4 Activities For Kids To Do In Long Road Trips

activities for kids, children-related, guest post, travel/places

Traveling with kids can be exhausting if you don’t occupy their time and let them just be sitting there. They are definitely going to nag, talk and complain that they are bored and tired. If you really want to avoid that and enjoy your trip as much as possible, you need to look for some fun activities that your kids can do. Short of such ideas? No problem! Today My Rocking Cradle is going to give you some ideas how to make your kids (of all ages) happy and busy during long, long trips. So enjoy traveling with your kids and see the world!

Writing a Journal

For bigger children, who can already write their thoughts, you can give a task to document and write a travel journal. Ask your kids to write about absolutely everything they saw, experienced and places they love to visit someday again. You can even give different kids a different task. For instance, one kid should write into the journal, another can take pictures, and the third one can glue everything into one big journal. So just don’t forget to pack an instant camera, some paper, pencils and let your kids create a nice travel journal!

Reading a Book

Oh, is there something even better than a nice book? And books are great for all kids at different ages too! You can even make a special traveling library and give your children to read books about traveling and faraway countries. Everything goes if that is a book and your kids spend some quality time reading and learning new things about the world around them. So buy in a bulk a lot of books that you think will suit your kids taste and be sure to travel peacefully and calmly. You can actually find a lot of good and rare books at Abebooks website. And in addition to that, you can purchase it all at much smaller price along with coupons to shop at Abebooks. So shop for all kinds of books (and don’t forget to buy something for yourself) and enjoy your road trip!

Playing Road Trip Games

Another activity your kids can do is to play some fun and exciting road trip games. For instance, play “find words” game. Rules are that every family member should find a word from road signs etc., which begin with each letter of the alphabet. Go in alphabetical order and compete against each other alone or in groups. You also can play another game, called “I’m going to grandma’s house and I’m bringing …“. This is fun memory game. First person names an item that begins with the letter A, the next person repeats what the first person is bringing and adds something that begins with the letter B, etc. Keep going until someone can’t remember all the items. We can guarantee that time is going to fly by with these games and kids will definitely not be bored at all!

Using Electronics (only with headphones)

Finally, the last advice I can give you is to let your kids play with various electronics. Let them watch DVD’s, listen to music in their mp3 players and so on. Time will go by quickly and it will definitely keep kids busy too. But don’t forget to give them headphones to make the environment in a car quieter and not disturb a driver. Download or buy some audio books, get kids’ most favorite movies or shows and let them enjoy a good educational material.

(blog post credit to Dovile Ibianskaite)

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Interactive Lecture of the Filipino Culture for Kids

children-related, pinoys in korea, The 601 Habit

The “Buwan ng Wika sa Korea hatid ng The 601 Habit” finally kicked off yesterday with Interactive Lecture of the Filipino Culture for Kids at Kinderwelt. Kinderwelt is a Korean pre-school located in Gaebong. Around 40 pre-schoolers, with their teachers, listened and participated in the various activities depicting our Filipino way of life.

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students of Kinderwelt with teachers and ladies of The 601 Habit

The kids learned about the Philippine flag and had fun putting the puzzle parts together. It was a pretty effective way of making the kids easily remember our number 1 national symbol.

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putting the Philippine flag together

They listened and joined in the singing of Bahay Kubo:

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listening and humming to Bahay Kubo

The kids definitely enjoyed the “experience” of riding in a jeepney and learning to say “bayad po” and “para po”.

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playing jeepney driver and passengers

We displayed some of our national costumes and some of the ladies wore our elegant “terno”, which the Korean teachers described as “elegant”.

And since we were dealing with active little kids, the little feet need some jumping and kicking. And they had the perfect time to do that with our childhood games “sipa” and (the ironically named) “chinese garter”.

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playing “sipa”

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every Filipino kid’s childhood game

We had to leave, unfortunately. The 1 hour with them may not have been enough for them to take in everything we presented, but we are glad to have started such a positive feeling for them about our country.

And, of course, we left them with a taste of the Philippines, Mango Mania’s (what else!) mangoes.

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Philippine mangoes from Mango Mania

Cheers and till the next one! This is just the first of a series of activities we are having under “Buwan ng Wika sa Korea”.

Here are the complete pictures of yesterday’s Interactive Lecture of the Filipino Culture with Kinderwelt.

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“Buwan ng Wika sa Korea” Hatid ng The 601 Habit

The 601 Habit

It’s August!

My memory of August back in the Philippines when I was still in elementary and high school are school days of rehearsals and contests for Filipino songs, dances, declamations and even group presentations depicting Filipino culture complete with Philippine national costumes. It was fun!

Now that we are here in Korea, wouldn’t it be great to have our own “Buwan ng Wika?”

And so, the ladies of The 601 Habit decided to bring “Buwan ng Wika sa Korea” to the Filipino, Korean and the foreign communities here in Korea.

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This is going to be a month-long celebration of various activities at different venues.

In our own little way, we are hosting these activities to promote the Filipino culture among the Filipino-Korean families and residents of Korea. We also hope to encourage participation among children with Filipino lineage so they will be able to experience first-hand the Filipino culture and be able to appreciate these.

There will be an Interactive Lecture of the Filipino Culture at selected Korean kindergarten and international schools. This is to show to the little ones our interesting culture through songs, dances and games.

We have also targeted the foreign community so they will have a glimpse of what the Filipino culture is all about. In partnership with the Itaewon Global Village Center, the Interactive Lecture of the Filipino Culture will be held on August 21, 2015 at 3:30pm-5:30pm. Filipino snacks will also be served.

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And as Filipinos are known worldwide to be one of the best entertainers especially in the field of music, we will be hosting the regular Afternoon Socials of The 601 Habit. This time, it will be consistent with Buwan ng Wika sa Korea. On August 22, 2015, we are inviting our talented singers to come and join our OPM Exclusives.


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The singing competition, OPM Exclusives, is a friendly match to showcase original Filipino music. Although not much, cash prizes will be given to the winners. We want to encourage our talented singers out there to join this event and help promote our original music.

We hope to see you all.

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DIY Reupholstered Dining Chairs

do-it-yourself projects, household

Here’s my new mantra:

And I live it as I believe it.

In between house works and mommy-duties, I stole some time to do what I set up myself to accomplish. And it took almost three months to finally finish! I only had to look at this ugly chair to start a panic-attack!


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there were 4 of these

As soon as I made myself to believe that I can change how the chairs look, I went to Dongdaemun Fabric Market and savored every touch and every feel of the fabrics all around me. I tell you, the place is every crafter’s paradise. I was dizzily overwhelmed by all the available materials. I got fabrics for the chairs and the curtains (which I haven’t even started doing yet!). I chose this material to reupholster the chair.

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It took me ages to finish 4 of these chairs. The fabrics were first measured and fitted and hand-sewn. I may have done it the harder way but I think sewing the edges made it look more neat. After several weeks, I did finish all 4 of them!

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i thought I’m done with this!

Yap, I thought I’m done with them and I could go on my next DIY thing.

I found myself staring at the chairs for several days and they were just so incomplete – freshly upholstered seat but has-seen-better-days backrest!

And so I labored for days and weeks again on my hand-sewing. I used the brown fabric I intended to use as part of my curtain and cut the Victorian-floral design from the other fabric and sewed it together.

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i kinda like it!


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back – it ain’t perfectly neat but that’s the most I can do for the moment

That’s one chair done. I got another 3 to complete all 4! With this goal constantly in my mind and with my first son’s vacation, the Mommy-me can’t think straight and prioritize well. And before I noticed it, the habit began: I would bring my son to a coffee shop, let him read or check on videos or let him practice guitar while I keep myself engrossed in my sewing. And after I patiently hand-sewn everything everywhere, I got them all done!

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my first attempt in reupholstering chairs

So, please excuse me if I take a little bit of pride in my first re-upholstery job. Seeing this makes me smile.

How I got them finished and the thought that I was actually able to have the patience to go through it all perks me up to continue doing more. And that means my boys (husband included!) bearing with my mess and my “forgetfulness” with house works left undone. Let me, then, end with this:




Trivia About the Philippine-Korea Diplomatic Relations

holidays/special days, Philippine-Korea relationship

The US Embassy held an outdoor reception for the 239th Independence Day celebration last July 2 at the Yongsan US Army Garrison. It was a by-invitation event and you get to have your pin upon confirmation at Gate 13.

While I was waiting for Miss Gennie, my “date” for the night, I saw a diplomatic car bearing the Philippine flag enter Gate 13.

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pin as confirmation at the by-invite only event

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with the “President” and the “First Lady” at the US Army Garrison

Aside from the fact that this was an exciting deviation to my daily routine as a wife and a mother, it was the trivia about diplomatic cars that inspired me to blog about last Thursday night’s event.

I bet not many know about the car plate number the diplomatic cars use. Reality is, who even cares about them? We know they are diplomatic cars when they carry the national flags.

Miss Lucit, our Social Welfare Attache, and the Ambassador himself confirmed that Philippine diplomatic cars here in South Korea bear the license plate starting with 005. And what does this mean? This means that the Philippines is the 5th country to extend foreign and diplomatic relations to South Korea. Now, this made me think about all those times I got to interact with some Koreans who showed their appreciation for the Philippines and the Filipino war veterans who served during the Korean war. No wonder.

The Philippines hold a very important place in South Korea’s foreign relations being the 5th country to extend diplomatic relations with the country. So, which countries were the first ones to do the same?

I got this Official List from the Diplomatic Mission Division of the Protocol Office. The list is with their corresponding license plate issued to their respective diplomatic cars (reflects only the beginning of the license plate):

  1. United States of America – 001
  2. United Kingdom – 002 (January 18, 1949)
  3. France – 003 (February 15, 1949)
  4. China – 004 (maintained with Taiwan)
  5. Philippines – 005 (March 3, 1949)
  6. Holy See – 006 (formal relations started in 1966)
  7. Germany – 007 (December 1, 1955)
  8. Italy – 008 (November 24, 1956)
  9. Turkey – 009 (March 8, 1957)
  10. Thailand – 010 (October 9, 1958)

My curiosity satisfied.

Back to the Independence Day celebration, may the Statue of Liberty continue to shine graciously upon us all.

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shining bright at the 239th celebration in Seoul

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Beautiful Busan



Though not much is planned in this family for summer, we are welcoming it! We hope to have a memorable summer escapade even though we are looking at the uncertain schedule of hubby and the Korean-kindie summer schedule of our second-born, DeFourth. I call it Korean-kindie summer schedule because Korean kindergarten only has a one-week summer break. Our Firstborn, LeRuof, goes to an international school so he gets a full summer break of almost 2 months! I am so looking forward to when DeFourth goes to first grade next year and both kids will have the same school schedule! While our summer escapade is still a blank canvass, my thoughts now goes back to 2 summers ago when we also did a last-minute decision to experience Busan – at the height of the summer heat. We went there on a weekend when the Haeundae Beach was said to have the most number of tourists flocked together. I clearly remember because it was so captioned on the front page of the English newspaper I got hold in the hotel’s Executive Lounge. The photo on the front page was almost the same scene before me.

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Haeundae Beach

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LeRuof strolling the Hauendae Beach

Surprisingly, we didn’t have any difficulty doing last minute reservation at the Westin Chosun Hotel, which is conveniently located at the other end of the shoreline of Hauendae Beach. We were told by our friends – since we didn’t make plans weeks in advance – that we would have difficulty getting any accommodation.

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corner room with the sea view

The kids were ecstatic! They didn’t waste time settling in. Much as they wanted to go out and experience that beach they see by the window, they had to stretch their patience just a little bit more. I remember putting all the clothes in the closet first (I no longer do this anymore! hahaha. These days, I just open the luggage, pull out what needs to be worn at the time it should be worn).

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mah boyz!

The beach was fun – for a short time! There were so many people. It was packed! We could hardly put our mats comfortably on the sand because we were already almost on the water. It was no exaggeration to say that the beach was packed! Anyone who had been to Hauendae Beach on a summer knows how it is. Kids could not run along the seashore. No! That wasn’t the picture I had in mind. But for our LeRuof, those things didn’t matter. He was just too happy to be in the water. It was DeFourth, who was only 3 that time, who was in a hurry to go back to the hotel. He didn’t like the sand on his feet…. lol! We just had to thank Westin’s pool!

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Westin Chosun pool – overlooking the Haeundae Beach

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where DeFourth was more comfortable in

So there, every swimming time comes with extra work – imagining that we were enjoying with the people on the beach – while contenting ourselves watching the revelry on the sand.  On second thought, I enjoyed the scenery more than being in it:-).

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We went around the beach each day we were there but no longer got into the water. Kids enjoyed the indoor pool. Less scary for them, I guess. Our vacations are always scheduled around the boys’ convenience and comfort. That means spending 3-4 days in a place and spending mornings of it in the pool, and go sightseeing only when they still have the energy to do it. Get the picture? I bet nobody would want to be with us on a trip, hahaha. On our first night in Busan, there was a “Bikini Body” event. The event speaks for itself and definitely a crowd-drawer.

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Haeundae Beach night lfe

With 2 very young boys, it’s always easy to call it a night when their days are filled to exhaustion. So, aside from taking photos of the jam-packed event on our first night, we all contentedly went to sleep. Hubby and I did manage to sneak in a time to go to Yonggungsa Temple on our own. This was after exhausting the kids in the pool and getting room service for their lunch. Taxi took us to that temple by the shore, as Yonggungsa is known for. Most Buddhist temples are built in the mountains but this is witness to the serenity of the sea.

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view from Yonggungsa Temple

It was just Hubby and me amidst a sea of people. Never thought we could leave the kids at the hotel for awhile. Well, we will never do that again (guilty!). The temple is a really popular place to go to in Busan!

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rocks around the temple

The road going to the APEC House was one of my favorite destination. Lucky us, the APEC House is just walking distance from the hotel so we strolled there in the mornings and evenings of our 3-nights, 4-days stay.

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night view from the road going to the APEC House

I can’t get enough of the APEC House. Take it in black and white, colored, night time or day time, it doesn’t matter. It’s beautiful!

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APEC House in black and white

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APEC House in full colors

The Gwangan Bridge is also known as the “Diamond Bridge”. It isn’t hard to see why especially at night.

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Gwangan Bridge

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also known as the “Diamond Bridge”

We cannot leave Busan without going to the Busan Aquarium. It’s right there near the shoreline of the Hauendae Beach and there was no way the boys would not have seen it.

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excited kiddos!

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Sea horse

I love the look of amazement in their faces. This is one of the perks of innocence. Everything is magnificent!

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love the look of amazement

But, of course, we can’t miss this statue  of Princess Hwangok. We can even see it from our hotel window so we made sure to check her out before we finally leave Busan. Hers is a story of mourning. She misses her own kingdom so she would sit down by this rock and mourn for her Kingdom of Naranda.

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Princess Hwangok in Hauendae

Our family enjoyed the few days we spent at Busan and to this day, the kids still remember their vacation there with so much fondness. It was on this vacation when we started to impart to them simple gestures of gratitude.

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thank you note from the 2 boys

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Orange Peel for your Citrusy Aroma


Browsing through various pins at Pinterest does give us a treasure trove of different ideas. Last week, I saw how orange peels were put into use before they were finally thrown away for good. So, after I bought oranges last week, I did exactly what I had newly-discovered.

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orange peel

I cut the orange in half and carefully scooped out the insides for our breakfast. I got my tea candles and excitedly and carefully centered each inside the orange peel. Perfect!

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citrus aroma around the house

Tea candles aren’t expensive. It’s the scented oil that are a little bit pricey. Now, with my orange left-overs, I don’t need these scented oil anymore. Well, not until I run out of orange peels!

I wasn’t done with the orange peels after one tea candle so I still managed to use them at the dinner table. In the photo below, only two remained since the other one was too dry already to even emit a nice aroma.

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dinner table centerpiece

So there goes my newest household discovery. Inexpensive and beautiful.


Veranda Farmer: My Potato Patch Diary

hobbies, home gardening

Cradled in my apartment veranda these days is a tiny potato patch.

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my veranda potato patch

How this came about made me an incidental veranda farmer. I didn’t bother to put some potatoes inside the refrigerator and sprouts appeared on them. When I was told that it’s no longer safe for cooking, I hesitated throwing them so I googled about sprouted potatoes and got the idea to plant them. I never had any experience planting root crops before but I was willing to take my chances. I was even excited about it!

I got my hands dirty and buried these sprouting potatoes in the small patch in my veranda:

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the potatoes that sprouted and the beginnings of the potato plants

I watched them grow daily and got excited each day. Even my sons were getting involved! They watered the plants morning and early evening.

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my son, LeRuof, watering the potato plants

Even my parents didn’t know how a potato plant looks like. When they came over for a few days more than 2 weeks ago, they were surprised with my unlikely new “interest”. These flowers amazed me! I never thought a potato plant could flower so beautifully.

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that which I see every morning

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that which I see every morning

I am really supposed to wait for around 10 weeks before I can harvest… but being the newbie that I am, I always took a peek (daily) at the growing potatoes underneath the plants.I diligently cover them up after, of course. If you try them in your own home garden, just make sure you don’t hurt the potatoes so dig gently.

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taking a peek at my first gardening attempt

Finally, got the courage to pull out the first plant last week! I got more than I needed, although some of them could have used more days under ground.

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my first pull!

Look! I pulled 3 plants and got all these! I used some for my menudo and will be using more for my corned beef. Whoooaaa! These earthy things could actually make one so happy! hahaha!

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not a bad harvest for the first batch of a first time potato farmer, eh?

I left some plants for future harvest. Maybe in a week or two. Until then. For now, I continue to watch them in my tiny veranda potato patch.

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waiting to be harvested

Hubby is now looking forward if I will be true to my word and grow sweet potatoes. We’ll see..

“Your mind is a garden. Your thoughts are the seeds. You can grow flowers. Or you can grow weeds.” (TheDailyquotes.com)


The Fantastic 4 in Asia’s Got Talent


I am pretty sure Filipinos will be up late tonight waiting for the result of the Grand Winner of Asia’s Got Talent. This is an endless showing of Filipino talents! 4 finalists out of 9!

Before the frenzy over the winner begins tonight, let’s take a look at each finalist:

El Gamma Penumbra: Simply Amazing



Gerphil Flores: Classy and regal.



Junior New System: Unequaled energy



Gwyneth Dorado: Youthful confidence.



Philippine’s has a dilemma, though. All these 4 need every support and vote. Filipinos will be divided. Hopefully, the Grand Champion will be one of them.

I, too, will be looking forward to tonight.

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Email for Kids

children-related, internet concerns/blogging

My first son is at this age when he can already manage to have his own email account (skeptics, hear me out!). He is 8 years old and I did ask his IT teacher abut this before I decided to give him his own. And, yeah, he had been practicing with his own email account at school so why not get  him one which I could monitor?

And here is where this Email for Kids site conveniently enters the picture. As a parent, I created my son’s account and without him knowing about it, I could monitor his mails and control his use. I simply told him, “you have your own account now! I’d love to receive emails from you.” Boy, he was glad! What he doesn’t know is I have control over his account.

  • I can see all his incoming and outgoing messages. Sorry, he is just 8! Privacy is not yet something I could fully entrust to him. Reality is, he still needs protection from all these available information from the world wide web.
  • I can see all mail queues coming his way so I can block spam emails, especially those with adult contents.
  • And since I enabled the Contact Manager, I could also prevent him from sending and receiving particular emails from particular contacts (again, my son is just 8!).
  • And so he can access his emails at the right time, I have also just set the time and days when he can log-in to his account.

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Yap! I give him freedom. But just the right amount.

He likes it since he can easily access his email account in my i-pad and it has a simple and kid-friendly look.

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He sees that there are three buttons: Parent Login, a Teen Login, and Kid Login. He knows which button he as an access to but he is unaware of the controls that I have when I get into my Parent Login button.

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Really, I appreciate that there are creators of this kind of application. We can let the kids feel and explore their freedom without them knowing our control over that freedom.

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