Being a parent is hard. Not only are you expected to keep your children alive, but you are also expected to give them a high-quality upbringing that will allow them to blossom into the polite, well-adjusted doctors, politicians, teachers and strippers of tomorrow. Luckily, the parents of today have smartphones at their disposal – we use smartphones to take pictures, plan schedules and keep in touch, and with the right apps, we can use them to raise our children too.
What good is it giving your child a GPS-enabled smartphone if you can’t use it to stalk their every movement? That’s what the makers of the MamaBear app must have been thinking when they came out with an app that lets you monitor your child’s physical location and social network activity. Mama (or Papa) installs the parent version of the app on her smartphone, and the child version gets installed on Baby Bear’s phone. From there, Mama tells the app when the child is supposed to be in school or at other designated locations, and set locations where the child is not allowed to go – she’ll get a notification on her phone if Junior is not where he’s supposed to be. Additionally, Mama can make a list of restricted friends and words for his Facebook and Instagram accounts, and she’ll be notified if he’s tagged in a picture with the neighborhood’s sketchy kids or if he decides to use his best sailor vocabulary on Facebook. For the untrustworthy child with access to a vehicle, Mama can set speed limits, and she’ll be told if her little darling exceeds them.
Babybrain: Your Baby Log
Babies are demanding creatures, with the nerve to require several different kinds of care each day. Is the baby crying because his diaper is full, or because his mother has forgotten to feed him for three days? The harried parent can’t always tell. For overworked mothers who have difficulty remembering how to spell their own names or put their pants on the right way post-childbirth, Babybrain is a wonderful solution. The app can track information on sleep, diaper changes, feedings and medication to help you stick to a schedule, and because it stores an unlimited amount of data, you could theoretically track your child clear through to adulthood.
Ladder of Doom
Despite its ominous name, Ladder of Doom is an app for effective and humane child discipline. Developed by an actual psychologist, and not just some nerd with moderate programming abilities, Ladder of Doom makes bedtime a few minutes earlier as punishment for misdeeds, and allows children to gain back lost time with chores and tasks. The app allows for portable punishment on the go; it’s tough to give your child a time-out or tie her to a medieval torture device if she misbehaves at the mall, but this app allows for instant consequences no matter where you are. Academically inclined parents can read the included information on the psychological principles used to design the app.
Children are filthy. If they’re not French-kissing the dog or picking up dead birds, they’re cramming as much dirt and garbage into their mouths as they possibly can. Thousands of parents with no medical training whatsoever are constantly thrust into the role of expert nurse several times per week by their infection-prone darlings. Typing a child’s afflictions into an online symptom-checker like WebMD is only going to tell a worried parent that their child may have every form of cancer known to science, and it just isn’t practical to bring little Timmy to the oncologist every time he comes down with the sniffles. iHomeopathy is a medical app with instructions for soothing all of your children’s battle wounds, and it covers everything from bee stings to broken bones, making this app a must-have for medically clueless parents who are particularly fond of their children.
Author bio – Edward Dennis is the content and social media director at Chambers Institute, an accredited English school in Melbourne. In his spare time, he likes to blog about inbound marketing, education and social media. You can find at twitter @edwarddennisau.