These days it seems our kids are constantly learning and using their smart devices in ways we could have never imagined. While older generations found their adventure outside, this generation (and perhaps the many generations to come) are using technology to 3D print their toys or wearing headsets to jet off into incredible virtual worlds. Because our children are digital natives, we often don’t consider sitting down with them to make sure they understand how powerful technology is. However, this should not be the case when it comes to smart home technology.

Recent studies show that 68% of Americans believe smart home technology will be as common as smartphones within the next 10 years. In other words, smart home technology isn’t going anywhere thanks to the convenience and comfort it provides families. But for your family, especially the younger members, to truly enjoy the benefits they must understand how these smart home technology devices work. It also wouldn’t hurt if they knew why these products were in your home, either. Read on to learn how you can effectively introduce smart home technology devices to your kiddos.

Smart Home Technology Devices: Image of father giving his daughter a high-five at the kitchen table

Make It Easy To Digest

Kids already spend up to 7 hours a day at school. With this in mind, they might not be too thrilled to return home to another lesson plan. You can keep your youngsters engaged in a smart home technology tutorial by making the walkthroughs engaging and less technical.

Use Easy-to-Understand Terminology

“Today we’re going to learn about our smart home’s ecosystem that’s powered by Z-wave technology” is probably not the best way to kick off your walkthrough. The average consumer bats an eyelash at words like “z-wave technology”, so how can you expect your kids to grow excited with an introduction fueled by such technical phrases? Find unique and fun ways to cut through the complex terminology so your kids won’t get lost or lose interest.

“This is a smart speaker! You can think of it as a personal assistant for our family that’s able to answer questions and help us out when we’re in trouble” is a digestible way to introduce smart speakers such as Alexa or Google Home to your children.

Make a Game Out of the Lesson

Does your child enjoy playing games on their phone or console? Can they talk for hours about leveling up in Minecraft or Mario Kart? Use their hobbies to bridge the gap between uncertainty and understanding of smart home technology.

If you’re explaining how to disarm your smart panel before the siren sounds, make a harmless contest out of it by rewarding them for disarming the panel correctly and on time. You can also host a trivia round with your family where you ask questions over smart home technology terms jeopardy style.

Take Breaks In Between

Everyone’s mind needs a break. Take this into consideration when you’re getting ready to teach your children about smart home technology.

The last thing you’ll want is to overwhelm your kiddos with too much information. Taking a ten to fifteen-minute break will keep them engaged and productive.

Smart Home Technology Devices: Image of boy disarming home security panel.

Grant Them a Test Run

Sure it’s a cliché, but you never learn until you try. You can use this saying for anything, including understanding smart home technology.

Otherwise known as the “failure-learning method”, this means your children won’t fully understand the smart home technology in your home without being given the opportunity to test the devices on their own. Using the failure-learning method lets your family try to figure something out on their own until getting it right.

You can help your child feel more comfortable by assuring them it’s okay to make a mistake because they’re learning and you’re there to guide them. Once they become more comfortable with the technology, you can wane down on the guidance and watch as they transition into smart home gurus right before your eyes.

Smart Home Technology Devices: Image of mother seated at kitchen tale with her children while her husband cooks by the stove

Keep It Age-Appropriate

If you have children with wide age gaps between them, take a moment to consolidate which smart home technology devices they need to learn and which products you feel comfortable with them using. For example, it might make sense for your 12-year-old to learn how to disarm your security panel. However, having your three-year-old anywhere near the smart panel may be the last thing you’d ever want.