Using Your Smartphone to Connect With Your Children

You don’t have to read the internet for too long before you come across an article that’s talking about the evils of the smartphone. They say that’s it disconnecting people from one another, or messing with children’s brains, or making us dumber, and so on. Like most articles, there’s a degree of truth in what they say, but they miss the mark somewhat. A simpler way to put it is this: a smartphone is a tool, and like all tools, it’s how you use it that matters, not the tool itself. If you use it properly, it can be a tool for bringing together a parent and their children, as we’ll see below. If you’re a parent, take a read. We’ve put together four ways you can bridge the gap between yourself and your little one.

Making Videos

A smartphone is about much more than watching videos on YouTube! Indeed, it’s about much more than just the applications that it can install. Let’s not forget that if you’ve got a modern phone, then you’ve probably got a camera that has more quality than you would think impossible just a few years ago. And this means you’ve got the perfect tool for making fun videos and photoshoots! Next time it’s a rainy day, use your phone to shoot the next big motion picture hit (well, that’s the idea!). You’ll love seeing your kids all creative, and so will they.

Staying in Touch

Though the phone can do some incredible things, the main purpose is to make it easy for people to stay in touch with each other. Now, it’s unlikely that your kids are going to spend long hours texting you when they could be texting their friends, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a digital conversation. But you should speak their language. Download the JoMojis app to your phone, and you’ll be able to send them fun emojis and stickers, whatever the occasion! It’s a fun way to stay in touch, one that they’ll appreciate.

Social Media Accounts

We give a lot of ourselves over to our social media accounts. It’s a reflection of who we are, or who we want to be! So why not join the great conversation, and connect with your kids that way? Of course, this only applies if your children are old enough to have social media accounts. You’ll gain an insight into their lives and learn what causes they’re passionate about.

Playing Games

Games have become big business on smartphones. Everyone’s got their game of choice! But instead of competing against yourself and other strangers, why not compete against your child? Some games were just made for friendly – or not so friendly – competition. If you want to make sure they’re learning at the same time, pick a game like Words With Friends, which is much more addictive and competitive than you might initially realize.

Managed properly, your phone can be a tool to get to know your children better. They’re everywhere in society anyway, you may as well put them to good use!

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

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How To Stay Entertained On A Long Flight

Flights aren’t exactly the most enjoyable experiences – even for those of us who love to travel, and this is especially true of long-haul flights.

Flying is definitely something you’d call a means to an end, but that doesn’t mean it has to be completely miserable.

Although airlines are trying somewhat to provide options for on-board entertainment, such as in-flight movies, the selection can be pretty dire, and if you’re someone who travels a lot, then there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll have seen the same movie one or more times.

In this post, we’re going to share with you some tips for keeping yourself entertained on a long flight so that the time passes a bit quicker

Bring your own movies:

Nowadays more and more people are doing this on flights and with most tablets and even some laptops not much bigger than the screens on airplane tvs, then it’s easier than ever to do, and this way you get to choose exactly what you watch. You can watch movies that you’ve already purchased from places like the iTunes store, or you can even use the download feature on streaming services like Netflix so that you can watch movies right from the Netflix app even when you don’t have an internet connection. If you’re traveling internationally, then you’ll want to have a look online to see Which shows are available on US Netflix so you can download them before you leave the country and continue watching them on the way back since they may not be available in each country, but once you’ve downloaded them they’ll be available regardless of your location.

Load up on music or podcasts:

If you’re not a movie or TV person, then you can still keep yourself entertained with great music and even podcasts on many different topics. There are so many podcasts to choose from that there’s no way you could ever run out of material during your flight. Podcasts can be downloaded to your phone or tablet so even if you have no internet connection on your flight, then you can still listen to them.

Get some work done:

Do you want to pass some time and be productive at the same time? Then if you have work you could be doing, being on a flight is probably the ideal time to knuckle down and get it done. Not only will you pass time and be able to fully focus, but it means once you land you can be totally ready to relax or even sleep if you need to.

Bring a good book:

Books aren’t going anywhere, and nor should they. You can easily find yourself lost in a great book for hours and not even realize how much time has passed, so if you have a long flight coming up, then now could be a good time to treat yourself to a new book that can keep you entertained during your long flight, and one of the best things about books is that, unlike tablets or phones, you never have to worry about it running out of battery or not working correctly due to lack of internet connection.

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

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Teens More Likely to Learn Distracted Driving Behavior From Their Parents

As parents we know that our kids are always watching. They notice our behaviors and actions when we least expect it and often reflect back what we do in their own actions.

In a recent study of more than 1,500 teens conducted by Texas A&M University and Aceable Drivers Ed, researchers found that teenagers are more likely to witness their parents engaging in distracted driving behavior than their peers. It’s often assumed that the generation who grew up with cell phones from a young age are the worst offenders when when it comes to poor driving habits when, in reality, they report their friends and peers engaging in fewer instances of distracted driving than their parents.

Modeling good behavior for our kids starts at home. This is why it’s so important for parents to set a great example around safe driving habits. Driving is a huge responsibility and we want our kids to be as safe as possible on the road. Here are a few easy tips to get started so you can set the right example, and become a safer driver yourself:

  • Put your phone in the glovebox while driving
  • Pull over to a complete stop if you need to make a call or eat
  • Get completely ready at home so you’re not multitasking in the car
  • Keep pets in a carrier or secured in the back seat while driving
  • Find some apps that help pause notifications on your phone while driving
  • Always put on your seatbelt and insist others do the same

Be sure to check out the article with more in-depth information and tips from the distracted driving study.

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Using Your Phone as a Source of Entertainment for Your Kids

We tend to associate smartphones with adults. The majority of over eighteens own one of their own and chances are that you are either reading this article on one right now, or have one in your pocket or nearby. While we may use our phones for professional purposes (responding to emails), social purposes (catching up with friends), or sheer procrastination (scrolling through the explore page of our Instagram feeds), it’s important to remember that smartphones can prove extremely beneficial for little ones too! While you might not want to purchase one of these expensive devices for your little ones to use independently quite yet,

Ensuring It Is Always Connected

Phones aren’t much use if they constantly lose signal or are unable to make use of mobile data. So make sure that you sign up to a reliable provider like Freedompop phones, who will be able to ensure that your little ones can engage with any of the following recommendations as and when they grow bored throughout the day!

Online Videos

The web is awash with media that is appropriate for your little ones. Whether they want to watch their favourite cartoons, sing along to the latest kids’ chart song, or – you will be able to find the content online through some sort of video streaming service. Perhaps the most popular is Youtube. This can be accessed easily through your web browser, but you’re generally better off downloading the app, so that everything can be accessed more readily and easily. If you’re willing to pay a small sum of money monthly, you can even skip its notorious pre-video ads. Just remember to make use of parental controls, which can prevent your little ones from accessing unsuitable or age inappropriate content.

Photographs

Once kids can recognise themselves in the mirror, they are likely to become increasingly interested in taking pictures of themselves with you, siblings, pets, and pretty much anyone or anything else they adore. They’re growing up as part of the selfie generation! They’re bound to find hours of fun using your phone’s camera. Consider allowing them to use fun apps like snapchat to take and save pictures too! They’re bound to enjoy the different novelty filters they can try out. Just make sure they don’t send pictures around to your whole contact list!

Games

Phones have had games for a long time. But we have come a long way from simple classics like Tetris and Snake. Nowadays, there are seemingly endless different games down there that can be downloaded for your little ones to try out and play. Again, be a little cautious. Some will allow you to carry out in-app purchases and may charge your card directly. Ensure that protective settings are on or that your card is not connected to your account when letting your kids play games on your phone.

As you can see, your smartphone can provide your children with a whole lot of entertainment!

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

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