What role does technology play in parenting?...

mom2many

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Jul 3, 2008
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With so much technology out there, parents often find themselves turning to the computer and other gadgets for help. I know for me, it can be a life saver.

If one of my kids is sick, all I have to do is put the symptoms in the search bar and within minutes I will have a possible answer. If I need an answer to a parenting question, I login to a forum and hundreds, if not thousands, of parents are willing to help me resolve whatever pressing issue I might have. As a homeschooler computers play a huge role in our household. They are not only for entertainment, but for education as well. Although, I have to admit that my kids would prefer it be used more for entertainment purposes and less for education.

This has led me to wonder what role technology plays in parenting and where other parents see technology going in the future. How do computers, smartphones, tablets, and other devices fit into your parenting? What kinds of tech are most useful to you, and what situations do you rely on technology most?
 

Dadu2004

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May 16, 2008
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As a technology enthusiast (it's my career), I can' t imagine my life without it. I always have my smartphone on me...I go nowhere without some connection to the outside world. Even when I go camping, I have my laptop and a broadband card.

Technology can be great in many aspects. My daughter has an MP3 player, a Nintendo DSi, plays games on the computer, plays games on the Wii, etc. It can be a wonderful teaching tool as it opens up a world of endless knowledge. Wanna see what Africa looks like? Use Google Maps! It can be great in parenting because we can look up illnesses, get advice from other parents, and teach our kids about anything our imaginations can guide us to.

At the same time, everything in moderation... There's no way that I trust everything on the internet. There's way too many dangers out there that parents have to be conscience of. The internet has opened a new way for kids to be subject to those who will take advantage of them. It's our job to be aware, educate, and know what's going on.
 

EBarry

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Feb 27, 2012
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Typically, a Google search seems like the most common form of searching for information/diagnosis. In fact, now if you start typing in symptoms into Google it will automatically draw results from website before you even have to click on them. However, over the past couple years it doesn't seem like there have been many developments in diagnostic devices to use at home. Parents typically only still use a thermometer. Google searches are great when you know exactly what is wrong, but how can you really tell the difference between different types of rashes, etc.

I have been following a company called Scanadu that is building a medical "Tricorder" that is an all-in-one diagnostic tool using the processing power of your smartphone and a portable attachment. They seem to be targeting parents with young children. There is a really great video on their website with a demo of what it might be able to do (www.scanadu.com)

They have posted a survey on their Twitter account for parents with children under 18. They are using the results to help with the development of their first product. A link can be found below and they encourage people to spread the word so I figured I should post it here.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dGt2QWZwTXhJYlpoVm9fQ2F3RXdmb2c6MQ[/url]
 

IADad

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Feb 23, 2009
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I love using it like dadu said, to really launch those teachable moments, when you're having a conversation in the car about why the sky is blue...or where does the sun go at night, you don't have to wait and then remember to get a book...it can really fuel that curiosity.

I never thought I needed or wanted a smartphone unti I got one, and now I'd rather lose body parts than lose it.

Of course it's a nice way to get opinions, like here, from other parents and the annonymity can be good when you have a really stupid question...
 

Incogneato

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Feb 9, 2011
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The most commonly used technology I use would have to be the Internet...more specifically search engines. I use them to gather information about many things. One search lead me to this forum, which was a way for me to find advice and read experiences of others as parents. I often use it to look up growth and development milestones, medical issues and questions, and to purchase many things child related.

I also use my Tablet as a learning tool and entertainment for our DS by downloading infant/toddler apps and letting him touch and play with the screen.
 

mom2many

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Jul 3, 2008
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So if you had to pick on device, which one would it be.

I love my iphone, life without that would make me very, very sad LOL
 

RaisingAPrince

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Feb 27, 2012
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We don't do the whole gaming thing, thankfully my husband isn't even into it, but we did purchase a Leapfrog Leappad Tablet. We got it for our upcoming trip but of course gave it to our son early. He absolutely loves it and all the games/apps are educational. Technology really does rule the world these days, but I'm hoping to encourage my child to go outside and play as opposed to sit in front of a computer or tv. However, we all know it's going to happen either way!
 

bssage

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Oct 20, 2008
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If I had to choose only one to keep it would be my desktop. All the other one's have failed at one time or another. I dont like to, but can wait till I get home to look stuff up. I have found it to be the garage of our time. I filled up my 500 gig with stuff I thought I should keep. Now working on filling up my 2 terabyte. And I rarely pull stuff from these sources. Just clutter really.

A lot of talk about games and kids. Most if not all games (even the bad one's) are really at their base puzzles and makes us think.

Cole would still rather do something with me than play a game. Cant blame him I am a pretty fun guy.

But even with Chloe on her Ipad. Its nice as a parent to be able to take a break now and then with the kids safely occupied.

I use the Wiki and goggle almost daily. Infact I just looked up leap year this morning because we were talking about why there are leap years. (To catch up with the astronomical or seasonal calendars)

I really like the school links. They are especially cool because I travel all the time and I can keep track of grades before the become a problem.
 

mom2many

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Jul 3, 2008
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bssage said:
If I had to choose only one to keep it would be my desktop. All the other one's have failed at one time or another. I dont like to, but can wait till I get home to look stuff up. I have found it to be the garage of our time. I filled up my 500 gig with stuff I thought I should keep. Now working on filling up my 2 terabyte. And I rarely pull stuff from these sources. Just clutter really.

A lot of talk about games and kids. Most if not all games (even the bad one's) are really at their base puzzles and makes us think.

Cole would still rather do something with me than play a game. Cant blame him I am a pretty fun guy.

But even with Chloe on her Ipad. Its nice as a parent to be able to take a break now and then with the kids safely occupied.

I use the Wiki and goggle almost daily. Infact I just looked up leap year this morning because we were talking about why there are leap years. (To catch up with the astronomical or seasonal calendars)

I really like the school links. They are especially cool because I travel all the time and I can keep track of grades before the become a problem.

I have to agree, it's nice not to have to wait for a report card to see that a child is struggling.
 

IADad

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Feb 23, 2009
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To pick one device....? Yeah, my smartphone...(Galaxy S II - smartphone of the year...;-)
 

Melon Mimelina

Junior Member
Mar 2, 2012
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Hi all,

My name is Milena and I work for a company that specializes in the field of applications development. As you are talking about technology and parenting i want to introduce to your attention one of our latest developments - Baby Monitor tool, which is simply an application that you install on your smartphone and so you know if your baby makes a noise every single minute.

I truly believe it is a good one, as it has been developed by parents and for parents.

You can find it in the official Nokia's store here:

http://store.ovi.com/content/256945?clickSource=search&pos=2[/url]

for now it has a free version so that you can try.

Please let me know if you have any questions or would like to share your experience with such products

thank you


Milena S

e: msamardzhieva@melontech.com
w: melonmobile.com
 

Melon Mimelina

Junior Member
Mar 2, 2012
4
0
0
Hi all,

My name is Milena and I work for a company that specializes in the field of applications development. As you are talking about technology and parenting i want to introduce to your attention one of our latest developments - Baby Monitor tool, which is simply an application that you install on your smartphone and so you know if your baby makes a noise every single minute.

I truly believe it is a good one, as it has been developed by parents and for parents.

You can find it in the official Nokia's store here:

http://store.ovi.com/content/256945?...e=search&pos=2

for now it has a free version so that you can try.

Please let me know if you have any questions or would like to share your experience with such products

thank you


Milena S

e: msamardzhieva@melontech.com
w: melonmobile.com
 

Fatherfirsttime

Junior Member
Mar 3, 2012
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I would have to say technology has its good and bad points. From the parenting aspects it has many benefits. It is great to be able to google a rash, and be able to get a pretty accurate idea if you need to take your child to the E.R., or just put some oitment on it and send them back outside to play. Many times technology has saved my family from costly doctor visits or given information that I couldn't find from firends.

On the downside, I worry very much that technology is helping create a more lazy world for our kids. When I was young, if I wanted to be entertained, I went down the street and got a few friends and went to build a fort and played all day. The was no such thing as PSPs and by no means did every room have a TV. I look at my house now, I have 6 TV's my 10 year old son has a WII, PSP, TV, DVD player, Cellphone all in his room. Now I know it is not his fault he has it all, but it is funny in my head how even though these things were alien to me as a kid his age, it is very "normal nowadays. The other day the power was ouit on our block due to a wreck. My son was inside bored, and I told him to go outside and build a fort or climb a tree. Things I loved to do when I was young. He looked to me as if I just asked him to write the scientific equation for determining the gravitational pull of the sun on Mars. He has no idea what it is to go outside and play. And I have left this happen. Because I guess the same as my parents, as long as I was occupied everything was ok. But is the occupation they see now as beneficial as my time, or vice versa. I can't believe that sitting around all day playing games that are based on transforming balls that turn into dragons will give a life lesson like going outside and stratagizing with friends on how to get wood up a tree and build a fort.

As ong as parents don't ose grasp of what their children are doing and for how long with current technology it is ok. But for the majority of the US, I think it is helping to ruin us.
 

cybele

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Feb 27, 2012
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I find technology is a huge luxury, but not a necessity.

Were not a wealthy family, we have one computer, I have one of those fancy touch screen smartphones, its 2 years old and my 17yr old saved up for a new one and gave me her old one, so she has a smartphone, as does my 15yr old, who also paid for his himself.

We have two televisions, an old tube with a cheap digital conversation box in our bedroom, and a newer, 20 inch flatscreen in the lounge. We have a wii, and a gamecube and Lux and Sunny share a DS, but thats it for gaming consoles. They got the DS a few years ago, theyre not too interested in it anymore, I see it out maybe once a week.

My kids really arent the technology kind of kids, I guess thats just because we dont have the means to acquire these things. When I crunch the numbers, we probably could get some more TVs, and gaming consoles, and fancy phones or laptops, but it would be at the expense of Lux's horse riding lessons, Sasha's swimming lessons, Sunny's gymnastics classes, Azriel's music lessons and Dita's yoga classes. And I know what id rather them to be doing.

We do rely on technology, its quite funny to me, Dita is currently in her last year of high school, so were looking into universities and she's applying, all of which is done online now. She has taken a "virtual tour" of one of the universities she wants to apply for, ahead of actually going there to see it on an open day. Dita and Azriel's high school are talking about e-readers instead of textbooks for next year (by then Azriel and Sunny will both be there) so I think we may have to invest in some e-readers (which will be DH's field, he's a librarian so thats his thing to work out)

And of course, I was dumbstruck when Lux demonstrated to me that she has no idea how to use an encyclopedia. That was our only way of research when I was in school.

Edited to add: My four oldest all have mp3 players and docking stations, and my 4yr old has a little green CD player. Its not uncommon in my household for there to be 5 different songs all blasting at one time. From this I have learned that Firework by Katy Perry can overpower even the likes of Metallica. Go figure.
 
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mommymaggie

Junior Member
Mar 12, 2012
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Technology is here and it's only going to become more embedded in our kids lives as technology becomes more and more advanced.

My two year old figured out how to unlock my "smart" phone and called one of my friends. It wasn't till I heard a voice on the other side did I realize she actually dialed out!

There are various educational apps for the Kindle Fire I LOVE and that keep my daughter occupied for enough time that it allows me to do dishes, laundry, write this post on a forum....
Some of them she figures out how to use before I do!

The one piece of technology we do use nor will ever is a TV - I think that they zap brain cells.
If my daughter wants to watch a show she has to ask me and then I'll put it on the Kindle. Although - she does now know how to scroll through the videos, games and even access netflix on her own (which can be scary...)
*Warning to parents who have the Kindle - my daughter figured out how to order an entire season of Blue's Clues (it's easy one click). It wasn't until I looked at my email that I saw the order confirmation.

I think technology can be an awesome tool that will only make our children's lives better, especially by taking advantage of the educational resources that are now available.

Cheers!
Maggie
My Pampered Child
<I>Because they are only young once!</I>
 

IADad

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Feb 23, 2009
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I don't understand why TV is worse than streaming any given show on a device? I do get that TV does sort of succker you in. How many of us haven't set down to watch one show and 3 shows later found oursleves questioning, "what the heck am I doing." That being said, I credit television with making it possible for me to earn at least two classes worth of college credit. So, my overll view is balance, I'm just trying to maintain some kind of balance both for myself and my kids.
 

mommymaggie

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Mar 12, 2012
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Hi IADad-

The main reason why I feel that the TV is a brain rotter is unlike videos that are streaming netflix, TV has commercials - lots of them that have an influence on my toddler daughter. I can control what videos she watches, but I can't control what advertisers place during shows on nick jr such as Dora the explorer.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE videos for the fact that I can get stuff done -

Also, another BIG reason why we don't have TV is the price of cable - for what we would spend on cable, my daughter goes to Gymboree (a better activity than zoning out in front of a screen). We stream every show she wants anyway a TV would just mean an added expensive, and as a single mom - I need every penny I can get! :)

Cheers!
Maggie,
My Pampered Child
 

cybele

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Do you not have free to air in the US?

(not a criticism, an honest question, we dont have cable either, but we still habe tv...)
 

mommymaggie

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Mar 12, 2012
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At least here in Seattle, you might barely get a couple of channels without cable. They do have basic cable, but they don't have the premium shows that my daughter likes to watch like Dora and Diego.

The other thing that we like about streaming is that it's on our schedule. She can watch Dinosaur Train - anytime not just when it's on PBS