As AI tools such as ChatGPT, QuillBot, Bit AI, CoPilot, etc. are becoming more and more the norm, more and more questions are being raised about just how artificial intelligence will affect us all. Additionally, many parents are concerned and aren’t quite sure how to help their children navigate this new technology to the fullest. Well, the parenting experts at Motherly.comare here to help us all. Principal Microsoft engineer, Jennifer Marsman shares tips on how parents can use AI as a tool for teachable moments.

Child programming on a computer. CANVA.COM

1. Meet them on their own level


Of course, this does go without saying. Parents don’t want to overwhelm children with something that is too advanced for them to understand or with something that is too easy. You have to meet them where they are at. Here are three key points that Marsman suggests that parents consider when trying to tailor AI tools to their children.

  • Break down big concepts for kids, such as: “Help me explain the electoral college process to a 4th grader.”
  • Help kids think about different perspectives—you can prep for a classroom debate by asking an AI tool to play the other side of the argument. (This also works in the workplace; I have used it to help me find any flaws in my reasoning before making a big presentation to vice presidents!).
  • Craft personalized bedtime stories. Every child loves to be the star of their own story. Try a prompt with the Copilot app (free on App Store and Google Play) such as: “Write a story about a 10-year-old girl named Fiona who loves mermaids and solves the mystery of a missing wedding ring underwater.”

2. Keep a healthy skepticism

Make sure that you as the parent keep a healthy dose of skepticism and critical thinking in your parenting toolbox when it comes to AI. When a new technology is developing, parents must at the forefront of learning how to help their children engage safely, productively, while also at the same time, having some fun.

“Of course, AI is a tool, and like all tools, has both strengths and limitations—and can be used for good and bad. So it’s also important to talk to your children about using AI as you would with any type of tech. Specifically, understand their school’s policy on using AI tools for schoolwork,” Marsman suggests in her article.

“Much like the conversations we all had when the internet was gaining traction, and we learned how to engage with the internet safely and find trustworthy sources, children will need to learn to question whether content is AI-generated as reliance on these tools become more prevalent—and as AI-generated images get more realistic.”

Child using AI to garden. CANVA.COM

3. AI can be uses as a parent-assist as well

For the mom and dad are doing it all…AI can help you catch a break and jump in with a parent assist. Whether it is for helping to you to create schedules, plan dinners, vacations, or whatever, AI can definitely help you solve the problem, giving you as the parent, one less thing to worry and about!

4. Capture curiosity, leveraging teachable moments

The benefit of having a cellphone or laptop nearby at all times is that AI apps can be at the ready when teachable moments happen. Marsman shares the following adorable example.

“After a recent business trip, I was cleaning out my purse and my son caught sight of non-United States currency in the denomination of 100. He grabbed the $100 peso bill, immediately convinced that he was “rich,” and it spurred a conversation about different currencies around the world. I opened my AI app, snapped a picture of the currency, and asked how much this was worth in US dollars. (It was worth about $6.)”

“As I snuggle with my ‘rich’ little boy and we plan his bedtime story, I envision his future. I want a future where AI aids his learning, exploration, and problem-solving, and a future where he harnesses AI for good as he grows as a curious, creative, and compassionate individual. I kiss him goodnight and whisper, ‘I love you more than a hundred pesos.’ He smiles and says, ‘Mommy, I love you more than six dollars, too.’

Parent using AI tools. CANVA.COM

AI is here to stay whether we like it or not. Getting onboard with how to properly navigate the new technology with your children can be something educational for you both, in addition to being a fun activity where you are not only spending time with them learning something new, you are spending time together!

Tiffany Silva

Tiffany Silva

Writer and Editor

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