Mannlymama’s Tech Tip of the Week: Parenting Tech

Welcome to my weekly series on tech tips! If you don’t know me, I am life hacker. I love tips to help me automate and optimize life. Blame it on my parents or the 4 years of engineering school but I just love neat tricks to help you do something faster, better or just neater. I’ve worked as a software tester, developer, project manager and, now, social media specialist. My goal with this series is to help you help yourself, one little trick at a time. So without further ado…

Parenting Hacks

Parenting and tech. It’s a polarizing topic sometimes. How much is too much screen time? Can kids only be entertained by electronics these days? Are kids losing skills being tied to a device all day? I see article after article and comment battle after comment battle over tech’s role in kids’ lives.

Well, good news! This post isn’t about that. 🙂

This post is a collection of tips and tricks I use with technology to make parenting easier. So there will be no kid app reviews (i’ve done that). This is for you, mom/dad.

Siri Can Help

I learned early on in my parenting life that my kids need a 3rd party. Siri very quickly became my other parent.

Ever been at the park and say the dreaded “time to go” to much whining and huffing? Siri can fix that!

I started setting timers with a loud alarm. “10 more minutes” now belongs to Siri, not Mom.

Need to fairly decide between kids? Siri can fix that!

Did you know Siri can flip a coin or roll a dice? Let Siri make those silly decisions on who gets to brush teeth first or who gets which Happy Meal. Boom.

Teach Your Kid Their Lunch Number with a Tablet

Some of your may not be there yet but public school gives every kid an id. This ID determines a lot in their school career. (Sidebar: remember just knowing and giving out your SSN when we were kids. LOL. Security!) One main thing it is used for is their lunch number to check out every day. Now that might not seem hard until you see HOW MANY NUMBERS THAT IS! How does one teach that?

Make it the iPad password.

Boom. This could be for any device really that they need to know to get something they want.

Only Let Certain People Get You in Off Hours

Years ago I had the problem of constantly checking my email. I hated push notifications because I didn’t care about all but what if I missed THAT ONE. Good news! You can make certain people VIPs in your phone to override certain settings including Push notifications AND Do Not Disturb. Designate VIPs in your email or phone contacts lists, and you won’t be disturbed until they — and only they — contact you. In iOS you can create a VIP setting that notifies you of important emails.

Look Into a Grocery Service

While not a complete “tech tip”, one of the most used Apps on my phone is the Harris Teeter app (it’s our grocery store). Kevin and I both have it so when one of us eats ALL THE CHIPS ::side eye::, THEY can put it on the list. We set it to be ready at a certain time and pick it up on our way home. No lines. No impulse buys. All for $100 a year. TOTALLY WORTH IT!

It takes a village, guys. A robot village. What are some of your favorite parenting tech tips?

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