As if being a parent wasn't tough enough, being a parent in today's digital-first society can be even tougher considering the amount of apps and information that has been so easily accessible for our children. As parents, we constantly strive to be the best. And with our kids growing up surrounded by evolving technology, it's time for us to step up our game and keep up with these new technologies. Whether we like it or not, there is no u-turn to where we're heading as more and more people move on to be digitally savvy. So if you're looking to be a modern parent that takes advantage out of these evolving times, we've put together some Google tools and features that might just solve some of your problems.


1. TOO MANY ACTIVITIES & APPOINTMENTS IN A WEEK!

      (And what about ME time?)

The Google Calendar is a great app to keep track of your daily activities.Whether it's picking up the kids from school, fitting in extra classes and activities or even scheduling a dinner date with your spouse. Your Google Calendar can be accessed from anywhere you are via desktop, tablet or on the go with your phone. You can set reminders so you'll never miss an event and also categorize your activities according to colour for easy viewing.

It even allows you to set a goal, be it exercising, building a skill or just having some 'Me Time' and google will automatically schedule the activity in your calendar around your busy schedule, ensuring that you achieve the goal that you've set.


2. UNFORSEEN & EMERGENCY TOILET BREAKS

Google Maps doesn't just bring you from one place to the other. The app also has real-time traffic updates with GPS navigation, traffic, transit and details about millions of places. You can even search for nearby gas stations incase of a toilet emergency, pharmacies in case someone needs medication or even a new restaurant to try out with the family.

New features like real-time location sharing will also allow parents to keep track of their kids’ whereabouts, which is especially handy during school-trips and cases of emergencies.


3. CHILD NOT PICKING UP CALLS OR REPLYING TEXT WHILE OUT WITH FRIENDS

Trusted Contacts is a personal safety app that opens a direct line of sharing between you and your loved ones. It lets you create a list of trusted contacts, who can access your location anytime, anywhere. Instead of calling or texting you, they simply click a button and find out where you are. It's also a helpful tool to use when your child is out with friends. You can request for their location and if they are unable to respond, their last known location will be automatically shared within a custom timeframe- even if he/she is offline or if their phone is switched off.


4. RUNNING OUT OF SPACE ON YOUR PHONE

Parents, we're sure you have tons of photos of your kids and family members on your phone. Imagine the number of shots that was needed to get one perfect photo, but you don't want to delete all of them, so where to keep them all? You'll be glad to know that Google Photos provides you with free and unlimited storage spaces for photos on the app. You can automatically backup your photos and videos so that you can find and share them faster - and never run out of space on your phone.


5. NOT SURE HOW TO HELP WITH KIDS HOMEWORK

-“How many kilometers per hour is a car going if it is traveling at 20 meters per second?”

-"Errr......"

I’m sure many of us have left school leaving some knowledge behind as well! But fret not. Just ask Google Search and it'll help you with the answer! Not many people know this, but Google Search engine can also be your trusty calculator, currency converter and even timer. The voice function allows you to’speak’ to Google Search and ask it any question or carry out certain tasks.


6. AFRAID THAT YOUR CHILD MIGHT COME ACROSS INAPPROPRIATE

    CONTENT ON YOUTUBE

For parents who allow their children some time to watch their favourite shows on YouTube, you can now have a bit more peace with the YouTube Kids App which allows parents to have more control on the content and features of the app. The app requires a parental setup and has features such as:

  • Having a passcode to prevent kids exiting the app to browse elsewhere
  • Option to turning off the search function to limit child to videos on the homescreen
  • Option to limit screen time by turning on the timer function.
  • Blocking content you don’t want your kids to watch
  • And lots more

With so many new hacks and functions provided by Google, they recently held a workshop called Google Café for Parents in the interest of helping parents navigate technology with their digital native children. Parents were given an overview presentation, and were welcomed to visit three demonstration booths and one Google Clinic booth for a quick check-up on their smartphones.

Zeffri Yusof, Head of Communications and Public Affairs at Google Malaysia, guides parents through the practical uses of various Google apps.

Google’s Interland online interactive game teaches children key lessons of digital citizenship and online safety.

The accompanying kids were also helped to be safe, confident explorers of the online world via Interland, Google’s adventurous online game with a focus on internet etiquette and safety. The tiny explorers learned how to “Be Internet Smart”, “Be Internet Alert”, “Be Internet Strong”, “Be Internet Kind” and “Be Internet Brave” through a series of exciting mini games, before concluding their adventure with a pledge to stay safe in the digital space.