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Parenting is inherently wrought with challenges, and many believe that the unprecedented rise of gadgets and gizmos, and the internet, render parenting more strained than ever.
While the challenges will remain, there has been a significant crack in the belief that technology is detrimental for children. Guidelines for responsible use of technology are being formulated at schools, concept of digital mentoring is being encouraged, and parents realize that raising children in the digital age should not be done in fear or with apprehension but by modeling healthy digital usage.
What is also noteworthy is how technology has made several parenting woes a thing of the past, at the same time it has brought some new concerns to be worried about. Parents find themselves leveraging technology to engage more with their children, be more experimental toward teaching their kids new skill sets, and what’s more, are able to grab a coffee when you least expect it. Read on to know how.
Video monitoring and streaming
A cursory glance at the baby video monitor to see your baby still in deep slumber is a moment of nirvana for every mom. A reason to make herself another cup of coffee, finish another chapter of a book or even run another load of laundry. The global baby monitor market was estimated to be USD 929.4 million in 2016, out of which the revenue for audio and video monitors are 50.6%. Real-time communication between child and parent seems to be the key driver for high adaption of this technology. Baby monitors have been around for a while but the recent versions that stream on your phones and have motion detection provide a sense of security and peace of mind unfathomable before. Definitely a popular choice for parents who spend time away from home or in need of some ‘me-time’ while at home with kids.
If you have been reading our ‘I, Alexa’ (and other voice-enabled devices) series, you already know these AI-enabled devices are here to stay. No more worrying about scratched music cds that have seen rough handling by children eager to use them as flying saucers. Alexa will play music peppy enough to get the kids dancing indoors. Meaningful conversation about football teams between your child and Google’s HomePod? Yes, please. Want a giggle? Try asking some knock knock jokes to Siri. While these devices have raised concerns about etiquette and mannerism around a machine, with some mindful parenting, children and parents are learning to accept these machines as a fun and interactive part of life.
As social media became a place to congregate virtually, more and more parents found it easier to make friends, express emotional pleas previously written only in personal diaries and seek support from people across the globe. And it is this virtue of social media that helped tackle everyday parenting woes like choosing the best diaper rash cream to coming out of the closet and talking about postpartum depression. Fretting over a parenting problem is being replaced with using social media to express concern or post a query only to be pleasantly flooded with suggestions, virtual hugs and recommendations in return. Brag posts, vent posts and picture perfect parenting snapshots do make social media a slippery slope in many ways, but it has become an extension of us nonetheless. Trust us, ‘#momfails’ and ‘#toddlertrouble’ are here to stay.
Language learning apps
Repetition and continued exposure to language are two important factors in learning a language. So when a wave of e-learning language apps, equipped with both these attributes, as well as an interactive platform, surfaced in the digital world, it found many takers. More and more parents want to expose children to new languages from a young age and find great options among a gamut of language apps for children. Through these apps, parents have the option to conveniently and affordably introduce their children to learning different languages in a fun and interactive way, which previously was a laborious task. Read our story about some popular language learning apps if you are looking for a start in that direction.
Shikha Das Shankar is a storyteller. Multitasking dragon slayer mom. Happy hiker. When not writing, she loves hiking with her favorite trio—the son, the daughter and the husband or cooking her favorite foods in her de-stressing zone, the kitchen.