A smartwatch may be an option if your child isn't quite ready to get a smartphone.
Better fit

A smartwatch may be an option if your child isn’t quite ready to get a smartphone. Better fit

A smartwatch may be an option if your child isn't quite ready to get a smartphone.
Better fit

The percentage of kids who have a smartphone grows by the year: As of Oct. 2019, over half of kids have their own phones by age 11 (compared to ages 13 and 14 over the past few years). Kids seem to start begging for their own phone as soon as they can talk (or at least it probably feels that way to parents who are always handing their phone over to keep a kid quiet and occupied). In some ways, your child having a phone on them at all times can alleviate some serious worries about location and communication, and educational TV shows on a tablet are a handy distraction when parents need some peace and quiet.

But though parental control software exists for this exact purpose, a parent’s worries about internet safety, cyberbullying, and screen time might outnumber the reasons for a young child to have a cell phone or tablet.

Your kiddo doesn’t need a smartphone or an iPad, but that doesn’t make them incapable of using all technology. Smartwatches that are kid-friendly allow parents to stay in touch while away, with GPS so they can keep track of their child’s location without needing to send them a “Where is my baby?” message. You can send a message. Smartwatches designed for children don’t encourage social media sharing, and they don’t usually have any access to the internet. This means screen time won’t be as important.

The freedom and leniency that kids have with their own device is priceless. It’s a bonus that their Apple Watch-like gadgets can be shared with their friends.

A child watch can also be used to establish a bedtime, chore or homework routine. The app can be used by parents to schedule rewards or set reminders, such as “brush your teeth twice a day” and “read 15 minutes before bedtime.” With the built-in stopwatch, kids can check off items or set their alarms. Even activities that seem mundane can suddenly be a lot of fun if there is an animated celebration or badge, sibling competition, and if a parent doesn’t nag. When healthy habits are established early, they can carry over into adulthood (when deep-rooted bad habits are typically harder to kick).

Here are some things to consider when buying a smartwatch.

Parents who are looking at smartwatches to help their kids manage busy lives will find GPS the most important factor. The Verizon Gizmo smartwatch is more similar to a cellphone in that it gives parents a real-time view of their child’s location, allows them to send and receive text messages and makes calls. For wearables that are more focused on tracking fitness (like the Fitbit Ace 2), location services may be skipped altogether. There is also the possibility for two-way communication. You don’t want to mess with any app. You can get standalone smartwatches without having to invest in anything.

Let your children know you are available to help them locate their place. This can encourage mutual respect and strengthen parental boundaries.

However, watches that focus on exercise do have some advantages. Smart fitness trackers offer parents a way to encourage their children to move, even if they are less dependent on the internet than smartphones. The kids can track their steps for the day and get reminders to stay up. But the best part about smart fitness trackers is the celebration when they reach a certain daily goal or meet a sleep goal. You can adjust settings in the parent app. However, it is possible for kids to set their alarms and follow their activity rules. This allows them to take responsibility.

Although a smartwatch may replace a tablet or phone, it doesn’t necessarily mean that entertainment is not possible. Some smartwatches are geared towards younger children and offer games ranging from numbers and math challenges to augmented realities mysteries. A camera that has funny filters may also be available. The resolution of this small screen is amazing and will keep children busy at the counter, waiting in line, or even in their car.

Your child will be more involved in the planning process. If you do end up opting for a watch with location tracking or GPS boundaries, letting them know that you can see their location can foster mutual respect — even if that respect is unspoken and initially met with opposition.

These are the top smartwatches that kids can buy in 2021.

Publited Fri, 10 Sep 2021 at 16:45:43 (+0000).

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