Wed | Nov 14, 2018

Organising your family through technology

Published:Sunday | May 20, 2018 | 12:00 AMLatara Boodie

Let's face it, things and times have changed drastically since the days of our parents. Today's children have lives that are almost equivalent to a CEO running their own company. This involves meetings, rehearsals, project deadlines and even sporting events, just to name a few. These are a few examples of the activities our children are encouraged to be a part of in order to make them well-rounded members of society.

Balancing their lives as well as yours has the potential to become very chaotic, and there will be days when you wish being a parent was simple again. Before you begin to feel overwhelmed (if you are not already there) and even contemplate hiring an assistant, using technology to organise your family life is a viable option that may be the right choice for you.

Major tech companies such as Google, Apple, as well as several third-party apps, have incorporated numerous productivity services to make your daily routines a lot easier to execute, both efficiently and seamlessly. Imagine walking around with a personal assistant right there in your pocket, providing you with notifications and updates on what should come next. Juggling schedules, remembering chores and creating to-do lists are now a lot easier with these few tips.

 

1) Google Calendar/iCloud Calendar

 

Using Google or iCloud calendar to schedule daily activities can make your day a breeze. If you are a parent with several children, simply colour code their activities for easier monitoring. These calendars will provide you with prompts for upcoming events and can be shared between parents.

 

2) Offer rewards

 

Tying a task to a reward is one of the oldest tricks in the book. Using apps such as My Job Chart and Choremonster allows you to make chore lists and assign points for completing each task. The points can be redeemed for a reward of your choice. You can even authorise Amazon links for your children to choose from.

 

3) No-tech time

 

DinnerTime for Android allows parents to remotely lock their children's devices. You can set specific periods where the app will auto-disable the child's device, or use a remote kill switch to temporarily disable it. Dinner should be family time, and this app will ensure your child isn't glued to his or her phone at the table.

 

4) Family group chats

 

Group chats over WhatsApp or Telegram can effectively keep everyone abreast of family activities as well as updates on each other's lives. Sharing photos and even funny memes is a simple and easy way to keep communication going and strengthen bonds.

latara.boodie@gleanerjm.com