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Challenge: Kids and Technology

5 Ways Technology Can Help You Become a Better Parent

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Image Credit: Alexander Dummer

Technology has evolved over the years. While previous generations grew up with colored televisions and dial-up modems, today's kids have smartphones and fast internet connections. Some parents are skeptical about their children's unlimited access to the internet, but a few others are incorporating it in their parenting.

A 2015 study revealed toddlers from two years and above are already capable of unlocking, swiping, and searching for features on tablets and smartphones. Several families use different online platforms to stay connected and pass their values from one generation to the next. Statistics show that 63 percent of millennials maintain the same brand loyalties as their parents.

The increasingly central nature of mobile devices and technology have changed parenting. It's left for you to decide if it's for the better or worse. But here are a few ways you can use it to become a better parent in this technologically advanced world.

1. Easy Access to the Best Parenting Books

Raising and taking care of kids is one of the hardest jobs in the world. While some might have it relatively easy, a few others struggle with parenting – whether it's their first kid or fourth. You could always use tips from others in different situations.

Luckily, there are countless parenting handbooks to assist you in taking care of your children. And thanks to the internet, you can narrow down your search to get the right books for specific occasions. Online reviews allow you to select highly-rated books and order them from the comfort of your couch. These parenting manuals are also available in multiple formats and provide you with productive strategies and examples.

2. Creating a Family Website to Stay Connected with your Family

Social media sites like Facebook and Instagram are fine for sharing photos and messages, but sometimes it could prove challenging for some family members. Not everyone likes dealing with endless pop-up ads or navigating ever-changing privacy policies.

Creating a website for your family is one of the best ways of staying connected with everyone while avoiding the pitfalls of social media. These sites serve as the perfect place to store, organize, and share family memorabilia for each generation.

Before setting out to create a family website, be sure to find a web hosting that would serve your particular needs. As the site becomes popular it should withstand the traffic load it’ll be getting from users, followers, and enthusiasts.

3. Staying Organized with Shared Calendars

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Most people would appreciate the productivity that comes from following an organized family schedule. Both stay-at-home parents and the ones that work full-time understand how crucial it is to manage time.

Technology makes it possible to use shared calendars to make sure every member of the family is in sync.

It allows you to track every PTA event, meetings, assignments, and family engagement with a single device. Apps like Evite and OpenTable help you remember every party invitation and dinner reservations once you input them in your calendar.

Everyone gets reminders about tasks and schedules, so you won't have to bother following up with them all the time. You can even get weekly notifications about future events.

4. Tracking your Child’s Location When Necessary

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Most parents sleep better, knowing they can track their children's whereabouts even if they were to switch off their phones. Knowing your kid is where they should be at a particular time offers a sense of comfort and control over their lives. Technology has made it easier for you to discover if your child made it home safely from school.

Devices with "Location tracking features" allows you to locate any member of your family using your smartphone or tablet. Most apps like Find-My-Friends and Google Maps allows family members to share their location if they need help or are stranded somewhere. You'll rest easy knowing that your child can easily reach out to you if they get in trouble.

5. Monitoring your Kid's Internet Access

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The internet is useful for lots of things, but it often distracts kids from what they should do at a particular time. Most times, it falls on the parent to regulate how much time they spend online.

Specific applications allow you to monitor the kind of sites your children spend time on or how long they use their devices. You can even view the things they download or buy online.

Gaining this information makes it easier for you to understand your kid's habits and the kind of person they're growing up to be. Monitoring your child's internet access helps you figure out how to reduce their usage of different apps.

Wrap Up

When used in the right way, technology tends to be a great parenting tool. It plays a vital role in how you raise your child in today's economy since it prepares them for a digital era. As a parent, you don't always have to feel skeptical or overwhelmed by the internet. While today's technology still has its drawbacks and negatives, it's also full of potential and promise, like our children.

This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.