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Mendo Lake Family Life

There’s a (Parenting) App for That!

By Kimberly Blaker

Whether you need a solution to help monitor your baby, track and reward kids’ chore completion, or keep your teen from texting while driving, there’s a phone app that does it for you. The following useful apps are designed specifically for parents and families. Better yet, most of these parent-tested apps are free for both Android and iPhone.

Parental Control: Screen Time & Location Tracker. Android & iPhone. Free; in-app purchases. This useful app gives parents a variety of controls to limit their kids’ screen time, including the ability to block an app a child is using at bedtime or during school hours. Push a button on your phone to time-out your kids’ phones.

MMGuardian. Android & iPhone. Free. You can monitor and block kids’ text messages, apps, calls, and URLs. It also has configurations to limit screen time.

Cozi Family Organizer. Android & iPhone. Free or paid upgrade. This app will help you manage and share your family calendar between all your devices. In addition to keeping track of schedules, it manages reminders, to-do lists, shopping lists, and recipes.

Netspark Parental Control Light. Android. Paid subscription. Want powerful filtering to protect your kids from harmful images, texts, and video content? This app offers it, and also allows parents to set limits on daily on weekly screen time.

ToddlyTic. Android & iPhone. Free 30-day trial. Use this app to communicate with your child’s day-care provider or teachers and stay on top of attendance, grades, and more. You can also manage and make tuition payments.

Life360 Family Locator—GPS Tracker. Android & iPhone. Free. Create “circles” of family members and friends, and view the location of anyone in your circle on a map. The tracker can also send you text alerts when your child or teen arrives at or leaves a destination.

KidsPlace Parental Control by Kiddoware. Android. Free or paid upgrade. Block kids from buying or downloading apps and incoming calls. Premium features include a timer that locks apps after a specified period or based on a permanent schedule.

ChoreMonster. Android & iPhone. Free. Kids can keep track of the points they earn for completing tasks. Then they can use the points to buy rewards, such as extra time for video games, a special treat, or family outing. Android. Free or paid upgrade. If you have teen drivers, this app is a must-have. It reads text messages and emails aloud and announces the name of incoming callers without having to touch the phone. The paid version allows for a hands-free response to messages as well.

Baby Monitor 3G. Android & iPhone. $3.99. Monitor your baby with both video and audio, and receive alerts when your baby awakens. You can even use this app to see your baby in the dark. It also tracks how often your baby wakes, and it replays audio. Plus you can press a button on your phone to talk to your baby.

Wheel of Chores. Android & iPhone. Free. This app adds fun and excitement to chores. Kids can spin the wheel for a task and earn points toward rewards. At the end of the week, parents can distribute earned money or prizes, or kids can bank their points to save up.

Kimberly Blaker is a freelance parenting writer and founder of the Internet marketing agency KB Creative Digital Services (