Once kids enter the picture, family life gets chaotic quickly. Juggling their schedules, figuring out chores, and getting help from other parents can all make things easier, especially if you use the technology already at your disposal.
Set Up Routines for Nights
Controlling chaos starts the night before. You should set up a nightly routine for your child, so they get the sleep they need, are prepped for morning, and avoid delays to the rest of the day’s schedule. Make a nightly checklist for yourself and for the child which also sets you up for the next morning.
Incentivize Evening Chores and Control Gadget Time
Tying a task to a reward is the oldest trick in the book. Apps like My Job Chart and Choremonster allow you to make chore lists and assign points for completing each task. The points can be redeemed for a reward (which can even include Amazon links you authorize). The kids can then spend these points on any reward of their choice, and even share some with charities. My Job Chart is a webapp with apps for iOS and Android, while Choremonster is a webapp with apps for iOS and Windows Phone.
Rely On Other Parents
Every parent learns very quickly that they need the help of other parents if they are going to get through raising a child. Start or join a parenting co-op. Apart from sharing information and meeting new people, you can even save money on babysitting by taking turns with each other’s kids. You could use a spreadsheet to keep track of the hours people have been babysitting so it’s a fair exchange, but let’s face it, it can’t work that way. Taking care of each other’s kids is a matter of trust, so let the tech take a backseat.
Get a Complete Picture of Family Activities
There are some applications used to do some of the organizational tasks listed above. For example, it imports Google Calendar entries, has its own to-do list and grocery list, and a journal to capture and share family moments. While it has the main features, it doesn’t always have the small nuances that make other apps worth it. For example, there isn’t a reward system to tie to chores or any parental controls.