Chat with mommy: Ramona Zamzam
One of the topics we’ve focused on recently is the issue of how much our kids spend in front of screens every day. We know that too much screen time can be really bad for them, and we’ve even highlighted a few easy steps that any parent can take to balance out their kids’ screen time at home. Click here to read the guide now. But sometimes, it’s also great to get the perspective of other parents and see what else we can learn from their examples.
This week, we spoke to Malaysian actress, model, and host Ramona Zamzam – who’s also a mommy to beautiful 4-year-old Ivanna – about the screen time policy she practices at home, and some of the other things she does to make life more fun as a mother.
(Image: Roots of Action)
“I believe reducing screen time helps them to stay alert and have better focus. My generation survived growing up without gadgets, so I believe it's fun, and I'm just trying to do the same with my kid.”
RAMONA ZAMZAM on why she doesn’t let her daughter use any gadgets.
baba baa: So what kind of no-gadget policy do you practice at home?
Ramona: We simply practice a “strictly no gadgets” policy at home. None at all, from phones, tablets, laptop, none. I only allow my daughter to watch TV at home (with limited time). So even if we go out, if there's no TV then there's nothing, I will just let my daughter survive and play with whatever she can.
baba baa: Right! But why do you feel so strongly that it’s important to keep children away from electronic devices while they’re young and developing?
Ramona: I really feel it’s so important for their minds to stay free, which doesn’t happen by staring at gadgets.
I believe reducing screen time helps them to stay alert and have better focus. My generation survived growing up without gadgets, so I believe it's fun, and I'm just trying to do the same with my kid. Hopefully, it'll be beneficial for her future.
baba baa: Since you prefer to refrain from using electronic gadgets, what are your favorite ways to educate and entertain your kids?
Ramona: My husband and I have been trying to get our daughter to do more outdoor and nature-inspired activities, like going to the parks, waterfalls, or going for swimming classes, for example. I like to let her play around with simple things such as different types of leaves, stones, and branches. Sometimes I let her play around with butterflies and squirrels, etc.While at home, I try to do some exercise books with lots of writing, colouring, or playing with stickers and paper cutting.
“There are times when it will be very tough and challenging, but take it easy, share it with your husband, ask for help if you need one. Don't forget to spend some time for your own “me-time”, it’s super important!”
RAMONA ZAMZAM ’s advice to other mommies on juggling responsibility.
baba baa: Isn’t it quite challenging to stay away from using tablets and PCs and the TV to keep your kids engaged? Especially when everyone else seems to be doing it?
Ramona: Oh yes, of course it is!
I remember crying a few times in the restaurant when my daughter was giving me hard time while I was eating and, I wasn't able to provide her any gadgets at all hahaha. But it was all good, it was just a phase. The child will eventually get used to it.
As much as it was difficult, I'm glad I did it, and I believe anyone can if they really want to!
baba baa: How do you deal with the temptation to give in when your kids ask you to let them use a phone or watch YouTube?
Ramona: It’s really all about patience and diverting their attention. Find a way to entertain them, hold their hands and take them for a walk, play with anything that's in front of you. Take some books out, try to figure out some activities. If you want to make it happen, you'll find a way.
baba baa: That sounds like a smart approach. Can you also give some advice for other working moms on ways to juggle their responsibilities?
Ramona: Hahaha! I don’t even know how I survived, but you will go through it anyway. Another day will pass, another day will come, and it will all happen naturally.
There are times when it will be very tough and challenging, but take it easy, share it with your husband, ask for help if you need one. Don't forget to spend some time for your own “me-time”, it’s super important.
baba baa: Oh right! Speaking of which, what do you do during your “me-time” to unwind and relax?
Ramona: Some silence after my daughter goes to sleep is priceless. I enjoy using my earphones to listen to music and have some hot drinks such as tea at night while writing in my organizer and lighting up some candles.
baba baa: When it comes to going out of the house, what do you do with your kid during long car rides? Or while waiting for things like meals or appointments?
Ramona: I often leave her be in the car seat, and she’ll enjoy herself enjoy looking outside.
Of course, I also let my daughter play with baba baa books! Sometimes, we sing together and I point out some interesting things to her that we see in the moment. Now I always bring books and colour pencils for my daughter to spend time with while waiting for meals and stuff.
baba baa: Interesting! So, which baba baa books do your kids enjoy the most in a car ride?
Ramona: Basically all the baba baa books that come with songs, like the Rasa Sayang book!
baba baa: So far, where have you taken the baba baa books to?
Ramona: Oh, we’ve taken them many places. Car rides, island holidays, shopping malls, you name it.
baba baa: Finally, what’s your aspiration for your child? What kind of person do you want her to become?
Ramona: At the end of the day, I just want my child to be happy in whatever they do. Sure, I’d like her to be kind, respectful, outgoing, and adventurous. But most importantly, I want her to BE HAPPY!
“At the end of the day, I just want my child to be happy in whatever they do. Sure, I’d like her to be kind, respectful, outgoing, and adventurous. But most importantly, I want her to BE HAPPY!”
RAMONA ZAMZAM on what she wants most for her daughter.
We hope you enjoyed this week’s interview, and that you picked up something insightful along the way! If you want more inspiring parenting content, be sure to hop on to our blog where we regularly upload tips, tricks, and mommy interviews like these!
Also, head on over to our store to check out a selection of fun and engaging sound books that we personally designed to make your kids’ learning more exciting than ever!
- LJ Lok