Introducing technology to children with smartwatches
“It taught him responsibility. He has to take it with him, and that builds trust in our parent-child relationship; and he has the tools to do it,” says Bonikowske.
Kids and technology can be tricky: too many bells and whistles can be distracting, and if it’s too complicated, daunting. That’s why choosing a simpler device to introduce your child to technology may make more sense.
The GizmoWatch for Kids has simple calling features and messaging options that allow this age group to stay in touch, whether it’s an emergency or just a quick need to feel logged in on that first slumber party.
The new message-reading feature is also suitable for people with a wide range of disabilities, says Clay Hadden, a speech-language pathologist in Charleston, South Carolina, who specializes in using high technology to help children learn to speak. . And because it looks like a device that all the other kids wear, a child with dyslexia, for example, doesn’t stand out when adapting to new skills.
“For some kids with learning disabilities, the reading feature will be more socially accepted when it comes in the form of a cool watch,” Hadden says.
Because this is a smartwatch for kids, the conversation can start early about using age-appropriate technology, says Bea Moise, a cognitive specialist and parent of two neurodivergent children who accompany parents. digital. She suggests teaching children early to ask a caregiver for permission to use the device.
This means learning to put the device on the charger when not in use, setting boundaries for not making calls at inappropriate times, such as at school, and helping children understand that it This is an initiation device: how they use it now will help determine if they’re ready to take on the responsibility of using a smartphone later. For example, can they follow the rules you set together as a family for the device, can they return it on request, and can they take care of the technology when it’s not in use.
“Play dates are fine when another parent is present,” Moise says. “You intentionally teach kids that it’s not something they have with them all the time.”
“We can control things from the app; I can control whether it will ring or be silent. We also set it to Auto Answer, so if I call it it will ring a few times and it will just answer and we can listen,” says Pastore.
Parents and caregivers can tune the device from the GizmoHub app on their phone. Enter up to 10 phone contacts (family members, friends, and grandparents) and wisely restrict who can call your child. The parent app also controls the brightness of the digital display to maintain battery life and device volume. From the dashboard, parents can activate school mode or silent mode, which limits the use of the device during the day.
“We had a rule: it was not allowed to go to school,” explains Bonikowske. “We had an incident where he went to school. Got the notification on the phone and called it, heard the classroom in the background and muted it. I emailed the teacher and said “I’ll pick it up”.
Smartwatches with GPS trackers give parents peace of mind
“Find my device that we use all the time. It’s an essential feature,” says Pastore.
For parents who don’t have time to figure out how these things work, Common Sense Media says the GizmoWatch 2 was their pick for the best and easiest-to-use GPS tracker. From the start, you can open the parent app to track your child’s location, activate SOS call, speed dial and auto-answer features. Plus, with geofencing, you can draw a boundary around an area your child is allowed to visit, like a neighborhood, and receive a notification when they’ve moved outside that boundary.
Pastore also uses the “Find my Kid” and “Find my Device” options.
“He comes home and takes it to his room,” says Pastore. If his son forgets where he put it, Pastore opens the app, taps Find My Device, and the watch beeps.