How technology can help you be supermom
The internet is filled with all sorts of helpers that can make parenting a little easier. From allowance trackers to keeping schedules straight, parents are using the internet to help them stay on top of everything a little easier.
There is no question: we are living in a technological society today and that is changing everything. Schools communicate with parents online now, cutting back on paper use and making accessing resources and grades a cinch. Schedules can be managed, not with a single book, but with a calendar that the whole family can see online. It's an amazing revolution in parenting.
Why use technology?Why are parents turning to online tools to help? People are busier than ever these days - managing households and raising children. High-tech management helps moms organize and plan, allowing more time for family.
"As a single mom, it's been a lifesaver in keeping track of everyone's schedules and appointments. Between coordinating soccer and baseball practices, remembering birthdays and even just jotting down work notes and reminders to myself while I'm in the car pick-up line after school, I'm sorry I didn't embrace it [sooner]. It, and the information it holds within, has been invaluable," admits writer and social media expert Cate O'Malley, who blogs at Sweetnicks.com.
O'Malley says that changes in how technology is handled - such as phone companies setting up smartphones for customers - has made it even easier to jump on the technology train.
So, how are parents using technology?
Keeping up with school
More and more schools are turning to online systems so that parents can keep track of their grades and kids can access important resources online. As a result, parents can easily stay more connected with their child's school ... even when they aren't right there.
Stepmom Megan Kline helps her significant other's daughter with homework using online resources through her school. "Using the teachers websites and online textbooks, I am now able to help her with homework from an hour away. It has been a great help in getting her to do homework, because she thinks it's "cool" that I can see the textbook with her to help her," says Kline.
keeping track of money, allowances anc chores
Online banking isn't just for adults anymore. Today, parents can track their children's allowance with online systems like ThreeJars and Zefty, parents can transfer their children allowance and help them learn to manage their money by separating it into different accounts. Ultimately, the system is like a giant IOU so no actual money gets transferred, but it works as a great tool for teaching kids how to really use money.
Mom Laura Sherman uses Famzoo.com to track her kids' allowance. "I have tried manual allowances, but I had several problems with that approach. With three kids and the general chaos that is our life, I would forget sometimes. Also, my kids would inevitably end up handing the money right back to me because we would order something online and I would pay with my credit card. Famzoo lets me set up automatic allowances so I never forget - or have to remember," says Sherman.
Better yet, Famzoo lets Sherman input her kids' chores and they have to check them off as they are done. If they don't, then they receive a deduction in their allowance. "The site is well organized, easy to use for me as well as my kids, and has made the whole allowance thing not only more manageable, but more engaging," says Sherman.
5 iPhone apps for parents
Syncing your Google Calendar to your Blackberry isn't the only way to harness technology on your smartphone. iPhone's amazing array of apps can help too. And really, so many people have iPhones these days that it's no surprise that parents are using them to parent too.
These five are perfect for parents.
- White Noise - Need some ambient noise to help you (or your baby!) sleep better? This app acts like one of those White Noise clock radios, providing a selection of sounds to help lull you to sleep.
- GoodFoodNearYou - This app will not only help you find food nearby wherever you are -- but it will help you locate the nutritional content too. Score! Your family can eat out and make healthy choices a little easier with this one.
- Shutterfly for iPhone - Don't lose those adorable photos that you've taken with your iPhone! With Shutterfly for iPhone, you can upload and share the photos. They can even be printed, though they probably won't be the best photos you've ever taken.
- Birthday Notification - Some days it's hard to remember your own name, let alone everyone's birthdays. That's where this app comes in. With all the important birthdays you need to remember plugged in, you'll never forget and look like a harried mom again. Score!
- AllRecipes DinnerSpinner - Who doesn't have a night where making dinners seems nearly impossible (especially because you have no idea what you'll be eating!). With DinnerSpinner, you select several variables -- timing, ingredient, course, etc. -- and it displays options that meet your criteria. Sure, it won't serve your kids dinner, but it can help you figure out what to make a little easier?
Looking for more iphone apps? Check out our list of 6 more iPhone apps moms are sure to love!