Showing posts with the label Parenting in the digital age

Being The Father I Never Had: Parenting a Teenager in the Internet Age

As a teenager growing up in the Philippines in the late 80s and early 90s, my most pressing concern was whether I could get past level 3 in Contra without losing all my 40 lives. If someone had told me that my future battles wouldn't involve pixelated soldiers but invisible online predators, I'd have scoffed and gone back to strategizing my next Konami code assault. Yet, here I am. See, the thing about growing up without a dad is that you piece together the role from fragments. There were my friends' fathers, figures who dispensed cheesy advice and fixed bikes with a kind of quiet competence I yearned for. Then there were the sitcom dads—a little bumbling, maybe, but always there with a hug and a slightly out-of-touch pep talk when things went wrong. All these fragments fueled my determination: if I ever became a dad, I wouldn't just be present; I'd be all-in. Fast forward to today, and those childhood visions of fatherhood have collided with a reality far more comp