While parenting can be one of the most amazing experiences in life, there’s no denying that it’s one of the most challenging as well — and the general perception is that this task is becoming harder each day. Recent research shows that most young parents in the United States (66%) say that parenting is harder today than it was 20 years ago, with many in this group citing technology as a reason why.
However, technology can also be a strong ally for parents everywhere: a recent report shows that, by 2024, close to 78 million homes, or 53%, in North America, will be smart. Smart tech devices, from security cameras to voice assistants, can work as an aid to help keep children both safe and comfortable at home, something that is a tremendous relief for parents everywhere.
Can your smart home be smart enough to make parenting easier? We believe so — and if you are not using your smart devices to their fullest potential, here are five tips for how to start:
1) Increase their comfort.
A smart home can provide all kinds of tools to enhance your family’s comfort, but one that can be most helpful is controlling your home’s temperature. When you have kids, making sure they are not too cold or hot while playing, studying, or sleeping is a must.
ecobee’s smart thermostats make it a breeze to monitor and manage your home’s temperature, so you have one less thing to stress about. Pairing your smart thermostat with SmartSensor is a game-changer: simply place one in the kids’ nursery, bedroom, or playroom, and it will set the temperature for comfort there. SmartSensor manages the hot or cold spots for enhanced comfort, and the best part is that it learns your routine to adjust your temperature as you like it. Plus, you can control the temperature on your phone.
My wife and I like to make sure our daughters are as comfortable as possible overnight, so we put SmartSensors in their rooms.
2) Monitor their safety.
Keeping an eye on little ones all the time can be a challenge. However, it’s easier when you have the right tools available. With ecobee SmartCamera with voice control, you can watch your kids from anywhere, starting from their crib. With the press of a button, SmartCamera can be transformed into a dedicated baby monitor for their first months. The device’s night vision and control through the app are perfect for parents to do one last check of the nursery without waking baby.
If your kids are older, you can place the camera in their most used rooms and check on them while you are at work or simply in another part of the house. The camera’s Smart Focus feature recognizes when a person enters the frame and adjusts to keep them front and center as they move, giving you the full picture. Plus, you can talk to them through it to let them know you are always around.
Another device that can increase help protect them is SmartSensor for doors and windows. Just place them on doors and windows to get notified when they are opened.1 Use them on your main entrances, exits, or on cabinets you want to make sure are inaccessible, like medicine cabinets.
Every parent knows that when kids are too quiet, it’s always a good idea to check on them. It’s great that I can do this through an app.
3) Help them connect (and learn).
Recent research shows that 36% of parents of children aged 11 or younger say that their child interacts with a voice-activated assistant such as Apple’s Siri or Amazon Alexa. One of their main uses? Requesting information like “Alexa, help me with my math homework!”
If you have a child and a voice assistant, you’ve probably heard them asking these types of questions. Kids love to give voice commands, and while they can ask questions like what’s the capital of Belgium or the first numbers of Pi, the real benefit is for the adults. If you are a parent, it’s great to know you can trust voice devices that are child-friendly in their answers. It’s also great to know that you can rely on the same devices to organize your routine, from making grocery shopping lists to setting a reminder for the kids’ sports tournament.
ecobee SmartThermostat with voice control comes with your choice of Siri2 or Alexa. It’s easy to set up, and you can do everything hands-free. Don’t forget that you can use your SmartThermostat to send intercom messages to a HomePod mini or Alexa device in another room or throughout the house. Just say “Hey Siri, announce ‘Kids, the movie is starting’” or “Alexa, announce ‘It’s dinnertime.’”
4) Have fun with them!
A smart home is not smart enough if you can’t have a bit of fun. You and the little ones can listen to your favourite playlists on your thermostat with Spotify Connect and Amazon Music. Stream to a Bluetooth speaker for high-fidelity sound.3
Plus, don’t forget to use SmartCamera to capture the best moments of your kids. While the days are long, the years go by fast. Cherish the little moments you capture on video, and you can even start a tradition of making monthly mini clips to amuse your family and bond with them.
While technology can sometimes be overwhelming, there are so many reasons to embrace it. Raising children was never easy; however, having assistance that you can count on with a simple voice command or touch of a button can make a world of difference...or, at least, help your day run smoother. Enjoy your connected smart home and how it can help make your kids more comfortable, safer, and happier.
1 Smart Security plan required.
2 Apple HomePod or HomePod mini required to enable Siri.
3 Bluetooth pairing available when Alexa voice assistant enabled.
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