An assortment of thoughts.  Mostly tech related.

Choremonster - A chore tracking and rewards app for kids



I tried this one out yesterday with the guys.  Choremonster is an app/website service that helps encourage kids to do chores in return for rewards.  You determine which chores you want to set and how many points should be awarded on successful completion.  There's a parent interface and child interface in the same app and push notifications are sent to the kids when new chores are assigned and when they're completed, a push notification goes back to the parent pointing out that there are chores awaiting review and approval. 

You set the point value of the chore and then determine the point value for various rewards which the child can redeem their points for.  

It's a fun little app and nicely put together. It worked great with my daghter this morning with a few basic things. We've got to sit down and work out together what chores need doing and what rewards they would like and determine the value of each.  It's only early stages, but I think it's going to be a fun way of getting the kids engaged in doing a few bits of housework here and there and most importantly, keeping the bedrooms tidy.

Works as a web service and there's an iPhone app available from the app store.  Check it out.


Tech and your parenting

Image courtesy of bplanet at

Image courtesy of bplanet at

Bringing up children in today's world is a starkly different proposition to that of say just 20 years ago.  We have the Internet now and kids as young as 3 are regularly on internet connected devices.  Also, as a consequence of the Internet age and the prevalence of these devices, we've got better ways to communicate and keep tabs on who's where and what they're doing.

Tech can be a great aid in your kids' development, but it can also be an enormous distraction, and it can also be quite harmful.  How do you balance all that?

This is only a short post, as the point is to hopefully garner some information from you - if you feel inspired, please leave a comment on one of the topics below.

How do YOU use tech in your parenting? 

Image courtesy of Naypong at

Image courtesy of Naypong at

  • Maybe you're a single parent and you use particular applications to share info with your child's other parent?  What are those apps/services and how do they help? How do you manage that information exchange when your relationship with the former partner might be a tad 'prickly'?
  • Do your kids have mobile phones?  What age have they had them from? What controls do you put in place to limit use and to prevent "bill shock"? 
  • How do you administer access to apps on smartphones/tablets and iPods? Do your kids get pocket money for apps? 
  • What about computer use at home?  How do you monitor that? What tools do you have in your arsenal?
  • How do you limit "screen time"? 
  • Do you have filtering software or use services like OpenDNS?
  • Facebook and other social media - is the Facebook minimum age of 13 appropriate or does it depend on the maturity level of the child? Are your kids on Facebook? Are you their 'friend'?
  • Games - what do your kids play?  Do you consider games like Minecraft a waste of time or are they the modern-day Lego?

I'd be really keen for your thoughts on one or more of the above. Thanks in advance.