Raising families in today’s technology-driven society can be daunting. We hear tales of cyberbullying, sexting, identity theft, and child predators that can leave us questioning if our devices deserve a place in our family life. While the threats posed are real, we can’t rule out the many positives technology brings to the table.
With intentional choices and smart decisions, we can use technology’s power to connect and strengthen our families in ways that were impossible a decade ago. It is estimated that 91 percent of parents are signed onto social media networks and are actively harnessing the digital age. While it’s nice to unwind with a game of Trivia Crack, many parents are realizing that technology is a convenient method to stay involved with children and family members.
Ten Hacks For Using Technology To Benefit Families
Juggling the demands of raising children, work, and grown up responsibilities is not easy. The more directions we are pulled, the weaker our family bonds might become. It’s important for busy parents to work smarter, not harder. Listed below are ten suggestions to help harness technology and take advantage of the connections available to strengthen family ties.
Take advantage of the plethora of educational resources to avoid nightly homework meltdowns. There will be times in a child’s educational career that parents don’t understand the assignments given at school. If you have forgotten how to find composite numbers or graph linear equations, don’t let the stress wreak havoc on the family. Look for educational tutorials that explain the subject to make your nights and weekends a lot more pleasant.
Coordinate schedules and activities with a convenient master calendar. Forgetting carpool dates or snack schedules will be a thing of the past. By keeping a digital calendar, like Cozi, you will be able to access it with your phone, computer, or tablet anytime and anyplace.
Use texting or messaging apps to touch base with family members. Remember pay phones? Unfortunately, these are rare finds in today’s modern cities and checking in with family can be difficult. Keep tabs by simply sending a text!
Save time and money by utilizing blogs, online coupons, and budgeting sites. Let other people do the hard work for you and utilize their grocery shopping lists and coupon match ups.
Have fun. It’s important to enjoy family. Challenge them to play an online game or send them a funny meme if you know a child or parent will enjoy it. Look for ways to interact on a personal level and encourage authentic communication. Song Pop and Candy Crush are a few fun ones to try.
Introduce senior family members to technology. Embrace the power of social media and teach older relatives how to safely use today’s devices. By introducing them to smartphones, social media, or text messaging you are bridging the generation gap by encouraging easy and fast interactions.
Take advantage of meal planning and freezer cooking sites to help you reclaim family dinners. Avoid take out and plan ahead to provide a nutritious meal at home. It will relieve a lot of stress knowing what’s for dinner.
Instruct family members about social media etiquette. We live in a digital society and our children need to understand how to tap screens and log onto the Internet safely.
Install WhatsApp to connect with extended family members. This cheap app (free the first year and then costs 99 cents annually) allows you to chat, text, send media messages, and touch base without using expensive cell phone minutes. The way this app is programmed even bypasses expensive international fees! All you need is an Internet connection or available data to enjoy free instant communication.
Monitor children’s activity on social media, cell phones, and the Internet. Data shows that 70 percent of teens acknowledge they hide their online activity from parents. It’s important to know what our kids are exposed to or how they maintain their digital presence. Know a child’s digital activity, usernames, passwords, and apps they use to keep them safely connected.
Technology doesn’t have to be the bad guy in our family lives. If used correctly it can be the ties that allow us to connect. Instant messaging and social medias offer us unlimited opportunities to strengthen family communication. Parents need to rise to today’s digital atmosphere and challenge ourselves to use technology to better our lives.
What is one thing you do to use technology to encourage family communication?
Born and raised in Austin, TX, Hilary Smith is a free-lance journalist whose love of gadgets, technology and business has no bounds. After becoming a parent she now enjoys writing about family and parenting related topics.
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