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App or Crapp? Raising Kids with Your iPhone

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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:


timeout.jpg

App: Time-Out

Cost: FREE

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. 


kidtrack.jpg

App: Kid Point Tracking

Cost: $0.99

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!


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99 comments so far | Post a comment now
OldSchoolMom March 11, 2010, 11:11 AM

That generation is so plugged into any gadget that they won’t be able to think for themselves if they ever have to.

AmandaP June 2, 2010, 11:00 AM

First of all thanks a lot for the nice information. I have to admit that all these iPhone applications are really wonderful! I have a little child and I really planning to download these apps which you have recommended to my new iPhone. My fried had used Kid Point Tracking and she was really satisfied with it. I hope that I will be satisfied too. Thanks a lot one more time for the great reviews and keep up publishing this attractive information in the future. Regards, Amanda Patton from iphone development

Doyle Heldman July 25, 2010, 10:23 PM

I’m pretty sure I get what your saying

Nigel Wolak August 14, 2010, 11:19 AM

@Jen- I was thinking the same thing

james patrick October 15, 2010, 5:36 AM

These incremental requirements which you have stated for us are really new for me. I decided to find more information about this subject in your website. So thanks a lot one more time for the great and interesting post and keep up publishing this detailed information in the nearest future too. Regards James from video chat software company

Jessica October 18, 2010, 9:10 PM

Two great apps, one free and one is a buck… should be used for any mother, this will help a lot, thanks!
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Kids do enjoy putting stickers or stars on a chart.
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bamby October 23, 2010, 9:10 AM

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.
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samrah October 24, 2010, 5:35 AM

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.
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samrah October 25, 2010, 12:18 PM

I have to admit that all these iPhone applications are really wonderful! I have a little child and I really planning to download these apps which you have recommended to my new iPhone.
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