Modern Parenting: Taking Care of Children with Technology
The advent of handheld tech devices, such as smartphones, has made technology integral to human life. The increased adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT), on the other hand, has enabled digital devices to interconnect and communicate over the internet. These tech developments have had a huge impact on modern parenting.
Keeping your children safe is a lot easier now thanks to technology.
1. Enhanced security and safety
- Smart home security cameras allow you to keep an eye on your home even when you’re away at work.
- Location tracking apps tell you where your child is, any time of the day.
- Ambient sensing technology enables you to track the ambiance (pressure, temperature, air quality, etc.) in your home to ensure that your kids are safe.
- Motion sensors can tell you when something is amiss in the house, e.g. if your child slips and falls.
- Automated alarm systems can alert the relevant authorities in case of a break-in or a fire.
- Geofencing allows you to create virtual geographic boundaries for your child, so you get alerted whenever the child crosses any of those boundaries.
- Digital video baby monitors give you a secure private connection with your baby even when you’re at work.
2. Better access to parenting tips and support
If you have any questions about parenting, you can always trust the internet to provide the answers. You can get answers from blogs, YouTube videos, or research articles written by parenting experts. There also exists parenting forums on the internet where you can get peer support from other parents around the world.
Here’s something you’ll like: there are online tools for verifying parenting information you get either offline or on the internet. You can learn more about double-checking the suitability of medications prescribed for your kids by a doctor. This way you ensure that your kids get the medications they need, whenever they need them, and with the accuracy that medical care demands.
3. Keeping families connected
Parents have to work and kids have to go to school. This makes face-to-face interactions in the family unit scarce and far between. Video calling technology is knitting the family unit back together by enabling parents and their kids to “meet” virtually during the day. Not even geographical boundaries can stand in the way of family unity now. Technology has also made it possible for kids to learn from home and parents to work from home. It’s now possible to be a stay-at-home mom or dad and still earn a decent income through freelancing jobs.
4. Capturing, storing, accessing, and sharing memories
Smartphones come with advanced cameras, photo editing features, and photo-sharing apps that allow you to document your kid’s life for free. What’s more, cloud storage makes it possible to store and preserve videos/photos eternally. You can access memories stored on the cloud on any device, at any time, and from anywhere on the planet. You don’t need to worry that your phone might get lost with all your valuable memories in it.
5. Quality family time
Modern gaming apps and consoles allow you to co-play video games with your kid without necessarily being in the same room. You can even play with him/her when stuck in traffic. Video games give you a chance to bond with your kid as you teach him/her good sportsmanship, gaming etiquette, and other life lessons.
Technology has also birthed video streaming services and affordable home theater equipment. You now don’t have to depend on theaters for movies; you can snuggle up with your kid in your home theater as you stream your favorite family movie.
Managing Technology for Desirable Parenting
Excessive use of tech devices can be unhealthy. Children who spend too much time watching TV or playing video games are at risk of developing behavioral and learning difficulties. Unregulated screen time can also lead to obesity due to insufficient physical exercise.
Thankfully, technology gives parents all the tools they need to monitor and regulate their kids’ screen time. You can, for example:
- Schedule screen time using a device management app. You can limit your kid’s screen time for a healthier routine (pediatricians recommend at most an hour daily for kids between 2-5 years). Once the scheduled time elapses, the device locks itself automatically.
- Monitoring device activities using a phone monitoring app. On top of limiting a kid’s screen time, it is also possible to monitor what the kid does on the internet. You get notified when the child downloads an app or joins a platform he/she shouldn’t join. That keeps the child safe from data spies, cyberbullies, and other harmful aspects of technology.
- Installing educational apps. These apps are fun and engaging. They give the kid something constructive to do as opposed to wasting time on undesirable apps.
- Multiple device control technology allows multiple caregivers to monitor what a child does on his/her device. With more eyes on the ball, there’s almost no chance of anything going wrong.
We’re living in a technology-saturated era; your child will interact with technology one way or the other with or without your approval. Taking a proactive role in the child’s tech life allows you to take charge and strike the right balance of screen time. Remember to encourage the child to exercise and socialize. Over to you, mums and dads!