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Better Parenting with an iPhone

Contributor:
David Silversmith
David Silversmith

It’s hard to believe that a little device like the iPhone can help parents become more organized, time-efficient, knowledgeable, even relaxed. However, that’s the beauty of an iPhone - tons of free applications to help you get through life.

Here is a list of free apps that won’t necessarily make you a better parent, but can make your life a little easier, or help out in a pinch wherever you are. The apps listed below have been selected from the eyes of a parent, but many can be used regardless of whether you do or don’t have children.

WebMD’s iPhone app enables parents to look up symptoms and try to figure out what’s ailing their children. Of course, it shouldn’t take the place of professional medical advice, but for those cases when your child has a minor rash, fever, cough, etc., this is a great resource to try and narrow down what is going on, and prepare for a doctor visit if necessary.

If you’ve got young children, there’s a good chance you’ve worked out a system to convince them to behave themselves and do their chores. That’s where iRewardChart comes in. This iPhone app looks to help parents keep track of the childrens’ good behavior, and reward them appropriately.

Being a parent is also about fun, and try out these apps for toddlers (maybe even kids of all ages). Balloonimals is an app that absolutely delights little kids. Children blow into the iPhones microphone to inflate their balloon and shake the phone to assemble an animal, then they can interact with it by petting it and making it do tricks.   Where’s Gumbo is an interactive storybook that resembles the “lift the flap” board books. The object for toddlers is to explore various scenes and peek behind objects in their quest to locate Gumbo, a lost dog. Scoops is a stacking game that uses the accelerometer and has tilt-based controls. Try to keep your stack of ice cream scoops growing, but remember to avoid the falling onions! (Works for kids of all ages and even can be used in lieu of a breathalyzer test on adults).

Kids’ behavior is unpredictable and there’s no knowing when a time-out may be necessary. Time-outs are one of the classic tools used by parents - but kids know we won't stick to them.  They know we'll lose track of time and cave in to the tears.  But with Time-Out Free you have a simple timer to end this cycle of parental bad behavior with this simple timer on your phone can be used to track a time-out.

When you want to transport yourself away from the hustle and bustle of daily life, even for a few minutes, would you prefer to hear the sound of ocean waves, or perhaps rain? Perhaps iRelax Melodies Lite can help make your time-out more successful (we won't comment on who needs it more - you or your child). With this lite version, you can pick from eight different sounds or even mix and match to create the perfect combination to suit your tastes. It even offers music box sounds to help calm a crying baby.

 We doubt you will find these in parenting books (yet) - but the iPhone can help make parenting even more fun!

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