The 9 Best Parenting Apps For Raising Kids In The Digital Age

There are many ways technology can make parenting more difficult in the modern age, but there are also some handy apps that can help technology work for you when it comes to raising your children.

From keeping track of your kids when they’re away from home, to providing a safety net for monitoring on social media and messaging apps, to helping keep track of key milestones as they grow from babies to toddlers and even just trying to a little homework help There are a handful of killer apps that can make parenting a whole lot easier if you know where to look and know how to use them.

If your child is in middle school or high school, there’s a good chance they probably already have a smartphone. This creates its own set of challenges, but when it comes to keeping up with your child while they are away from home, it also makes things a lot easier. There are a few apps that do a great job of helping parents keep track of where their kids have been and are going while they’re out in the world. Life 360 ​​and Find My Kids are some of the most popular, and both have their own perks depending on what you need.

Life 360 ​​​​comes in a few subscription levels, and most notably has a free option that allows families to add members (ie mom, dad, kids) so everyone can see where everyone is at a given time, as well as where they had been recently. It also estimates travel speed, so parents can monitor whether the 16-year-old is actually following the speed limit. Paid tiers offer more features, from more detailed location history to crash detection notification.

Find My Kids is a similar service, with prices starting at $2.99 ​​per month. It allows parents to set “safe” zones for their children and track both phones and GPS watches for youngsters who may not be old enough for a smartphone. There’s also an emergency SOS feature and basic messaging with digital sticky notes.

The Wonder Weeks baby development tracker app is one of the most successful new parenting apps out there, and for good reason. Parents can plug in their child’s date of birth and track the major milestones they reach as they grow through the early years. Parents can also track and record those milestones for their child and access a wealth of resources for first-time parents. There’s even a music player with lullabies and white noise in case you need an extra push to make them count sheep during naps.

It costs $4.99 but is well worth it for parents looking for answers about their newborn and toddler and can help solve problems why children may suddenly be fussy or not sleep by matching expected growth milestones such as teething and changes in consciousness.

Apple and Google already offer some parental controls for parents, but some robust services go above and beyond for parents who want to keep a closer eye on what their kids are reading, doing and saying on their smartphones.

Qustodio is one of the most feature-packed options, with multiple plans starting at $54.95 per year. The service allows parents to filter content, set alerts for certain activities and interactions, and limit screen time. Qustodio can also track messages and calls and help track down suspicious contacts, and alerts when the phone is used to access an adult or suspicious website. Qustodio also has a tracking option, if you’re in the market for an all-in-one solution, even if it’s a bit more expensive.

Bark takes a bit of a different approach by handing over monitoring duties to algorithms and AI that aim to detect when a child might be dealing with issues (eg suicidal tendencies, cyberbullying, sexting) and alert parents when problems arise. Essentially, parents don’t directly review all of their child’s activities in a spreadsheet, but Bark monitors for any problems and will alert parents if there are any suspicious or worrying developments. Bark describes the service as a digital “safety net” for children, helping to make sense of their online interactions and letting parents know if something is going awry. Bark has pricing tiers ranging from $5 to $14 per month.

Whether it’s kids struggling with homework or parents struggling to help them with it, we can all use a little homework help from time to time. This is where Brainly comes in. Billed as a homework help app, Brainly is basically a large, crowd-sourced study hall with parents and students working together to solve everything from math problems to history lesson puzzles. Since this is a help tool, there is of course an honor code, making it clear that the app is designed to help students (and parents) figure out how to answer the question themselves, not just find the answer and pass it off as their own. .

Kids are smart, and even though phones can do a lot of useful things, they know almost instinctively that they can also play games. Lots and lots of games. But as anyone who’s ever looked at the App Store can attest, there are plenty of rubbish games out there – so if you’re going to let your child play a few on your phone (or their phone) – there are some great learning apps that offers a bit of education to go along with the fun.

PBS has its own free PBS Kids Games app, which is loaded with fun and creative learning games for kids 2-8 years old. The games run the gamut with focuses like math and science and feature some of the fan-favorite characters from PBS kids’ hit shows, including the Wild Kratts and Daniel Tiger. Even better? It’s free, has no in-app purchases, and is ad-free.

Just like PBS’ offering, the Khan Academy Kids app is also loaded with learning games for kids 2-8 years old. However, it goes a little deeper, providing lesson plans, printable worksheets and a customizable learning path that you can tailor around your child’s age, interests and skill set. It’s also completely free with no subscription required.

For kids old enough, a smartphone or tablet also means the potential for almost unlimited access to tons of reading material. To make sure it’s all at your kids’ fingertips, the Epic reading app is a great option. A free account offers access to one book per day, while a paid account starts at $6.67 and allows unlimited access to over 40,000 books, audiobooks and videos. It’s basically Netflix for children’s books.

The series is incredibly robust, with kid-friendly hits such as the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Goosebumps, the Big Nate series, and many award-winning classics as well.

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