11 Must-Have Phone Apps for Parents
Parents have countless reasons to worry about their kids’ safety from the time they’re born right on through the teen years. Unfortunately, technology is a big culprit. Yet, it can also serve to help keep kids safe.
Many phone apps provide parents ways to monitor their kids’ whereabouts both online and in the real world. Not to mention, there are plenty of other useful apps for families as well. But with 2.8 million apps on the market, where does a parent begin?
The following is a selection of useful apps designed specifically for parents and families. Best of all, many of these apps are free.
Screen Time Parental Control. Android and iPhone. Free trial. This useful app provides parents a variety of controls to limit kids’ use of screen time. It allows parents to block apps and games at bedtime or during school hours. Parents can also push a button on their phone to time-out kids’ phones when kids refuse to get off their phones as requested.
MMGuardian. Android and iPhone. Free. This monitoring app for preteens and teens allows parents to monitor and block text messages, apps, calls, and URLs. It also has configurations for limiting screen time.
Cozi Family Organizer. Android and iPhone. Free or paid upgrade. Manage and share your family calendar between all devices to keep everyone in the loop. In addition to keeping track of schedules, it manages reminders, to-do lists, shopping lists, and recipes.
Netspark Parental Control Light. Android. Paid subscription. Get powerful filtering with this app to protect your kids from harmful images, text, and video content. It also allows parents to set time limits for daily or weekly screen time.
ToddlyTic. Android and iPhone. Free 30-day trial. This app is an excellent way to communicate with your child’s daycare provider or schoolteachers. It helps you stay on top of your child’s attendance, grades,and more. You can also use this app to manage and make tuition payments to your child’s school.
Life360 Family Locator – GPS Tracker. Android and iPhone. Free. With this app, you create “circles” of family members and friends. You can then view the location of any of your circle members on a map. The tracker will send you text alerts when your child arrives at or leaves a destination.
KidsPlace Parental Control by Kiddoware. Android. Free or paid upgrade. Block incoming calls and prevent kids from buying or downloading apps. Premium features include a timer that locks apps after a set period as well as a permanent, schedule-based lock.
ChoreMonster. Android and iPhone. Free. This app is a great way to gain kids’ cooperation with chores. Kids can keep track of points they earn for completing tasks, which they use to pay for rewards, such as video game time, a special treat, or a family outing.
DriveSafe.ly. Android. Free or paid upgrade. If you have teen drivers, this is a must-have app. It reads text messages and emails out loud and announces the name of incoming callers without having to touch the phone. The paid version allows for hands-free responding to messages.
Baby Monitor 3G. Android and iPhone. $3.99. Monitor your baby with both video and audio and receive alerts when your baby awakens. You can even see your baby in the dark. It also tracks how often your baby wakes up and allows for replay of sounds. You can even press a button on your phone and talk to your baby.
Wheel of Chores. Android and iPhone. Free. A great way to put some fun in chores, kids spin the wheel each day for a task to do and earn points based on the reward set. At the end of the week, parents reward their kids with the amount of money they made, or kids can bank it.
Kimberly Blaker is the author of the kids’ STEM book Horoscopes: Reality or Trickery? She also writes a blog, Modern FamilyStyle, at modernfamilystyle.com