama ko. Parang lagi na lang mali ang ginagawa ko. Baka sa galit niya pag sumisigaw siya, masaktan niya ako.”
YA, office worker. “Our boss is a yeller. He loses his temper quickly and does not hesitate to yell at anyone of us if we make a mistake. Sana kung ginagawa niya yun in private, eh hindi, sa harap pa ng mga officemates namin. We are not happy in the office anymore. We are thinking of a mass resignation, para matauhan siya.”

Why yell when you can perfectly say your piece in peace?

We have yelled for a thousand different reasons but first and foremost of these reasons would be because we want to assert that, yes, we are right and that the other person is wrong.

We yell because we want to prove a point and get our message across.
We yell because we want to be heard.
We yell because we feel superior to the one we are yelling at.
We yell because we are in a hurry and the others are slowing us down.
Why, we even yell virtually when we use ALL CAPS and end these with a lot of !!!!!
Sometimes we yell just because …

On the other hand, have you ever been yelled at?

Do you like the feeling of being yelled at, whether you made a mistake or not?

Do you feel small and want the ground to open up and swallow you to escape being yelled at?

Do you feel like yelling back? Do you want to hit the person yelling at you? Or do you just turn your back before you do something you’d regret later?

No matter what the circumstances are, being yelled at is not something we look forward to — not at the receiving end, ever.

Do you remember the last time you were yelled at?

How did you feel? Check all that applies below:

o Disrespected
o Ashamed
o Angry
o Misunderstood
o Afraid
o Lonely
o Rebellious
o Frustrated
o Hurt
o Guilty

Mothers who yell

Mothers are known to yell at their children, whether to ask them to hurry up, or to finish whatever tasks they are doing. More often than not, mothers yell to be heard and to stress a point especially if there is discord among the brood. Yelling for the children to brush their teeth is at times unavoidable but to add some words that demean them and hurt their feelings is definitely unnecessary.

To habitually yell at the children when there is no reason to will create a lot of negativity. At the end of the day, mothers who habitually yell feel guilty and sometimes fall all over themselves to correct what they have done.  However, since they are so used to yelling, the next day finds them back to the same yelling cycle.

Yelling makes children feel inferior and mentally anguished at not being able to live up to the expectations and standards that their mother (or father) has for them.  Children who are in the teenage years are as vulnerable to being yelled  at as much as the younger children. On the bridge to maturity, these teens will carry the burden of insecurity as they meet other teens outside the home setting. Yelling is detrimental to the sound development of teenagers.

Habitual yelling

Yelling, name-calling and swearing are not ways to solve conflicts. Habitual reactions that include yelling breaks down a person’s inhibitions and may draw out harmful tendencies that do not manifest when there is peace and quiet. Habits are patterns that are easy to repeat but difficult to break. Yelling breeds hostility that is harmful not just to others but to the person himself, alienating him from loved ones he may not have a real intention to hurt.

We feel guilty for yelling at others, especially if the reason is trivial and could have been talked through in a quiet manner.

Alternatives to yelling

It is difficult not to yell especially when we feel pressed for time, tired and stressed. It takes a lot of will power to refrain from habitual yelling, but over time, it can be done. How?

o Cool off by staying physically away from the situation and assessing what needs to be said and done.
o Count to ten or even up to fifty.
o Breathe deeply before saying anything.
o Put a hand on your mouth to keep yourself from yelling.
o Think of how hurtful it is when being yelled at.
o Ask others to give you a heads up once they feel like you are about to yell.
o Plan ahead to avoid mishaps.

Breaking the yelling cycle is not easy

Life is too short to be spent in a continuous state of being upset. We should fill our hearts with joy and love and not hurt and pain. There will always be missing socks and spilled water but living in peace and harmony, in as much as we can try to achieve is more important.

Are we ready to take the challenge to yell less and love more?

Let’s save our voices for situations that need us to really yell like “Run!!!” or “Fire!!!”


Photo: from flickr, some rights reserved


As originally posted by Julie Fuertes on the Philippine Online Chronicles.

What should you do during a random search by policemen without a warrant? Know your rights.


police random search

Photo by Shubert Ciencia. Some rights reserved.

“I can’t believe I have to sit my kids down and teach them how to protect themselves against people whose job is to protect others.”

“Who will police the police?”

These are anxious questions by mothers who are disturbed by policemen doing a bag search inside bars in the Katipunan area. Many of my friends’ kids study in the Katipunan area so I find such operations very alarming. Whether the “Oplan Bakal” operations were all done aboveboard, it is a violation of our privacy.

The question is how can our kids protect themselves?

How can parents educate their children?

Dino De Leon tells parents to “please orient your kids and check if you have an immediate contact with a lawyer.” The police are supposed to protect us but with the recent killings of kids, can the police really do its job in protecting our children? His friendly legal advice is “as a general rule, the police cannot just randomly search you without a search warrant.” So, If a police officer approaches you, check what you can do:

1. Be relaxed. Smile. Ask why you are being approached.

2. If they ask to touch you or inspect your belongings, politely decline and ask for legal basis/reason why they want to search your things or frisk you. Again, politely decline.

3. If they insist, politely and calmly demand for their names and identification. Send the names to your closest relatives ASAP if still practicable. Call your parents or closest kin ASAP and ask them to contact a lawyer as well as soon as possible.

4. Ask friends to take a video or personally record what’s happening if possible.

5. While everything is happening, as much as possible, stay with friends who can hear and/or see everything that is happening.

6. Remember the names and faces of the police officers as this may be important later on.

7. After the inspection and if your are not taken into custody, check the surroundings. Check if there’s a CCTV. Secure copies if need be. Check as well with security, if it is inside an establishment, if they were able to log-in the indentities of the police officers.

8. If you are taken into custody, demand to be able to make a call ASAP and tell those who are seeing what’s happening to call your parents/relatives/closest kin. Be vigilant and remember as much as possible where they are taking you. Do not antagonize them and remain calm.

9. Equally important, after everything, study the possibility of filing a case against the police officers afterwards if there are violations. This is crucial to put an end to these things.

10. For relatives called, immediately a) call a lawyer; b) find out where your kin has been taken; c) proceed to the location of your kin as soon as you find out where. Ask for a copy of the report of the arresting police officers and show to your lawyer ASAP. Secure the things mentioned in number 7 and the written accounts of witnesses.

Image via NGO Karapatan. Some rights reserved.

This right is found in our Philippine Constitution in Article III Section 2.

Section 2. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.

The government, especially the police, cannot search nor seize anything from you without a warrant subject only to some exemptions.

The advice given by a lawyer below as concurred by my husband-lawyer is useful advice in addition to that given by Dino.

police random search

police random search

All of us need to be vigilant.

Dino is right . “It’s time to take part in standing up for our rights. Let’s be courageous and collectively fight.”



Familiarity breeds contempt. This is likely to happen in a marriage.


Day in, day out you wake up to the same man, drooling beside you in deep sleep while you can hardly take a wink with his deep resounding snore coupled with wheezes bugging you through the night. Then he wonders why your face is all wrinkled up with frowns as he wakes up and sees you in the morning. Hardly energized, you have to face the challenges of parenthood with children practically screaming for attention, go through the same old tiring chores before hitting the road and welcome another stressful day at work. Most of the time you are at your wit’s end and wish there was some kind of remote control to give you a breather.

Press STOP. That’s more like it. Silence helps us catch up with our breath and refocus. This is not exactly the happy scenario you saw in your mind as the church bells joyfully pealed over the exchange of I dos. Something went wrong somewhere and it turned into a nasty habit. The sweet-nothings of the honeymoon days turned into sour-graping. The high praises turned into put downs. The attentiveness turned into deadpan silence. With resentment piling up, big fights start with the slightest provocation.

It is so easy to get lost in the middle of a messy life where the objective of the day is to score a hurt towards your spouse or wallow in self-pity if you get to the losing end. Where do the children figure in all these? They get caught in the crossfire.

Rudy and Jelly had to come to terms with the ugly realities of their marriage. Rudy is an only child who was used to having his way. Jelly is a head strong activist whose feministic views fuelled the insistence on her right to equality. After the whirlwind romance, the honeymoon ended when it barely started. The head-on collision of opinions graduated to bitter arguments and nearly escalated to violence. This went on until their first child was born. Blinded by deep-seated resentments, they usually forgot the innocent baby’s presence. At first, the child’s troubled wails were merely drowned by her parents’ loud screaming matches. The couple got to their senses as their daughter learned to talk. They got into another verbal brawl when their barely two year-old daughter tearfully pulled her mommy’s shirt and said, “Sorry Mommy, Sorry Daddy” in between sobs. Shaken, the high pitched row suddenly stopped. The parents’ hearts melted at the thought of how their innocent toddler took the blame for their anger.

This could not go on, they both decided. Swallowing their pride, Rudy and Jelly sought forgiveness from each other and promised not to let the ugly fights happen again. Habits die hard so it was with hard work for Rudy and Jelly to at least be nice to each other.

the greatest gift...

START WITH KIND WORDS. Preacher in Blue Jeans, Bro. Bo Sanchez puts weight on what you say, ““If you want to change your life, change your words. I believe that if you change your vocabulary, you change your life story.”

This goes along with the concept of self-fulfilling prophecies. If you tell your child how hard-headed he is at every given opportunity, expect that he will grow up rebellious. The same principle applies with couples. If you hype up on your spouse’s insensitivity every day, expect him to be indifferent to your needs and worse, that of your child’s.

Reverse the process. If Rudy and Jelly were once quick to nitpick, they now bite their tongues when the temptation is strong. Jelly would take a deep breath and make a mental account of all her husband’s good qualities.

She would then decide to choose to see the better side of him and replace the unsaid disdain with a praise or two.

FOLLOW THROUGH WITH ACTIONS. Note the word “decide”. It is a conscious effort to be a better person so that your partner will be a better spouse. Rudy did not just agree to choose kind utterances in dealing with his wife, he also initiated a tradition for them to honor each other during their “monthsery” celebrations.

After the cozy dinner, both of them go through a list of ten things to be thankful about each other. This practice boosted Rudy and Jelly’s morale and strive to be a better husband and wife. As a consequence, they become better parents.

Deb HIrschham, PhD, of goodtherapy.org affirms the positive effects of making your partner feel good about himself/herself. “Although opposites do attract, the fundamental, deep-down attraction comes from a reflection of oneself. Not only is this person validating you, but his very being (because it’s so much like yours) validates you all the more.”

Dr. Hirschham adds that this is not an easy task but it could be done, “If you don’t see this, you do have to plumb the depths to find it. It is not on the surface. The surface includes a host of differences, but deep down you’ll find the sameness.)”

END EACH DAY WITH LOVE. In her singlehood, Jelly has grown accustomed to giving the silent treatment when mad at someone. She carried this into her marriage much to her husband’s disappointment.

Rudy, on the other hand, would pester his wife thinking that this would settle their differences. Instead, Rudy’s peskiness annoyed Jelly and the cold treatment would escalate into a full blown word war.

After agreeing to attend a couple’s spiritual renewal seminar, Rudy and Jelly adhered to the Christian teaching, “When angry, do not sin; do not ever let your wrath (your exasperation, your fury or indignation) last until the sun goes down.” (Ephisians 4:26).

It was initially difficult for Jelly to practice this teaching but with Rudy’s more loving approach, opening up about deep hurts and settling differences came easier. They both have peaceful slumbers as differences are settled at the end of the day.

Seven years into their marriage, Rudy and Jelly’s relationship is going stronger. Yes, there are still lapses and angry outbursts (but this time not in the presence of the children). As they learn to deepen each other’s love with respect and sensitivity to each other’s needs, they become better spouses and parents. And their little tot? She is growing into a well adjusted child, knowing that her Daddy’s love towards Mommy ensures all the security she needs in the world.

Written by Jasmine Barrios as originally posted at the Philippine Online Chronicles.

Photo: “Father and Child” by , c/o Flickr. Some Rights Reserved