Smart homes and smarter parents

Parents have a lot on their plates. They have to make sure their children are fed, healthy, safe, educated, clean, entertained, happy, social…the list goes on and on. And it never stops. As a parent, you don’t get a day off. Your first priority will always be your kids. Your energy goes towards making sure they are fully taken care of.

This can be exhausting. And terrifying. And it’s only Thursday.

Oh, and there’s that technology thing. Your life—and the life of your children—is more connected than ever thanks to the Internet, social media, smartphones, wearables, and now smart home technology. Technology greatly affects how you raise your kids.

That can be intimidating for parents. This generation of parents are the first to deal with the uber-connected world we live in and the technology all around us. They’re having to make difficult decisions about things that are seemingly emerging every week. There’s no instruction manual on what to do. You have to figure out what to do in each situation each day.

Which is a lot like parenting in general.

When you’re becoming a new parent, you may feel overwhelmed. There’s a lot to process and every decision feels massively important. The same applies to adopting new technology, like home automation. It’s easy to jump into the field but each decision can make you feel uncertain. Bringing something into your home is a deeply personal and important decision. But you won’t know how rewarding it is until you experience it for yourself. You’ll still make mistakes but overall, it will be a fruitful, satisfying experience.

Home automation isn’t just a way to bring your home into the twenty-first century. It can also help you parent more effectively so you have more time to spend with your kids as they grow up. Here’s a few ways that you can do that.

  1. Time Saving

Smart home technology reduces hours spent on chores and daily tasks around the house, giving you more time to enjoy with your kids. Automate small tasks like adjusting the temperature of your thermostat, controlling your blinds, watering your plants, turning on and off your lights, and even checking the mail. It’s not that these tasks don’t matter, but you’ll no longer have to spend your own time making them happen. You can even set up various Activities in Staples Connect to reduce the time you spend getting your child’s attention without having to nag them.

A “Dinner is Served!” Activity lets your kids know when dinner’s ready in a compelling and fun way. Once your meal is out of the oven, let your children know its dinnertime by manually triggering your “Dinner is Served!” Activity to turn on the Philips Hue light bulbs in your kids’ bedrooms to a bright shade of green.

You can use similar Activities for times your kids may not be as inclined to enjoy, like waking up for school every morning. A “Wake Up!” Activity to tells you when your child is fully awake each morning. Finally, you can use Activities to help you in enforcing house rules. For example, when your kids get home from school, rely on your “Homework time” Activity to help you inflict the No TV before homework’s done rule.

It might not initially seem like a lot of time saved, but it will add up, bit by bit, throughout your child’s lifetime. Just five extra minutes a day can be the source of numerous unforgettable memories with your kids.

  1. Fun!

Now that you’ve got more time to spend with your little rascals, let’s focus on having some fun! Smart home technology doesn’t only make life more convenient, but it also makes life more entertaining. Think of all the laughter you’ll hear when your lights automatically change colors or silly characters sound from your speakers. Playtime will even be more amusing!

Staples Connect helps enhance your children’s bedtime routine and encourage them to look forward to brushing their teeth and getting ready for bed. Set up a “Bedtime” Activity to dim the lights in your playroom and turn off any of the electronic games plugged into the Aeotec Smart Strip, letting your kids know playtime’s over and it’s time to head up to bed. While the playroom lights dim, the Philips Hue Bloom in your child’s bedroom turns to a faint red, the perfect color for signaling to your kids that it’s time to wind down and get ready for bed. In unison with the rest of the lights changing, the Philips Hue Downlamp lights in your hall bathroom change to your child’s favorite colors (blue and purple) helping to lure them into the bathroom to brush their teeth. Your “Bedtime” Activity is the perfect way to enliven you and your children’s nighttime routine.

But the fun doesn’t end there. You’ve got the coolest house on the block with the newest technology available today. Imagine how much your kids and the rest of their friends will get a kick out of your automated lights, locks, sensors, speakers, cameras, blinds, and other appliances. So why not make your home automation system into a full-fledged game? We’ve got some ideas to share!

It’s easy to come up with a new spin to put on a classic game. For example, use your Philips Hue colorful light bulbs to for an updated version of Twister or Pictionary, or use your Ecolink motion sensor to trick people during a game of musical chairs. We encourage you to get creative with this technology by using it to entertain your kids and their many friends. That way they’ll always enjoy being home and under their own roof, even when they’re in their rebellious years.

  1. Safety

As a parent, your child’s safety is your first priority. Protecting your children from danger inside your home is just as important as protecting them from dangers while they’re away from home. By automating your home with Staples Connect, you can keep an extra set of eyes on your little ones. And if you’re the parent of teenagers, who aren’t ready to be entirely on their won, rely on Staples Connect to give them freedom, while also setting boundaries.

For those working parents, it seems nearly impossible to make it home before your kids get home from school. Luckily, smart home technology makes it possible for you to know when your kids arrive home from school and makes your home ready for their arrival even if you’re still at work. You can even lock your doors remotely right from work once your kids are home, ensuring your children are safe until you return home.

An outdoor camera is a great addition around your front door and can be used to teach your kids how to safely answer the door. To avoid accidentally letting any strangers in your home, teach your kids to first check your front camera feed using the Staples Connect app before they open the door. If it’s someone they don’t know, they’ll know better than to let them inside without your permission.

Also, you could outfit your house with a smart security system. It will not only cost a whole lot less money than a traditional security system, but you’ll be able to setup your system specifically tailored around your and your family’s safety needs. Motion sensors, door/window sensors, cameras, connected locks, and smoke/CO alarms are perfect for this. With Staples Connect, you can have peace of mind knowing your loved ones are always safe while they’re home, even if you’re not.

Rely on Staples Connect to keep your children safe and enhance the level of fun and excitement in your home no matter what you’re doing. All while saving you more time to make memories with the ones you love most—your family.

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