Smart Parenting: What Is It And How Will It Help Me This Year?
By Priya Rajendran, CEO & Co-Founder of S’moresUp (smoresup.com), your partner in Smart Parenting.
Parents are in constant competition against technology for our kids’ attention. Things like video games, social media, and Netflix all woo our kids away from their homework and family dinner time. Now, with 5G technology coming at us fast, our kids will be pulled away from us and into the virtual and digital world even more.
Yet tech also makes our lives more convenient thanks to apps that keep us organized, productive, and healthy, encouraging us to eat healthier through food and meal kit subscription apps, and meditating. And now, our increasingly interconnected world is creating something called ‘Smart Parenting.’
Family management apps are making our lives easier, and less and less parents are relying on things like dry erase boards, printable charts, markers and stickers to manage our kid’s chores and daily schedule.
But it’s even going further; Parents now have data at their fingertips — data that can help figure out how your kids are doing long term. How well they’re developing key life skills, how well they’re doing in taking care of themselves, how healthy they are and, where they might need some help. Everything in your life is heading into a place of interconnectedness, and will work seamlessly with technology. This is called “Smart Parenting”.
What will “Smart Parenting” look like? Consider this:
#1 Parents have more unfettered access to tracking their kids for safety
More data will mean that you’ll have more information about where your kids are, how fast they are driving, and who they’re with, at any hour of the day. While this may scare the living daylights out of your rebellious teen, it will give you peace of mind knowing that if your child ever needs help, you can be there in a heartbeat thanks to connected devices and modern mobile technology.
#2 You’ll be able to let your appliances assign chores to your kids
Your home appliances are getting smarter. My app, SmoresUp, just partnered with Home Connect technology, to allow household appliances like Bosch’s to assign kids chores automatically. For example, when the dishwasher finishes a cycle, your dishwasher assigns “unload the dishes” to one of the kids, along with a deadline and a reward (S’mores) once finished. Can you imagine the dishwasher or washer/drier or your smart trash can assigning your kids their chores every day AND keeping track of when they finished? No more nagging! But more importantly, with apps, parents can keep track of long term habits of their kids, and how well they’re learning critical life skills that you’re teaching them.
#3 You’re always in tune with your kid’s health statistics
When the baby comes, you’re putting her in a Snoo, which rocks her to sleep based on her movement, and delivers information on her movement to your phone. Or you might use a Nanit, which gives you sleeping data, and, through visual sensors, helps make sure she is always okay, by tracking her breathing while she sleeps, with both spitting out data into your phone on sleep patterns. When they’re older you can get them a fitbit, and collect things like sleep, activity, and heart rate patterns for your data archives. In a few years, this data would likely go straight to your child’s pediatrician, who can track her health and wellness from her office across town.
#4 You never have to miss out on a school orientation or soccer game
With 5G being rolled out this year, you can be in many places at the same time: at home taking care of your newborn and at the same time running from one classroom to another on your older one’s school middle school orientation. You can be out on a business trip and watch your kid score her first goal in her little league; you can be coaching your kid’s tennis lessons and getting feedback from an expert halfway across the world, live and in real time. Yes, all those things that you used to see on futuristic TV ads are all becoming a reality, this year.
In this new decade when AI, 5G, autonomous cars, wearables and chore-assigning appliances, tech is finally tuning in to what parents truly need and what problems they face. Smart Parenting is here to stay.
Author Priya Rajendran is a developer and “Silicon Valley tech mom” who’s created S’moresUp [smoresup.com] your partner in “Smart Parenting”. It’s a calendaring system that lets you beam pick up times, it allows you to manage and monitor routines and chores between both households, and lets you communicate with your other family members safely and privately and now lets you have your kitchen appliances assign chores to your kids. She’s a technology veteran who lead the team that built Paypal’s Wallet.