Technology Can Add Sanity to Parenthood

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The era where technology was not prevalent is gone. Even if it had been available parents many years ago would not have understood it very well. Now, most of us have joined the 90's with a wide array of 'technological wizardry' enhancing our lives. Furthermore, many of us are literate when it comes to understanding all the features of our new tools/toys. Unfortunately, there are some of us that are still a bit backward when it comes to utilizing all the options and maximizing the benefits of this wonderful development. Busy parents need to explore some ways to use technology that will make their life more efficient and relieve some of the daily stress while balancing jobs and family.

Once, parents were blamed for using the TV as a babysitter. Since the advent of a new variety of educational offerings, and the greater number of children's programs focusing on teaching, this argument is not valid. I would never recommend replacing one-on-one family time with TV, but as a supplement it is effective. We have moved to videos and computers, which also offer unlimited teaching aids and activities to broaden your child's horizon. For a moment, however, let's back move to how technology can help the parent.

A busy parent has many things to remember on any given day. The home personal computer can keep all those phone numbers and addresses in one place. It can send out memoir alarms so you don't forget to pay the electric bill, or miss your daughter's music recital. How sad it is for the person whose birthday we forget, but the memoir alarm can also alert you in time to do your part to make that day special.

We now can store information such as appointments and phone numbers and e-mail addresses on calculators, watches, tiny technological wonders that fit in the palm of your hand. We can track appointments or the package we just sent. There really is no end to what we can do. The Internet means we can send instant messages to relatives by e-mail. This is a wonderful alternative to postponing letters until you have the time to write.

If you are like me, organization means lists, all kinds of them. Technology means we can organize material simply and quickly. These lists are useful in parenting when we must determine if our youngest child had his last immunization, or what box contained the favorite teddy bear during a move, or serial numbers for the insurance company claim to just name a few instances. These are daily annoyances and problems encountered by busy parents everywhere. Let technology help.

I have seen the cell phone become a link to peace-of-mind for parents who must leave children for short periods of time. These are kids that really are old enough to cope on their own, but still benefit from the added support a call can give. The mobile phone means kids can reach dad while on the road or mom at her desk without tying up company phone lines.

The microwave has made it safe for children to fix something to eat without fear of electric shock or burns. We have baby monitors to alert us to every sound in our bigger, more elaborate homes. There are blocks you can put on your TV, phones, and computers that can keep the adult world away from too young eyes and ears. They will discover it soon enough, but parents get to choose when. Technology has given us thermometers that are less intrusive and ultra sound to ensure good pre-natal health.

There are too many advances to mention, but parents need to stop every now and then to see how much better life is with them and let technology serve you. It could mean more of that most precious commodity- time with your children.

Credits: Jo Ann Wentzel

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