So, get this–parents are allowed to use the smart devices, too! I know, right? If you’re able to wrestle your iPhone or iPad from the kids for five minutes, check out some of our picks for apps that solve common parenting problems:
Problem 1: Every so often, your kid actually does a chore, and you need to acknowledge that.
Solution: Chore Monster. This app allows parents to set a chore list for each kid (hey, set one for your husband, too – we won’t judge) and assign point values. Completed tasks earn points that can be put towards rewards. The app also sends your kids fun monsters for participating, so it’s super motivating!
Problem 2: SO! MUCH! ARTWORK!
Solution: Artkive. We hate seeing kids’ precious artwork in the recycling bin, but we also know how hard it is to store and display (especially when siblings are vying for that top spot on the fridge!). This app allows you to snap a picture of each piece of artwork when it’s sent home and then archives the work by date so that your child can see his creations whenever he wants. The app also lets you use those pictures to make books or other cool gifts and keepsakes. The art is saved and you don’t have to rent a storage unit to keep it all!
Problem 3: You find the movie rating system less than helpful.
Solution: Common Sense Media. This searchable app is gives you a ton of detailed information (Positive messages? Violence? Language?) about movies, T.V. shows, games, apps, books, websites, and music (like, seriously, everything) to help you decide whether they’re appropriate for your kids. The app is run by a non-partisan (Read: it isn’t their goal to ban anything or pass judgment on parents) group.
The app provides Best Lists by age to help you find quality entertainment for your kiddos with great categories like “Best Sleepover Movies,” “Best Back-to-School Movies,” and “Movies with Strong Female Characters.” The app can create customized lists for your children and you can choose favorites for them. When your child asks to see, play, hear, or read something new, check this app first!
Problem 4: Your kids might do sneaky stuff on the internet, and you can’t watch them 24-7, thank you very much.
Solution: Our Pact. Let this app take the guesswork out of internet safety by pairing your smart device with your child’s so that you can control what websites and apps your kids are able to access and when. Set specific time frames when smart device usage is allowed (e.g., 7:00 – 8:00 p.m.) and limit the number of hours kids have access. The app even provides you with recommendations on sites and apps that are O.K. versus Not O.K. for your child.
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Kristen Berthiaume is a clinical psychologist whose other day job is as mom to three willing product testers. Find her articles on all things child-wrangling at “Parenting with a Ph.D.” over on birminghammommy.com.