Do you consider yourself a Parent 2.0?
The proliferation of technological tools to manage every facet of modern life has also inevitably moved into the realm of childrearing—yes, there is even an “app for that.”
There is a techie solution to just about every perceived need that a parent has: Tracking the growth and development of their baby during pregnancy, surviving those first several months of sleep deprived feedings and changing diapers, to potty training and homework management, and beyond.
When I asked our local Mom Council this week what their favorite parenting technology tools were, they responded that the smartphone was their favorite and most useful tool.
Blackberries, iPhones, Android phones and the like, have enabled busy parents to ditch the bulky planners and manage their calendars and communications at the touch of a button.
“For me the best apps for parenting are my calendar and my camera,” says Erin Edward of San Ramon. “I used to carry my day planner like a bible, but now I use the calendar on my Droid to remind me of classes and play dates among other things.”
Improved camera and video capability also helps them capture those moments, without packing extra bulky “stuff” that usually isn't handy when you need it anyway.
“I also own a high-end camera but I always find myself without it,” says Edward. “Now I don’t miss a thing and I shoot video to boot.”
But, there was also something interesting, and I confess a bit unexpected, in their responses.
Despite all the tools available, they felt no real desire to use any of them.
They prefer to keep it simpler and old-school—saying it keeps them more “connected.”
“I don't really use apps or technology for parenting, except for emails,” says Tina DeMattia of Danville.
“I find that other moms are the best resource for answering questions, providing recipes and giving support,” she says.
And when it comes to developmentally geared technology to use with your kids, Edward said it takes away quality time with her daughter, and she doesn't find herself choosing to use it.
“My time with her is so precious that when we are not outdoors or with friends, we end up playing board games, reading, or watching movies or shows she likes,” she says.
So, with all these apps and tools supposedly designed to make parenting easier, do they actually make child rearing unnecessarily complicated, micromanaged, and ultimately more disconnected?