Parenting Apps — Raising Children in the Digital Age

While the stress of being a parent may seem overwhelming, technology can step in to help simplify some duties. For a variety of health and developmental reasons, technology should never replace a parent, but it can certainly help make the most of the time spent with your kids.

Key takeaways:
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    From monitoring your child’s location to finances and coordinating schedules, meals, and everything in between, there is an app designed to help parents manage.
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    Parent-focused apps are designed to give parents communication tips, health advice, and information. They alert them of potential threats, can help ease parents' minds, and reduce some parenting stress.
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    Child development tools and games can also facilitate growth and development. However, parents should limit the use of these apps due to the damaging effects of too much overall screen time.

From tracking the whereabouts of your children to assisting in their growth and development, there is a digital application for almost anything benefiting your child today. Since there are various apps for assisting parents, we’ll cover a few of the most popular parenting app categories designed to help simplify parenting duties.

Keeping your children safe

If you’re ever feeling stressed about where your children are — there’s an app for that. Numerous location-tracking apps exist today. These apps claim to help you watch your babies sleep and track the locations of your older kids, easing your mind a bit when they are not in direct sight. There are also apps for monitoring their messages and web activities, and even an app for detecting warning signs of more serious issues such as bullying and suicidal thoughts.

Meal planning, groceries, and recipes

When it comes to ensuring your family is eating a well-balanced diet consisting of foods they like, along with any dietary requirements, an app on your phone can assist. Additionally, apps provide great recipe ideas — even order your groceries. Planning a nutritious meal plan for your family has never been so easy.

Health, child development, and first aid

Thanks to apps that can give you medical and health information, advice on first aid training, and step-by-step instructions for emergencies — you have access to everything you would learn from attending various brick-and-mortar educational facilities, or spending hours researching, directly from your smartphone. Some apps can even tell you if your child is exhibiting characteristics and behaviors that are normal for their age. They even assist with learning tools to help them reach the level of growth and development that is normal for their age if they are behind.

Communication tools for parents

Parents are not always expert communicators, especially when it comes to their youngsters. This is something parents would usually have to seek specialized training for from a licensed therapist or communications expert. However, now they have these tips in the palm of their hands with various apps offering advice. For any developmental stage, parents can receive tips and tools for effectively communicating with their children in a variety of situations.

Family planning and finances

Running a family is very similar to running a business. Parents must learn how to manage household expenses and busy schedules — especially when each child "needs" something. Luckily there are apps similar to business project management tools designed for tracking work, school, and extracurricular schedules and expenditures. These features help monitor and control household cash flow and help parents coordinate work, school, and extracurricular schedules, set budgets, and track expenses — making it easier than auditing bank and credit card statements or using a calendar to try to coordinate who is picking up their kids from football or volleyball practice.

Chores, allowance, and household duties

Household chores and duties can sometimes be difficult to keep straight. You can hang a big calendar on your wall or keep track of each household member’s duties through numerous apps. These not only keep track of who is supposed to do what, but also reward children with points that can be used to redeem custom rewards and allowance.

Child development apps

Developing both fine and gross motor skills is something you can also find in an app. Numerous learning tools educate children and parents while developing your child’s skills and teaching them valuable life lessons. This can help take some of the guesswork out of parenting when you aren’t sure how to handle a situation. Some of these apps also highlight activities specific to your child to be most beneficial to their unique needs.

How healthy is technology for your children and family?

Technology, and the consequences that come with it, are often a concern of many parents. Some may ask whether or not using a smartphone with various apps is truly the most beneficial way to parent children. Unfortunately, the answer is not so simple. Research shows us that using smartphones or tablets at an early age can be detrimental to a child’s development. There is also research showing that these devices can damage our health. However, if parents use these tools as guides rather than as their daily go-to source for everything they need while limiting their children's screen time, they may be helpful.

It's important to exercise moderation with everything in life. This is especially true when it comes to smartphone usage. Parents need to be careful that it is not replacing human interactions and opportunities for learning from direct contact with the world. It is convenient, however, to have a couple of handy tools at your disposal when you are in a bind and just not sure of the best route to take to be the best parent you can be. Luckily we have apps for that, and they can even limit the amount of time your entire family spends in front of a screen.

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