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The positive side of techno-parenting

Tiernan McKay is a freelance writer based in Denver, Colorado. Her writing has appeared in magazines such as Alive!, Occupational Health and Safety, Restaurants and Institutions, Tampa Bay and Arizona Woman. Right now, she is either ridi...

Technology that can make parenting easier

There are those who argue that technology has become a detriment to society and a hindrance to kids and parents alike. But technology isn’t all bad… especially if you’re a busy parent.

Even with all of the drawbacks associated with the prevalence of technology, savvy parents can definitely use it to their advantage. For instance, a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that flu vaccine rates could be improved by text messaging reminders to parents — and that’s just one nifty trick.

A sea of information

It seems everywhere you turn there is another app, website or service promising to make your life better, faster, sweeter or quieter. As a busy parent, how to do sort through the clutter in order to take full advantage of the technology best suited for your unique situation? Perhaps the best form of research is word of mouth. When moms find a good thing, you know they love to share it. Mommy blogs, forums and playgrounds can be the best proving grounds for parent-related technology so don’t be shy about asking for opinions.

Read about the best home office technology for moms >>

One mom's experience

You may literally breathe a sigh of relief when you find a piece of technology that is in line with your parenting philosophy. For Clare Morgan, a mom and marketing entrepreneur, parenting features on her son’s cell phone proved invaluable during his high school years. "I blocked his ability to text or use his phone during schools hours and I also checked his GPS locator," she says. "Once he had his own vehicle, I used a tracking device to monitor his location, speed, hard breaking, rapid starts, etc. Some would say my son had no privacy but I disagree. He had plenty, unless he abused my trust."

Read about GPS tracking on your child's phone: Intelligent or invasive? >>

The best of the best

Whether you are on top of the latest and greatest or a bit behind the curve, here are some techno-parent favorites that are definitely worth checking out:

1

Baby concierge

MyBlueBirdie.com – New parents are some of the most targeted consumers, which can leave them sorting through a mountain of information. MyBlueBirdie is an online baby concierge service that offers expert advice, quality product offerings, flash sales and more. "We were inspired to create a one-stop-shop offering the best quality products, expertly curated from a panel of credible sources and parents, where new and expecting families can confidently plan, shop and save," says co-creator Merilee Brooks.

2

Parenting answers

Pearl.com – When the inevitable parenting questions surface, it may be difficult to find someone to provide answers. Pearl.com connects parents with a variety of experts on a wide range of topics. "People come to Pearl.com when they need to talk one-on-one with a professional about an important issue," explained founder and CEO Andy Kurtzig. "On Pearl.com, you can talk to doctors, lawyers, veterinarians, auto mechanics and tech support — whether it’s for additional medical explanation, getting legal information or assistance repairing your car, appliances or gadgets."

3

Shorter wait times

InQuicker – Most parents have experienced the headache of the emergency room waiting area. InQuicker allows parents to wait with their sick or injured child at home by holding a place in line and alerting the parent when their time slot is approaching.

4

Mini literacy lessons

PocketLiteracy.com – Intellectually, we all know reading to our kids is important but life sometimes gets in the way. PocketLiteracy inspires parents to engage their kids by text messaging a simple, interactive mini-lesson to encourage literacy and interaction.

Read more about technology and parenting

5 Reasons why your kids should have cell phones
5 Apps that help keep your kids safe
How to help your kids break the screen habit

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