4 ways to stay connected to your kids at home.
Smart home devices can help families stay in touch and on track, even when everyone’s not in the same place.

You can’t be everywhere all at once, but smart home devices can sometimes make it seem like you are.

Here are four ways Nest products can help you stay connected to your kids at home, whether you’re in another part of the house or out and about.

1Know when kids get home

Leandra Wills, a mother of two in Colorado, often lets her kids, ages 10 and 13, walk home from school by themselves. She knows it takes them only about 10 minutes, and these days, she knows when they’ve made it, thanks to their Nest Doorbell, which sends a notification through the Google Home app on her phone. Its camera spots anyone who comes to the front door and sends an alert in real time.1 “It’s nice to see that they got home safely,” Wills says. And if it’s just a delivery person with a package, she’ll know that too.

2Remind kids when it’s time for chores

“My kids know the dog needs to go out for a walk every afternoon around 4 p.m., but a gentle reminder never hurts,” says Katy Chapman, whose kids are 11 and 14, and who has Nest speakers around the house so that she can broadcast messages as needed. “I broadcast a message on the speakers in their bedrooms to make sure one of them has taken Lulu out on schedule.” Broadcast in Action lets you include announcements within a routine, so that at 4 p.m. every day, the Chapman speakers might announce: “It’s time to walk the dog.”

You can also set up Family Bell to do the reminding for you. It automatically makes announcements on your Nest speakers or family members’ phones. Try things like, “Hey kids, it’s time to walk the dog,” or “Dinner’s in 15 minutes,” to keep everyone on track. 

3Let kids know their screen limits

Kids and screens can be a tricky combination. And when you’re not there, you may want to make sure your kids aren’t spending endless hours on games and videos. The Nest Wi-Fi systems not only provide reliable connectivity, but they also allow you to set up some digital guardrails.

For example, you can manage your Wi-Fi remotely from the Google Home app, ahead of time or in the moment. Create internet breaks by pausing access to select devices either on demand or according to a schedule, so kids can’t be on their screens when you’re expecting them to be doing homework or practicing an instrument. Nest Wifi settings also allow you to block millions of adult websites

Parents can also use the Family Link app on their phones to monitor and limit online activity, block certain apps, and approve or decline purchases.

“I use it to set limits on certain apps, like TikTok, and if the girls want more time, or new apps, I can approve or deny that request from my phone,” says Jane Ryan, a New Jersey mom to two teenage daughters. Ryan says even when she’s not in the room with her girls, she feels she can help them make good choices.

Nest Wi-Fi Router
Strong connection. Every direction.
4Make sure a lockout is never an issue

A smart lock like the Nest x Yale Lock lets you give your kids unique door codes to let themselves in the house. And if you notice over the video doorbell that they’re struggling with the combination, you can ask if they need help and unlock the door remotely for them. 

Of course, even the best technology can’t take a parent’s place. And no smart device can guarantee your kids do their homework or chores every day. But with the right tools, at least you’ll know what is – and isn’t – happening at home, no matter where you are.

  1. Some features, including mobile notifications, remote control, video streaming, and video recording, require working internet and Wi-Fi.

Takeaways
Get notified that your kids are home with the Nest DoorbellRemind your kids about homework or dinner using Family BellSet limits on screen time using Family Link offers
Nest Wi-Fi Router
Strong connection. Every direction.
Related products
Nest Audio
Nest Wifi
Nest x Yale Lock
Nest Doorbell (Battery)
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Curious about smart home devices? Start here. 3 ways to guide kids’ online time. A day in the life of a smart home.
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