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Our kids will be receiving a lot of technology this holiday season. Any tips for preparing?

According to a study released by the Consumer Electronics Association, mobile devices, tablets and laptops – as well as other gadgets – will be the most desired gifts this holiday.

Your child will be highly disappointed, however, if an electronic gift doesn’t work. Parents can bypass a bummer by charging electronics and trying out features a week or more before they give techie gifts.

That allows for plenty of return time if you aren’t satisfied and gives you an opportunity to explore the new technology yourself.

In addition, families can prepare for an abundance of electronics by following these simple steps to keep kids safe and balanced as they enjoy their new gadgets:

Update security

Introducing new technology might mean your kids will need access to your computer, the Internet or your Wi-Fi connection. Make sure to update parental controls on your computer, Internet browsers and Wi-Fi settings. Take advantage of parental controls on video-game consoles and electronic gadgets, and block explicit songs on iTunes.

Give with boundaries

Avoid frustration by letting kids know the first day with technology is an extended-limit day – they get double the time they normally do playing video games or using a computer. The next day, begin returning to a better balance, and after a few days return to your house tech rules.

Plan other activities

Chilly weather and technology can make for fun indoors, but don’t forget to plan some unplugged activity during vacation days and weekends to connect with each other. Traditional board games, winter sports and a visit to museums, malls or monuments break up tech time.

Have resources ready

From batteries to how-to blogs, make sure you have resources ready when giving an electronic gift. Bookmark manufacturer websites, read reviews and stock up on batteries and chargers. Consider giving accessories such as screen protectors and gadget cases.

Keep packaging and receipts handy

Just in case, make sure you hang onto the original packaging for new devices and your proof of purchase so exchanging is simple and quick. Also, read reviews on the tech warranties and services offered by the manufacturer.

(C) 2012 The Virginian-Pilot and The Ledger-Star, Norfolk, VA.