Designed to connect and automate many of your regular tasks around the home, the start of Winter seemed like the ideal time to give this a spin, so I jumped at the chance.
If my understanding of the nomenclature is correct, my children are “post millennial”, or “Generation Z”, or maybe even “Generation Google” – born well into the new millennium, with parents who were probably called “Generation Y” or some nonsense like that.
Another name I regularly hear applied to children born in the 2000’s is “Digital Native”, the implication being that they are the first generation who have never known a world without the internet, social media, smartphones and all the other gubbins that implies.
Back when I first started this blog in 2011, for instance, I wrote a piece called “Baby gadgets aren’t always baby good-gets” which outlined some of my favourite gadgets for making parenting easier – and I’ve written about issues like ‘screen time’ a few times recently.
As somebody who spends half of my life sitting in front of a screen (if not multiple screens!), the topic of how much time children should spend on a computer is one that I follow quite closely – though admittedly one that is only just coming on to my own parenting radar on a personal level.
I’ve written posts in the past dealing with the issue of parents who spend too much time on their mobile phones, but I wanted to address the issue of how small children themselves are educated in the use of computers – and what you can do to help them.
Like it or loathe it, computers (and mobile devices) will be a big part of your children’s lives. If, like me, you have children of a pre-school age at the moment, by the time they get to senior school they will almost certainly be doing lessons on tablet PCs. Even now, a large proportion of schools are phasing in the use of laptops and mini-books for regular lessons – and junior/middle schools won’t be far behind.
A couple of weeks ago necessary I did a post about baby gadgets which might not be necessary (in my opinion). To even things up, I thought I should do a quick follow-up focusing on the positives – some of the baby gadgets (or STUFF) which I’d definitely recommend getting.
Obviously no gadgets or accessories are SO important that you HAVE to have them – let’s face it, cave men got by just fine without baby thermometers (though how they got by without Cbeebies is beyond me!). But living in the modern world, there are definitely things you can buy which will make your life a LOT easier. So why not treat yourself to a few time savers? Here’s some of my recommendations…
As a total gadget-loving dad, I relished parenthood as a good opportunity to stock up on new gadgets, tools, widgets and generally things with plugs on them. One of the few books I bought on the subject of parenthood was The Bloke’s Guide To Baby Gadgets – a fun read, though possibly not one I’d recommend in perspective; you can find most of the info on baby sites these days, with the benefit of comparison engines clinching it for me! But anyway, the gadgets were an exciting prospect to me.
Almost three years on, and facing the prospect of revisiting some of those purchases for a second time, I wanted to reflect on a couple of items which I now consider to be a complete waste of time. Some lovely folk on Twitter and a couple of boards I frequent also helped with some suggestions, so a big ‘thank you’ to them as well.
Obviously these opinions are all just that – opinions. You may well and possibly will disagree, but if I can save even ONE wasted purchase, it’ll have been worth it… I’m also planning to do a companion post with my “must have” purchases at a later date, but for now, here’s the no-nos… Here goes!
He could often be found in the garage with a soldering iron and circuit boards or with transistors, resistors and microchips spread out on the kitchen table. Mum loves telling me how even he built a device to listen to my heartbeat while I was in her tum. It didn’t quite look like this but it did the job apparently.
Now, 34 years after I was born and three years after he passed away following a long illness, I’m a dad.