I was shocked recently to learn that some pre-teens I know have cell phones. I mean, I shouldn’t say that I was shocked because I had a cell phone when I was a pre-teen. This was the early 2000’s and I was a latchkey kid who walked a mile and a half home from school each day, so it was a crappy Nokia that my parents got free with their plan and was to be used only in emergencies. Texting wasn’t a thing and none of my friends had phones, so to me, it was more of a leash than an awesome toy. I tried to ditch it at home as often as possible.
But times have changed. Now all the kids have the cool phones and I’m way jealous of them. So instead of complaining about the rottenness of youth and their addiction to technology, let’s embrace this wonderful tool and look at some apps that can help your kid on the way to glory in their school and home responsibilities.
Pre-teens are at an age where they’re just starting to want some freedom and that can parcel out to all parts of their lives, including chores. Remember the Milk is an awesome app for helping your pre-teen stay organized and manage their time. While it’s recommended for kids ages 13 and up, a parent could easily moderate their pre-teen’s usage. Mom or Dad could use it to make to-do lists for the kids when they are home during school vacations, or chores for when they get home after school. You can even sort them based on importance, and check them off when you finish them.
You Rule Chores. Anyone who’s ever played a video game knows that people will do some of the most boring tasks in the world if it means they get some sweet armor or potions out of it. Nerd babies are not exempt from this rule and You Rule Chores knows this. It turns chores into a game where every member of the family has an avatar and they can level up their avatar by accomplishing tasks on their to-do lists. But that’s not all! Parents can set a list of rewards for accomplishing tasks via coins– and you set the value of the coins. Maybe every week, your pre-teen gets a $10 allowance, or $5 to buy songs or apps they want for their phone, or permission to go to a sleepover this weekend. This app keeps track of all that, and it keeps track of how much money they have earned or saved up for a big ticket prize.
Morning Kids. When we were kids, it took my brother forever to get ready in the morning. The only thing that eventually fixed his perpetual tardiness was boot camp, but you don’t have to worry about signing your kid up for the armed services to get them to try to be on time. Morning Kids is a pretty sweet app that, like You Rule Chores, turns getting up and ready in the morning into a game where they can achieve points and win competitions against their siblings. Kids who have to take medication in the morning could benefit from Morning Kids by the constant reminder and incentive to take their medication. This app teaches the importance of having and following a morning routine, and best of all, parents can set their own tasks for their children, but don’t have to worry about them not being followed.