By Kimberly Blaker
Whether you need a solution to help monitor your baby, track and reward your kiddos for chores, or keep your teen from texting while driving, there is a phone app that does it for you. The following useful apps are designed specifically for parents and families. Better yet, most of these parent-tested apps are free for both Android and iPhone.
Android & iPhone. Free 30-day trial. This app is an excellent way to communicate with your child’s daycare or teachers. It helps you stay on top of your child’s attendance, grades, and more. You can also use the app to manage and make tuition payments to your child’s school.
Android & iPhone. Free. This pre-teen and teen monitoring app allows parents to monitor and block text messages, apps, calls, and URLs. It also has configurations to limit screen time.
- Baby Monitor 3G
Android & iPhone. $3.99. Monitor your baby with both video and audio, and receive alerts when your baby awakens. It is particularly helpful that you can see your baby in the dark with this app. It also tracks how often your baby wakes, and it replays audio. You can also press a button on your phone to talk to your baby.
- Screen Time Parental Control
Android & iPhone. Free trial. This useful app gives parents a variety of controls to limit their kids’ screen time. It also allows parents to block apps and games from their kids at bedtime or during school hours. Parents can even push a button on their own phone to time-out their kids’ phones when they ignore requests to get off their phones.
- 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.
- Life360 Family Locator- GPS Tracker
Android & iPhone. Free. With this app, you can create “circles” of family members and friends. Then, you can view the location of anyone in your circle on a map. The tracker can also send you text alerts when your child or teen arrives at or leaves a destination.
Android. Free or paid upgrade. If you have teen drivers, this app is a must-have. It reads text messages and emails aloud and announces the name of incoming callers without having to touch the phone. The paid version allows for a hands-free response to messages as well.
Android & iPhone. Free. This app is a great way to gain kids’ cooperation with chores. Kids can keep track of the points they earn for completing tasks. They can use the points to buy rewards such as extra time for video games, a special treat, or a family outing.
- Wheel of Chores
Android & iPhone. Free. This app adds fun and excitement to chores. Kids can spin the wheel for a task and earn points toward rewards. At the end of the week, parents can distribute the money or prizes, or kids can bank their points to save up.
- KidsPlace Parental Control by Kiddoware
Android. Free or paid upgrade. Block kids from buying or downloading apps and receiving incoming calls with this app. Premium features include a timer that locks apps after a specified period or based on a permanent schedule.
- Cozi Family Organizer
Android & iPhone. Free or paid upgrade. Manage and share your family calendar between all devices with this app to keep everyone in the loop. In addition to keeping track of schedules, it manages reminders, to-do lists, shopping lists, and recipes.