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Monique Bett on raising screen smart kids after family went viral in heartfelt performance by family

In the age of social media, family moments often get the spotlight, and for media personality and singer Monique Bett, one of those moments turned into an unexpected viral sensation. A video of her daughter Aiko and husband Richard performing a soulful rendition of Lewis Capaldi’s ‘Someone You Loved’ while jamming at home took the internet by storm and resonated with viewers around the world.

The heartwarming performance not only showcased the family’s musical talents, but also highlighted their close bond and shared love for music. Speaking exclusively to Nairobi News, Monique Bett shared insights into how this viral moment has influenced her approach to parenting and sharing family moments online.

As a celebrity parent sharing glimpses of your children online, what motivated you to bring your audience into this personal aspect of your life?

While starting out in my career, social media was a new wave that mainstream media adopted to support conventional media like radio and TV. I grew with it and over the years my audience organically grew with me. It was natural when I became a mother and wife. There was interest in my personal /family life as well.

Can you share a heartwarming or humorous moment you’ve experienced with your children that you chose to share online, and why it was important for you to do so?

As a family, we love to create art almost regularly. It’s our thing! All the time. Our daughter Aiko and my husband Richard went viral after sharing a beautiful performance “Someone You Loved” by Lewis Capaldi while jamming at home. My husband and I were pleasantly surprised when the video got massive global attention and opened up opportunities for her gifts to be noticed and celebrated. All while she
was with her dad in the living room! It was amazing!

Going viral can be overwhelming. How do you navigate the sudden attention, and how does it impact your family?

As a creative couple raising Gen Alpha kids, we had to step up and adapt quickly. We knew we had to adapt to the changing times, build a solid relationship with each other and the children, cultivate healthy schedules and build transparency about the definition of exposure. Without a clear support system, boundaries and a grounded family culture it can get overwhelming for anyone, however, we’ve taken steps to ensure that we bring up our children to express themselves while still maintaining core family values.

Dealing with cyberbullies and trolls is unfortunately a common experience. How do you shield your children from negativity while continuing to share your family’s journey?

Knowing well about the existence of negativity means we are raising our children to be confident and brave as they are living in a world where social media is a staple. A mainstay. This hasn’t hindered our focus to nurture our children’s talent. I believe that these are challenges that exist even outside of the online space. While online, we have maximised on Parental Supervision tools that have enabled our children to have a healthy online experience as they focus on their creativity and expression.

In a world where online platforms can sometimes be harsh, how do you maintain a positive world view and encourage a supportive online community for your followers?

It starts with you. As a parent or guardian you must know that it starts at home. As for the values, consistently being truly yourself. You can make a positive impact by creating content that’s inspiring, authentic, organic and allowing your tribe/following/community to find you.

Addiction to social media is a concern for many parents. How do you establish healthy boundaries for yourself and your family to avoid the pitfalls of excessive screen time?

There are wonderful tools on Meta Instagram’s Family Center that I’ve set to encourage a normal, daily life. Our children love sports, baking and making crafts. We have scheduled screen time so that they can be children. They are also well-tuned to the rhythm of their
routine! We’re quite pleased with that!

Going beyond the glamorous facade, could you share a moment when the challenges of being in the public eye collided with your role as a parent, and how you handled it?

Well, first of all, parenting is not glamorous! It’s messy and honest and we’ve allowed for authentic expression. This comes with opinions on how to parent. My advice is to stay true to who you are.

Recognising the potential dangers online, how do you educate your children about the importance of privacy and the potential risks associated with sharing personal moments on social media?

We usually have what we call “heart meetings “ with the children. We teach them to share any questions, anything they are curious about, what piqued their interest, who they’ve engaged online and the difference between privacy and secrecy just to educate them on how to be safe online. Just as we would in real life.

With societal pressures on self-image, especially in the online space, how do you instil confidence and a positive self-image in your children while navigating the world of filters and curated content?

We are blessed to have the opportunity to give them first hand examples of the difference between the digital and the real world through our own independent careers. We emphasise on building individuality, self-awareness, independent thinking, self-love and confidence from within. Again, it all starts with affirmation and validation from home. Nothing superficial.

What advice do you have for fellow parents who may be contemplating sharing their family life on social media, considering the potential pitfalls and challenges that come with it?

As an optimist, I’d say cultivate healthy core values at home, create a strong bond and friendship with your children where expression and transparency is encouraged. If and when you choose or happen to be thrust in the world of social media, educate yourself on how raise screen smart kids and embrace it!