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Hands-On, High-Tech Parenting From Art Projects to Alexa

How Phinney Ridge dad Andrew Wilcox uses gadgets to make the most of offline family time

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Published on: May 30, 2024

Phinney Ridge family out on Pacific Northwest hike with their two sons
Photo:
Phinney Ridge Parents Andrew Wilcox and Debi Blizard on a hike with their two sons. Wilcox might be a techy dad, but he's also a Seattlite--always ready to go screen-free and hit the trails. Credit: Andrew Wilcox

Welcome to our series on parenting styles. Meet more Puget Sound families: “Beyond Tiger Moms and Attachment Dads: 7 Seattle-area parents share how their stories shape their parenting style

The High Tech Dad, Andrew Wilcox, Phinney Ridge dad to a 5- and 1-year-old

Andrew Wilcox is a Creative Director whose work bridges the advertising and tech industries.

Wilcox’s parenting style reflects his interest in innovation. He remains intentional about maintaining a balance between high tech solutions and traditional hands-on approaches to ensure that tech enhances, rather than dominates, his family’s day-to-day.

Tech wins for family life

Wilcox uses a variety of technologies to streamline family life, including sound machines that allow him and his wife to move around the house without disturbing their sleeping children, and smart devices like Amazon’s Alexa for setting reminders, timers, and playing kids’ music.

The Baby Brezza formula dispenser has been a savior, he says, especially for early morning feeds, and baby monitors have been invaluable in providing peace of mind and freedom during evenings for mom and dad.

Reflecting on the integration of technology into daily life, Wilcox says, “Just as in our professional lives, as parents we are happy to be early tech adopters to make parenting just a little bit easier.”

An expensive high-tech miss for colic

Wilcox is open about his family’s less successful tech experiments. He says these misses have offered a realistic perspective on the trial-and-error nature of integrating gadgets and automation into everyday challenges with young children. For example, the pricey SNOO Smart Sleeper proved to be less effective for their colicky younger son than old-fashioned parent comfort.

Kid and parent screentime is still limited

In terms of wins, the family’s Ergobaby carrier has been indispensable. The soft carrier allows the baby to stay close and calm while Wilcox manages daily tasks.

While Wilcox enjoys experimenting with high tech solutions for everyday family needs, he’s also enthusiastic about limiting screentime for kids. He makes sure his sons have plenty of unplugged opportunities for exploration through activities like gardening, camping and hands-on art projects.

Meet more Puget Sound families:

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