In 2018 there are many ways raising children as a single parent can be made easier with technology. From keeping track of where your kids are, to keeping your household running smoothly, here are some of the best uses of technology for single parents, allowing you to harness modern tech’s power for good to help with post-separation co-parenting and general day to day living.
Organising your home life
The Internet of Things has been hotting up over the past few years and there’s increasing home automation across many areas of our lives: whether it’s lights, doorbells, appliances, thermostats, clocks, window and blinds, hot water systems, even things like automated pet feeders. Many gadgets and appliances can be controlled remotely from your smartphone, while other smart home technologies utilise smart assistants like Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant or Cortana. Apart from controlling light, temperature, and security features around the house, smart assistants can take and make phone calls, play music, set reminders, and even help the kids with their homework.
Keeping tabs on where your kids are
Many of our kids now have smartphones, making keeping track of where they are at any time much easier. But for those who don’t, there’s also wearable GPS trackers and other devices which can give parents peace of mind by providing updates on the kids’ location and making communicating with them very easy, while limiting who they are able to communicate with. There are many different types to suit all budgets and requirements. But with most, you can send your kids messages or updates about schedules and arrangements, while your children can make calls to you and to other pre-determined numbers, including emergency, with just the touch of a button. Parents can also set up geo-fences around defined areas, such as the kids’ school, so that they’re sent an alert if the child leaves the area.
Check out: https://moochies.com/
Home security is an area which really demonstrates the value of technology for single parents. You can control the security inside and outside your home, with doorbell monitors and video doorbells as well as smart home security systems which allow you to see what’s going on around your house even when you’re not there. Video doorbells are especially great so that kids can see who is at the door and not open it to strangers or unwanted visitors. Many of the options are very cheap, too, or you can go with more fully-featured options which include such features as motion-tracking to follow a person around the room, event-triggered video recording, full colour night vision video, and automatic uploading to the cloud. Using smart home technology you can also set lights and music to go on or off according to a timer, which is useful when you don’t want your house to seem empty.
From robot vacuums to smart garden sprinkler controllers to leak sensors that identify plumbing issues, there are many products on the market these days that can make home maintenance easy as well as help you avoid costly repairs by nipping potential issues in the bud. The perfect technology for single parents who may not be confident in all aspects of traditional home maintenance.
Getting help with errands
In the past you may have relied on your spouse to take care of all the little things that need doing around the house. But as a single parent, you may find yourself overwhelmed with keeping up with all the odd jobs on your own as well as raising your kids and maintaining a career. So it makes sense to outsource the little jobs and errands to others—whether it’s wall-mounting a telly, having your lawns mowed, or even having your grocery shopping done for you. Apps like Airtasker make it very easy these days to schedule all kinds of help and get any kind of task done that you can possibly think of–truly a great use of technology for single parents.
Check out: https://www.airtasker.com/
Helping you have a social life again
Maybe you’ve started dated again, or maybe you have moved to a new neighbourhood and are keen to join in local kid-free activities to get your social life going again. For whatever reason you need a babysitter, these days there are apps which can make finding the right person in your area a breeze. Searching for a trusted candidate is easy, because you can filter out candidates according to your specific needs. You can search for particular skills, experience or qualifications, particular types of care (perhaps you have a special needs child, you need a permanent night nanny, or you simply need a reliable, ad hoc babysitter), all while resting assured that your sitter is fully screened and reference-checked, has had police checks, and is trained in First Aid.
Ensuring online safety for your children
Many of us worry about our kids’ use of the internet, and while nothing can replace a relationship built on trust, it’s helpful to know there are numerous ways to enlist the power of technology to monitor your child’s internet usage. With online bullying such a problem these days, and social media use prolific among youngsters today, parents can utilise various techniques to ensure their kids aren’t viewing inappropriate content or interacting with dubious characters. Tracking their children’s online behaviour can help empower single parents and ensure their kids’ online safety.
For tips, check out: http://www.techaddiction.ca/monitor-internet-activity.html
Coordinating family plans
When co-parenting is tricky, and it’s difficult to communicate with your ex, using an online calendar can be extremely helpful to coordinate schedules and sync arrangements for changeovers, visits, holidays and so on. The family calendar can also often be shared with the kids on their devices, so everyone is in the loop at all times.
If you need family law advice in relation to a parenting matter, please contact Canberra family lawyer Cristina Huesch here at Alliance Legal Services on (02) 6223 2400. Your first conference is free.
Please note our blogs are not legal advice. For information on how to obtain the correct legal advice, please contact Alliance Legal Services.