Kids today have access to information in a way that previous generations never had growing up. The challenge for parents is to help them learn how to be responsible digital citizens.
Thankfully, parents also have access to AI-powered apps and devices that can help them safeguard their kids’ online and real-life safety. Tech and AI can provide valuable, accessible, and round-the-clock assistance in safeguarding their children’s wellbeing.
Here are 7 ways tech and AI can help parents raise digitally responsible kids and make parenting a little easier.
1. Maximize generative AI to make learning about internet safety more interesting!
Besides capturing their attention, it’s also equally important to make sure that kids are interested in what we’re trying to engage them in.
If you’re looking for fun, creative ways to teach your kids about internet safety, try asking Bard—Google’s conversational generative AI chatbot! Simple questions like “What's a fun way to teach internet safety to kids?” or prompts like “Interactive websites that teach internet safety” can give you an entire list of ideas and activities that you can try out with your kids.
From book and story recommendations, interactive online games, conversation starters, and even additional tips, Bard will never run out of ideas on how you can make learning about internet safety an enjoyable experience.
2. Monitoring and limiting kids’ online interactions.
Tech can help protect kids from potential risks through content filtering based on their age. Tools by Google, for instance, make it possible for parents to monitor their children’s screen time, set limits and shut off their devices at bedtime.
If your kid is under 13, you can download Google's Family Link to track and control online activity, including text messaging and social media, using your own phone. TikTok's Digital Wellbeing features also allow you to remotely manage your kid’s TikTok from your phone. Circle Home Plus is a device and subscription service that pairs with your existing router and lets you pause access to the internet, create time limits, and add content filters to all devices on your home network (including Wi-Fi devices), plus manage phones and tablets outside the home.
3. Teaching kids empathy through situations IRL.
PLDT Home and Google’s Be Internet Awesome video series features Sam and his AI friend Robo-berto in fun and enlightening adventures that illustrate how kids can be smart, alert, strong, kind, and brave online.
The songs and situations that Sam finds himself in impart valuable lessons on digital responsibility such as thinking before you click and bullying. In one episode, Sam discovers that forwarding the posts of his friends can hurt them.
“Ako po’y nanliliit, ako ba ay nanglait? Parang di niya na gets, ibang react ba ang ipapalit?” he sings and turns to his friend Robo-berto. The robot sings, “Pag online chikahan, medyo hirap maintindihan.”
4. Making it easier to raise critical thinkers.
AI can analyze web content and online interactions to detect and block inappropriate or harmful websites and social media platforms. It can also identify signs of cyberbullying and harassment and analyze patterns and potential risks by monitoring various data sources.
At a young age, children can be trained to think critically about the accuracy of the information they read or watch. Is the story or post backed by credible evidence? AI can help filter information and trace the source of a story and its authenticity.
AI has given us countless hours of entertainment, allowing us to enjoy computer-generated images in movies and TV shows. Because they are so used to technology in a way their parents aren’t, kids can learn for themselves how to evaluate deepfake technology when it’s being used to sway or harm their young minds.
5. Keeping parents well-informed about their children’s location.
AI-powered GPS and geolocation technologies can help parents keep abreast of their children’s whereabouts. Are they in school, with friends, in the mall? Or are they in a place where they would normally not go? Wearable devices like watches or smartphone apps use AI algorithms to provide real-time location updates and geofencing capabilities. They can also alert parents if their child goes beyond predetermined safe zones.
6. Making homes more secure.
Surveillance and security systems are now so advanced that you can monitor your home 24/7 from your phone. AI-powered cameras and systems use algorithms to analyze video feeds to detect unusual behavior, identify potential dangers — like if someone left the door open — and send an alert.
7. Monitoring the family’s health.
Tech has made it possible for wearable devices and smartphones to track vital signs and provide health monitoring. They can detect irregularities in their sleep patterns, heart rate and activity levels among many others. When these irregularities are detected in your children, the device will alert you to potential health issues.
Apps and online tools use AI algorithms to analyze videos or recordings of a child's behavior and provide insights on their cognitive, motor, and social development. Parents can also use AI-powered scheduling apps to manage their kids’ school routines and homework to simplify the family’s daily schedule.
PLDT Home is committed to keeping children safe online and at the same time giving them access to information that helps in their education, wellbeing, and growth. This contributes to the PLDT Group’s broader commitment to help the country attain UN Sustainable Development Goal No. 16 which promotes just, peaceful, and inclusive societies including the end to abuse, exploitation, trafficking, and all forms of violence against and torture of children.