By Karen Galarpe

“Oh look, it’s Domo-kun!” I said, pointing to stuffed toys of the brown Japanese character at Toy Con 2011, the annual toy convention recently held at SM Megamall. “And Angry Birds, and lots of anime characters. Do they have Lucky Star?”

Yup, that’s me talking. Thanks to my son’s interest in Japanese anime, I am not so unfamiliar with what some kids and teens are into these days. When Miley Cyrus was in town recently, someone in the office asked, “Does Miley Cyrus have a lot of fans?” And I said, “Hello? Hannah Montana!”

And when the video of that 4-year-old Fil-Am boy singing a Warbler song a la Darren Criss on “Glee” became viral, someone in the office again said he’s not familiar with the song as he doesn’t watch “Glee”.

I know who Miley Cyrus is, and I watch “Glee.” And “Lucky Star.” And some years back, “High School Musical” and “Gundam Seed Destiny.”

I try to make time to get to know what kids today like because it’s a way to bond and build relationships with today’s generation.

I know I’m not alone in this mission because when Taylor Swift was here a few months ago, two of my friends watched the concert with their daughters and their daughters’ friends. And they realized Taylor is really a great performer and a good role model for today’s kids.

Same thing when Justin Bieber arrived in Manila this year. Guess who were photographed with preteens and teens in the crowd? Their parents.

What is your child into? Find out, get into it yourself, and in the process get to know your child more.

Since my son loves cars, I have seen my share of auto shows and even drift competitions from which I have come home smelling like burnt rubber. Is it worth it, grime and all? It is. Our children are priceless, and time spent with them is valuable.

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