For the past five years, Mr. Ronald Tam and his wife have been logging daily information relating to their two sons’ food intake, medical records, and even toilet habits.
Using an app called Launch Center Pro, which allows apps to connect, Mr Tam customised an information system that lets their helper log details of their kids’ meals on an iPad, with the data sent to the couple’s e-mail and streamlined on Google Sheets for the easy retrieval of keywords.
Using apps on their smartphones and gadgets in this way even helped their paediatrician diagnose their firstborn Peter’s food intolerances after he had a bout of food poisoning and bloatedness in late 2016. The same applies to Ms. How Wen Ya. The vice-president of a bank uses a parental management app, plano, to keep track of her children’s frequency and duration of gadget use. It even monitors the distance at which children look at the device to minimise their eye strain.
It’s a Balancing Act
However, when it comes to using parenting apps, there is a fine balance between being in control and being too controlling. “Some parents use parental-control apps to monitor and restrict content or time spent by their children on their devices. This might result in conflict, especially if the rules of usage were not clearly communicated,” says Mr. Jeff Cheong, a member of the Families For Life Council, which promotes resilient families.
Neither should parents be too dependent on such technology at the expense of spending time together as a family, he adds. Mr. Chong Ee Jay, a family life expert with Touch Family Services says parents need to be discerning. “Is the so-called expert advice on the app from credible, reliable and medically sound sources, or based on personal experiences and hearsay? Take time to check out ratings and reviews other users have given the app about its trustworthiness, ease of use and accuracy of information.”
Don’t know which ones to download? Here are 3 parent-approved, user-friendly apps to install on your tech gadget of choice to get updated about your kids’ lives.
Designed by leading child development experts, the BabySparks app provides parents of children aged up to 24 months with suggested activities that aid a baby’s development. It comes with short illustrative videos to teach parents just how to carry out these activities.
A shared, colour-coded calendar that helps family members manage everyday life by keeping everyone clued in about one another’s schedules, important tasks (such as a chore list) and dates.
Text adapted from www.youngparents.com.sg, 5 September 2018
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