What do parents want when looking for apps:
Being a parent has become a demanding, time-consuming job. Taking part and feeling pressure to excel have become standard run-of-the-mill expectations. Kids are running from Mandarin and chess classes to Kumon and Tai-Chi.
Parents are becoming more desperate for some quiet time, but are riddled with guilt when they wrestle for half an hour to fix dinner. Which is why technology is so appealing. Most of the day we fight to keep our children off devices, but when the time is right, there is nothing easier than pulling out a device, thanking the clock for being iPad-time and rushing into the kitchen to get supper started (tidying up a whirl of mess along the way).
Feedback from parents on freeing this moment from guilt and replacing it with contentment depends on these three things:
- Peace of mind: knowing that their children are engaging with educational content. There is so much junk out there, and sifting through thousands of apps and shows is overwhelming. Look for healthy technology, that is free of advertisements and in-app purchases. Clear uncluttered screens are usually a good sign. Do some research, look for awards or other stamps of approval.
- Independence: The apps or shows should allow kids to intuitively navigate their screen by themselves without parental intervention to close messages that pop up or enter passwords for in-app purchases. Apps should offer a smooth user-experience and lead the child in the right direction seamlessly.
- Sounds: By the end of the day all family members have their nerves on edge and are suffering from sensorial overloads. Go for apps that have soothing sounds and don’t add to supper-time frazzles.
Good places for look for educational apps are here and for proven educational shows we recommend Blues Clues and Sesame Street.
It’s easy to relax and enjoy some quiet time cooking when we have peace of mind that our children are happily engaging with healthy technology, learning new concepts, practicing fine-motor skills, becoming comfortable with technology, and feeling empowered at being able to navigate independently instead of just watching brain-numbing, digital junk.
So, spend a few minutes researching healthy technology and you’ll benefit from peace of mind and guilt-free device time in the long run.