Our world today is full of apps! Although some are harmless, others pose threats that we may not even be aware of. Popular apps can make it easier for parents to better manage their time and monitor the activities of their kids.
With a lot of new family apps being created, it is difficult knowing what is worth it and what isn’t. A lot of the apps claim to make life easier for parents but just aren’t worth the hassle of downloading. Parenting can be a difficult job, and we could all use some extra help in organizing our day to day.
I’ve highlighted the top 7 tried-and-true parenting apps that help make parenting smoother for me and hubs!
Have a teenager? This app is a must-have! Life360 comes with a map that will track the progress of a phone in real-time, so you can see exactly where they are at all times. The app will also tell users the exact location on the phone and how to get to the destination. This can also help in locating the phone of a family member, as long as another family member has their phone, you can use Life360 to track the location of a phone down to the building.
This tracking app will work on both iPhone and Android, and it is completely free. To use it, you and your family can download it, when someone sets up a family circle. After that, you can start tracking your family members. The app allows you to give regular updates to all your family members about your location. Your teens will love this feature. NOT!
- Life 360
With Life 360, your family members can participate in a group chat. All of this comes with the free version. If you intend to upgrade to a plus version, you are guaranteed a few neat features such as crime reports in the area and 30-day location history rather than the usual week of history. The plus version is $7.99 per month or you can prepay for 12 months for $5.83. Either way, both are affordable.
2. Screentime Labs
Screentime Labs is an important app for parents to limit how their kids use their devices. It has various helpful functions, especially the Time Limits, scheduled app blocker, and reports about web and screen usage. The app does a good job of remotely managing devices. You can hear the life go out of the room as soon as I block all device use at the same time. The first question is always, is something wrong with the internet? Then they realize it’s just me and the power of Screentime Labs.
Some benefits of using this app include:
- Restrict access to games at bedtime while allowing your kids to use reading apps. You can also block games and social media during school hours while educational apps remain unblocked.
- Completely block the device of your children any time you need with the Instant Pause option. Or the other way around, keep the device blocked by default and use it to allow your kid play to play by enabling Free play mode.
- Reward your kids with some extra screen time for doing home chores or completing other tasks.
- View the websites your children browsed and terms searched on Google and other search engines. This option is only open to Android users.
Want to organize your family’s day to day? The Cozi app is great for busy families. You can share the schedules and activities of every member of the family as well as grocery lists and chores. It helps us remember if we are out of milk and eggs the next time we make a quick run to the store. Everything gets updated in real-time so you can keep up with the changes in the day of another family member. The app is free and available for iPhones, Androids, Kindle Fire, and Windows 8.1. Cozi has been a lifesaver for our family. It’s free so why not give it a try to see if it can help you organize your home.
4. Rooster Money
Rooster Money offers a great way to help younger kiddos track their allowance and savings. Families can select a free account with all the basics, while a subscription unlocks extra features such as job/chore assignments and interest on savings. The Plus subscription costs $2.99 per month or $18.99 per year. Both versions are ad-free. Kids will do best if they have basic reading skills, and those on the younger side will need help learning about the navigation. In terms of charitable giving, kids can view various charities from their account, but parents can make donations on their behalf.
The app helps kids manage their funds, track their chores, and consider charitable giving. The free version supports two adults that can help manage accounts and the ability to add a separate account for each child. Account managers set up a regular allowance and can also post individual payments for individual kids. It also allows kids to distribute their money into various pots categories. Kids can also set goals for something they are saving for, and they can also track it.
We all could probably use a moment of calm, right about now. The Calm app is a part of my daily self-care routine and is available to download on your phone or tablet. Calm has 100+ guided meditation practices and an entire library of sleep stories that are written and recorded by experts. Even though it is a meditation app, it goes far above that. They have every meditation that you can dream of, and then some. Calm was very helpful in walking me through the beginning stages of meditation. I would fill my diffuser with water and an essential oil and start my day with calm. This app also has sessions on how to train your mind to focus.
Download the app and try 7 days FREE! The paid version is $69.99 per year, but you’ll get a coupon to sign-up for the paid version. It makes the first year for new users about $41.99.
6. Wyze App + Camera
Wyze is a platform that hosts a ton of smart home and personal devices. You can connect all parts of your world with the ever-growing Wyze ecosystem. With this app, you can make simple automation in-and-out of your home including a little magic and simplicity to your daily routines. In our home, we use a budget-friendly ($25) Wyze Cams to monitor the children throughout the day via the free app. The cameras are visible and they all are aware that they are there. It helps when mommy and daddy need to head to the grocery store or run an errand. Also, no need to figure out who broke what anymore! *Smile You’re On Candid Camera*
7. Google Calendar
Google Calendar is a free online calendar that makes it possible for parents to keep track of events and share them with family members. It also lets users set up reminders and send invitations, as well as keep track of RSVPs.
One of the major benefits of Google Calendar is its sharing abilities. Our family can share Google Calendars and keep track of events such as meetings, appointments, birthdays, and so on. The bigs (older kids) know that it is their responsibility to input any event, birthday party, or a game that we’ve given them permission to participate in or go to on the Google Calendar and share it with us. The rule is if we are double booked and they failed to put their event on the schedule in a timely manner then it’s a no go for them. *shrugs* That takes the onus off of mommy to have to remember EVERY. SINGLE. THING.
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