The great thing about technology is, it can help you do things you don't want to do ... like parenting. (Just kidding!) There are so many iPhone apps out there that are supposed to be indispensable to parents. But are they? Here are today's two up for review:
What it does: The Time-Out app says it's a "time-out manager that allows you to program the duration of a time-out." It also allows your kids to watch the excruciating countdown to the end of their punishment. When the time-out is over, for some odd reason a school bell sounds. (Is it to get kids prepared for detention?)
Why it's better to go old-school: I tried it with my 4-year-old, and in order for her to see the countdown, the iPhone had to be kind of near her ... which meant she kept trying to grab it. I also had a problem with how exact the app is. When I give time-outs, sometimes I let her out earlier or keep her in longer. The reasons vary from: Is she really tired, and keeping her in the full prison sentence seems cruel? Can I use the time to get something done? Since kids really can't understand the passage of time, I think using your internal clock works better than the app.
Worth it? It's hard to slam a product that's free, but the time it took to download -- roughly 20 seconds -- was a waste of time.
App: Kid Point Tracking
What it does: Kid Point Tracking keeps track of all those things you expect of your kids, like making their beds, brushing their teeth and giving you total unwavering respect ... um, well, forget that last one. But still, it's a great way to organize all the tasks. And for those real type-A parents, it even generates reports!
Why it's better to go old-school: Kids do enjoy putting stickers or stars on a chart. Depending on how much you want your kids touching (and dropping) your phone, you can let them enter when they've completed a task and check to see how many reward points they've earned.
Worth it? If you can't be bothered to make your kid an old-fashioned chore/award chart on paper, then this app is for you!