Current parents are now within the first few generations of raising children in a technology-first world. That’s both an incredible and overwhelming thought. Technology often has a bad reputation when it comes to raising kids and building a family home, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There are so many technologies, apps and devices out there that can improve family life and help both yours and your kids lives.
Here’s the low down on the best family friendly tech solutions, devices and apps that can help you.
Cloud Storage Solutions
Every family needs a cloud storage provider to keep all of their online data safe. Whether it’s family holiday snaps or kids’ school work, there’s no point clogging up and slowing down your devices by taking up all of the memory space. Store them in the cloud for easy and secure access from any device, meaning the kids can access them from school and you can access them on your phone or home computer.
Most providers have multiple different price plans to choose from that offer different storage amounts, so there’ll be an amount to suit any family. Each member of the family can have their own folder full of their personal files, and files can be shared via custom access links that can be both password protected and time restricted for extra security.
We know that having a family in the digital era we live in can mean lots of amassed data. Photos and videos, for example, take up a huge amount of space on any device. That’s why we recommend cloud storage to solve any storage issues you’ll inevitably encounter as a modern day family.
Google Family Link
Family Link lets parents set controls on how their children spend time on their Android and Chromebook devices. These controls vary from setting time limits to hiding particular apps. Parent approved apps can be labeled “always allowed”, such as remote learning apps that should not count towards their daily screen time limit. Parents can also access daily, weekly and monthly reports to enable them to monitor their kids screen time habits.
What’s more, there’s now a catalog of thousands of teacher approved apps within the Family Link Android app. You can download them directly onto your kids devices.
Smart Home Appliances
Smart home appliances are slowly making their way into every household. What started with the rising popularity of Amazon’s Alexa has extended into the realms of smart heating, smart security and beyond. Devices like Amazon Alexa and Google Nest allow you to control smart home appliances such as lightbulbs and switches, TVs, play music, set timers, ask questions and much more.
Products like the C by GE Wire-Free Smart Switch allows you to place a wireless light switch anywhere in your home. For a family with young kids, this is great news. You can put the switches out of reach of your child if you want them out of their control, or put a light switch outside their nursery to control it yourself without disturbing them.
Companies like Hatch are offering products that promise to better sleep for the whole family. What family doesn’t need better sleep? Whether you’re a worn out parent with disrupted sleep or you’ve got a child who wakes at every sound, Hatch could have the tech solutions for you.
Their adult sleep product, Hatch Restore, is marketed as a “Smart Sleep Assistant”. It’s an alarm clock, lamp, sound machine and meditation app all in one. Their children’s sleep product Hatch Rest is essentially an upgraded white noise machine and night light combination. It links to your phone so that you can control it from outside of their room too.
Google Nest Thermostat is, you guessed it, a smart thermostat for your home. It allows you to control the temperature of your home from anywhere via their app and schedule the temperature at different times. You can even set it to turn down the temperature when you leave the house. It can be installed by yourself with no expensive technician’s fee, too. Also, you can allow Google to send you notifications with tips of how to save money based on your heating.
Ring Smart video doorbell offers a doorbell and home security in one. They detect motion when people come to your front door and can give off a little “ring” and notify your connected devices so that you can see, hear and speak to your visitors via the camera.
Debit Cards for Kids, Controlled by Parents
Greenlight Card is a debit card and money app for kids, managed by parents. There is just one app, but separate profiles for the parents and the kids. This allows parents to keep track of their kids spending by setting flexible controls and goals, and to pass on the valuable life skill of money management.
Kids have their own debit card and the independence that comes along with it, while parents have the peace of mind that their child cannot just run riot with all of their money. You’re able to give your kids independence while teaching them all about responsibility. You can send them money for their chores, automate their allowance and send them money instantly so they’re never left in unsafe circumstances.