Parenting. Why isn’t there an app for that?

iPhone 4's Retina Display v.s. iPhone 3G

Why isn’t there an app for parenting help? Let’s face it.  Who really knows what they are doing, all of the time? Especially if it is the first kid!

I know there are gobs of books written about different styles and techniques of parenting, but who has the time to read a whole book? A pamphlet, maybe. But not a whole book! And you can’t ever find the section in the book when you need it.

Now think about this. There are what, half a million apps available and counting.  Wouldn’t a parenting app be perfect? Here’s some examples of how it could work.

Before you use it, you input general information about your children. Things like age and name. That way, when you ask about discipline, it can customize it based on their age.

Then, pick what parenting/discipline style you want to follow in different categories. Love & Logic, Timeouts (super nanny style), etc.

Now that the data is all in the app, let’s get to work using it.

Oh wait, there’s that pesky disclaimer that says something to the effect of nothing should replace common sense and we are legally not bound by anything. It is purely a tool to be used at the parents’ discretion.

You are excited to use the app. You have decided to use love and logic for your parenting style.

Johnny just threw his food on the floor at lunch. No worries! There’s an app for that. You pick up your smart phone, click on the app, then Johnny: Misbehavior: Throwing food on the floor. It then tells you: Parent needs to remove child from seat and calmly say, “Uh-oh. Lunch is over. How sad.”

After you do this you hit “Done” on the app, and something encouraging comes up, like a round of applause and a banner that says, “Way to go!”

Or let’s take a crying it out situation, Ferber style. Your ten month old still isn’t falling asleep on her own at night and you decide you are SO tired of rocking her to sleep. No worries! There’s an app for that! Pick up your smart phone, click on the parenting app and pick little Sarah’s name. Click: Sleep: Ferber Method.

It takes you to a screen telling you to put your child down while she is still awake. You do this and them click to the next screen. It tell you to wait 5 minutes before going in to soothe her. It even has a timer on it, telling you when to go soothe her. And then it goes to 10 minutes. All the while, it is playing soothing music (for the parents!) and offering up encouraging words like, “this will only last a few short days.” Or “You can do this!”  Finally, when little Sarah is asleep you can click the “She’s asleep!” button where the wonderful round of applause greets you and the message, “Now it’s time for the parents to get some sleep.”

Wouldn’t it be nice to have an app like this? An app to help you through those time in parenting when all you are thinking is, “Well, what am I supposed to do now?”

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