Do you constantly find yourself groaning when your kids want to watch the same pointless episode of Johnny Test 10 times? Frustrated because you cannot think of or agree on an alternative? Clueless about apps outside of MindCraft and NFL Rush? Still wondering how to convince your kid there are books besides My Little Ponies? Sick of answering the “Can I read/watch/play (blank)?” because you actually don’t know?
How to Pick “Good” shows/Apps/Movies for your kids
All too often, I engage in an inner debate over the appropriateness and value of my children’s media choices. I ask myself, why is so much of my energy going to figuring out what my kids should watch/play/read? (I have a background in children’s media, so I should be better at this, right?) My kids love media time, I want them to watch/play/read something (for their own enjoyment and my own peace of mind). But, I want it to be something “good.” Fun, but worthwhile.
My kids are getting slightly older, and deciphering appropriate content for them is becoming more difficult. It used to be so easy (Daniel Tiger-good. Sponge Bob-bad). Now my 7 year old thinks that PBS kids is for babies, and only wants shows that target teenagers. We spend more time disagreeing about what my 3 kids will watch than actually watching it. That’s just TV shows. Movie night is worse. And Apps? I don’t have a clue.
Enter SmartFeed Media.
I fell upon this website and app almost by happy coincidence (it was in a packet we get from my son’s school each week). I saw the words “children’s media”-the topic of my PostDoc-and was intrigued. Next, I visited the website was impressed. Then I talked to one of the experts at SmartFeed and knew I had to write a blog post about this product/service. It fits perfectly with my series of “Services that help This Mom Find Balance” posts.
What is SmartFeed Media?
Directly from the SmartFeed Website (with their permission)-
“SmartFeed is a platform for parents to easily and quickly find great media content for their kids, all in one place…
With SmartFeed, we help parents find the “good stuff” that’s out there and can help shape kids in a positive way. We believe “parents know best” about what their kids need. And with customized content options for every kind of kid, parents can harness the power of digital media to offer up content that inspires, broadens, sparks curiosity and helps their kids grow.”
How it Works:
You start by setting up profiles for each child with their interests, character traits or values you’d like to focus on and academic areas you want to reinforce. SmartFeed then searches through more than 30,000 apps, movies, books and TV shows to come up with customized, sortable Recommendations for your family.
You can quickly review media titles in your Feed, hide the ones you don’t want to see again, and save the ones you like to your child’s Library or a playlist. As your child grows, adjust filters at any time to keep your Library up to date with new content options they will love.
You can easily rate and review what you’ve seen and share it with your SmartFeed community and find out what media is working well in other households similar to yours.
*In November 2016, SmartFeed released an IOS app to allow for media curation on the go. SmartFeed also maintains a blog on its site, and constantly makes upgrades to its offerings.
Use this link to sign up for FREE and set up an account and profiles for your child(ren).
I have been using SmartFeed with my own kids, and have been very happy about “my feed.” It is the true essence of 80/20 parenting. SmartFeed provides recommendations (they do 80%) based on the profiles I set up (10%). Then I choose from my feeds (the remaining 10%). My favorite feed selections so far are the sport-focused age appropriate media choices for my sons. Movies I have never heard of, as well as older ones I simply forgot, have been big hits with us all.
Outsourcing things helps me find balance. Finding the right media keeps it valuable for my kids.
SmartFeed Sums it up here
“Kids spend an average of 7+hours on screens. Rather than that time being wasted, or even harmful, what if instead it could contribute to their growth as little human beings?”
(**note-I will receive a small affiliate link payment for anyone who signs up using the above link. That said, I have spoken directly with one of the SmartFeed founders, and agree with what they are doing.)