The Kids Are at Home and You’re at Work: How to Stay Connected This Summer

Eating popsicles on the driveway, climbing trees, splashing around in the pool, or riding a bike down the street. It’s all fun and games — until someone gets hurt.

Summertime has tons of fun activities to offer kids; unfortunately, parents are stuck at work most of the time. You shouldn’t have to worry just because your kids are on summer vacation and you’re not. But one thing is for certain: While the parents are away, the kids will play. So how can you ensure their safety and stay connected with them during this time? Here are seven ways to stay connected with them during the summer months.

1. Invest in a phone that’s age-appropriate for your kid.

You may not think your kid is ready for a phone, but maybe you just haven’t explored all your options. There’s actually a lot of great starter phones on the market for kids today. Do some research and find the model that’s right for your child. More often than not, a cell phone for kids will only include basic features (calling and messaging). Sometimes, the ability to listen to music and take pictures will be available as well. Be sure to avoid features like games and social media, though. As long as your kid can contact you using their cell phone, it’ll get the job done.

Pro tip: If the phone’s features allow it, encourage your kid to use their phone for more than just calling and messaging. Most phones that are safe for kids will also have cameras. They can use this feature to send you snaps during their summer vacay. Schedule set times throughout the day for them to send you photo updates. Receiving a simple picture will make you feel so much better about your child’s well-being and safety. And they’ll have fun using their new phone, too!

2. Install a home security system.

Everyone should have a home security system for safety purposes, but now you may have two reasons to get one. A security system can safeguard your home from nighttime burglars, and it’s a great way to keep daytime tabs on your children. The most advanced home security systems come with cameras that allow you to view your home from your mobile device. Some systems even allow for two-way talk, making them great tools for connecting with your kids.

3. Upgrade to a smart doorbell with a camera.

Yes, we’re giving you yet another way to spy on your kid. But is that such a bad thing? Kids play outside so much in the summer, and a smart doorbell is a perfect way to keep an eye on them. More importantly, it will let you know who comes to your home when you’re not there. You’d be surprised at how much video footage these innovative doorbells can capture! Most of them can detect motion, send notifications to your phone, and allow you to speak to people through the device. You can even view recorded videos later (because let’s be real; you can’t be watching your kids every second).

4. Keep a tablet at home for video calls.

If your kid doesn’t already have a tablet, buying one might seem like a slippery slope. All it takes is a few YouTube videos and some games for them to become addicted. But think of it this way — with parental controls, you decide what gets downloaded on the tablet, not them. If you’re still concerned, tell them the tablet is only used for video calls with mom and dad. Encourage outdoor activities and schedule phone calls throughout the day. Once you have them on a schedule, they’ll get used to it. Plus, they’ll look forward to calls with you when they’re in that routine.

5. Make time for virtual bonding activities.

Play lots of video games with your children. What? Hear us out! Downloading some games on the tablet isn’t bad if it keeps you close to your kids. Find family-friendly tech games in the app store and carve out 15 minutes during your lunch break to play together. Have everyone in the family join in and use it as a time to bond. Pre-planned virtual games aren’t just fun; they also serve as check-ins throughout the day. If your kid is playing the game with you, you can rest assured that all is well at home.

6. Sign them up for email.

This could be the summer you sign your kids up for their first email account. Please give them a taste of office life and use email to communicate with them throughout the day. They could even write to distant friends or keep in touch with older family members. They can use their new tablet or any laptop or desktop computer in your home to email their favorite people. Bonus: They also get to practice their writing skills!

7. Look into child care management software.

If you’ve decided to enroll your kids in summer school or leave them with a sitter, look into child care management software. These apps are intuitive and user-friendly, and they provide a way to get real-time updates about your kids throughout the day. Updates can include things like:

  • Photos of your kid throughout the day
  • Full access and connection to your child’s teacher
  • The ability to add approved adults for pick-up
  • The ability to see when your child checks in and out
  • Paperless billing for easy payment
  • The ability to invite other family members to see your child’s daily activities

If you’re someone who wants regular updates, child care management software may be worth considering. This cutting-edge way of staying connected with your child will give you more peace of mind than you ever thought possible. In today’s digital age, you shouldn’t ever have to feel disconnected from your kids. So with summer vacation quickly approaching, make sure you’re prepared to stay in touch. With the right home setup, you’ll feel safer and more connected to your kid this summer. They’ll enjoy their break, and you won’t have to worry. It’s a win-win for everyone!

Roberto Brock
the authorRoberto Brock
Snowboarder, traveler, DJ, Swiss design-head and HTML & CSS lover. Doing at the nexus of art and purpose to develop visual solutions that inform and persuade. I'm a designer and this is my work. Introvert. Coffee evangelist. Web buff. Extreme twitter advocate. Avid reader. Troublemaker.