Alexa And Your Kids, The Future of Parenting

Alexa is a highly capable and functional AI that Amazon introduced a couple of years ago, the company has put a lot of effort into its continuous development and have turned it into a must have for every smart home out there. The company has taken a number of steps to make Alexa as child friendly as possible, and just recently they have announced a number of new features that will make Alexa even more child friendly.

Let’s take a look at what Alexa has to offer now and how can this AI help make your job as a parent easier for you.

Routines

Alexa already has a simplified input mode that makes it easier for kids to interact with the AI, Amazon’s latest feature will allow children to signal Alexa to carry out a number of functions. These simplified templates are basically designed to help develop routines for children, you can set a custom command that your child can give to Alexa, such as “goodnight” and the AI will execute a template that could switch off the lights and play some sort of lullaby.

FreeTime Unlimited Podcasts

Along with useful templates and the ability to instil the value of routines in your children, Alexa also has FreeTime Unlimited which provides children with access to a variety of productive forms of entertainment. FreeTime Unlimited offers TV shows, games, books, apps, and more, all of which are child friendly and can be great to keep your child busy and happy. Amazon is now going to be introducing podcasts to their subscription service as well, providing kids with more forms of entertainment.

Audiobooks

Audible’s audiobook service has become quite popular amongst people who like reading but do not have the time needed to grab a book and go through it. Amazon is planning on introducing around a 1000 audiobooks to their subscription service, which is great news for parents who want to promote reading amongst their kids.

Whether you want your child to stay occupied with interesting and fund stories, or you feel like having them go through something more educational, this new feature is really going to come in handy.

Amazon is on a mission to make Alexa as child friendly as possible so that more people are inclined towards buying it. The company is promising a slew of more updates in the future as well, all of which will be focusing on turning Alexa into an essential tool that will have the functionality needed to make our day to day lives a whole lot easier.

Some of the more child focused features that Amazon is working on will only be available for the Echo Dots Kids Edition, so if you plan on relying on Alexa as a parent, then you should consider investing in this version of the Echo Dot.

Technology is really revolutionizing each and every aspect of our lives, and from we can tell, there is an endless stream of innovation heading our way in the near future.

6 Great Ways to Improve Your Child’s Eating Habits

Many parents stress over what their kids eat since kids tend to give you a hard time when it comes to food. They get attracted to all the bad stuff and turn a cold shoulder towards food that will have a positive impact on their health. This is why we have decided to discuss some scientifically proven ways of improving your children’s eating habits. While none of these techniques are a sure fire way of having your kids eat healthier food, they are bound to give them a push in the right direction.

#1 A Mother’s Diet During Pregnancy

Studies show that what a mother consumes while pregnant has a major impact on their child’s eating habits due to the fact that the amniotic sac is capable of not only transmitting nutrients to the baby, but also the flavour of what the mother eats. Mothers who eat a diverse range of healthy foods during their pregnancy tend to pass on their wide palette range to their children, increasing the likelihood of their children accepting a wider variety of foods.

A woman’s diet also effects the taste of her breast milk, this has a role in shaping a child’s palette.

#2 Expose Your Child to a Variety of Foods From an Early Age

Children tend to be less fussy about what they eat up to their toddling stage, this is a great time period to have your child explore a variety of foods and hopefully get accustomed to their taste. The more flavours they get to try, the less trouble they will give you as they grow older.

#3 Make Healthy Food More Accessible

A study suggests that increased visual exposure to any kind of food will eventually lead to an increase in the desire to eat it. Meaning that you should try to make vegetables and fruits look more appealing and leave them in parts of the kitchen where your children get to see them frequently.

#4 Teach Them Through Practice

Children learn a lot from their parents, especially in their early years since they are more prone to imitate their parents during this time period. If you want to attract your kids to healthy foods, start eating them in front of them, this will increase their interest in the right food items and they will feel like trying them out as well.

#5 Focus on Family Meals

Like we said before, repeated exposure can be a powerful learning instrument when it comes to children, parents who take out time to regularly sit down for family meals teach their children better eating habits. This practice can even work with teenagers as it helps develop regular eating times and also makes eating a social experience with their family that children begin to look forward to.

#6 Do Not Restrict Their Choices

Children tend to respond negatively when they feel restricted or oppressed, this holds true for their eating habits as well. Instead of forcing your child to only eat a limited kind of food items, give them a wider variety to choose from, for example, instead of laying out only one type of vegetable at lunch time, prepare two or more different types and let them choose for themselves.

Motherhood And Its Impact on The Brain

Becoming a mother is a powerful experience, it is when you truly start living for someone else and devote yourself completely to the upbringing and protection of a new life that you brought into this world. Motherhood is easily one of the most important experiences in a woman’s life, but there is more to taking on this role than becoming a guardian and provider for someone else, according to what we know through research, motherhood changes a woman’s body in more ways than one.

When a woman becomes a mother, her brain undergoes a series of neurobiological changes that many mothers experience in the form of emotional confusion, excessive worrying, and overprotectiveness right after giving birth. We have begun studying how motherhood effects the makeup of one’s brain only recently, but we have managed to learn a lot that we previously did not know. Unfortunately, most of us out there are still not aware of how motherhood impacts one’s psychological state since people tend to focus more on how a woman’s body changes after going through pregnancy.

According to a French researcher, the neurobiological change that follows pregnancy is one of the biggest biological changes that one’s body can undergo in their life. The body begins preparing for this major change in the early stages of pregnancy, a flood of hormones is introduced into the body that helps the body physically prepare for pregnancy and also develops the “circuitry” needed in the brain to undergo the transformation.

A woman’s ability to multi-task, empathize, and their perception/reaction towards various stimuli get affected by this transformation, basically, the brain prepares itself to be able to fulfil all the needs of a child and allow a mother to become as close to their child as possible. Some of these changes are more extreme at first, such as amplified anxiety and hypervigilance in the early days of motherhood. However, they become less intense over time, meaning that a mother’s brain continually changes itself over the years in order to allow her to bond and interact with her children throughout the various phases of their life.

A study showed that women who undergo pregnancy actually experience an increase in grey-matter in areas of the brain that play a key role in raising another human. The study involved taking images of a mother’s brain through MRI, these images were capture before her pregnancy and after it, and a follow up MRI was conducted as well 2 years after the woman had given birth. The results of her MRI were compared to that of a woman who had never undergone pregnancy and the difference between the two were quite noticeable.

If we look at all the evidence we have, it becomes clear that becoming a mother is more than just a state of mind, the human body actually undergoes changes in order to play out the role of a mother as efficiently as possible. While going through these changes may feel unpleasant, they are definitely important.

TEDxOverlake – Dr. Sara Goering – Philosophy for Kids: Sparking a Love of Learning

Dr. Sara Goering is Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Member of the Program on Values in Society, and Program Director for the Northwest Center for Philosophy for Children at the University of Washington, Seattle. Since graduate school, she has developed programs designed to bring philosophy to K-12 students, including a philosophy summer camp and outreach program at the University of Colorado, Boulder, the Center for the Advancement of Philosophy in Schools at California State University at Long Beach, and a regular UW class that sends undergraduate students into the Seattle public schools to lead weekly philosophy discussions with K-12 students.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.