One of the current challenges many parents face is navigating the world of technology with their teens and tweens. What devices do we allow our children to have? Should they have social media accounts? What is age appropriate, and how do we monitor it all? These may be questions you have had at one time or another.
I know I have.
Whether we like it or not, electronic devices and all they offer are a part of the world we live in, and at some point, we need to figure out what we will allow our children to have. One thing that has helped me, other than Common Sense Media, is talking to friends and finding out what has worked for them and their families.
So that’s what I’m here to do. Talking about all-things devices would be a small novel, so we will stick to one topic, and that topic is apps. These are the apps that have worked for our family, and will hopefully work for yours, too.
Joytunes: Simply Piano
This app was a lifesaver for us during the pandemic. With nothing to do, the piano that sat collecting dust was suddenly brought to life as the sound of music filled our home. The great thing about this app is that you can start from scratch. You don’t have to have any prior knowledge of how to play. There is a song library ranging from popular music to classics, and with three different levels (easy, intermediate and pre-advanced) you can learn at your own pace. One of the things my kids love is that new songs are released regularly, so there is always something more to learn.
And for those of you who don’t have a piano, but do have a guitar that needs dusting off, don’t you fret. Joytunes has a Simply Guitar app just for you.
This app allows individuals to track each other’s locations. Don’t worry, it’s not as creepy as it sounds, and has tons of benefits for parents of teens and tweens. With this app, kids can share their locations with their friends, and parents can keep track of their children’s whereabouts. You may be thinking, why do I need an app for that? I know where my children are. Yes, that’s true, but this app also tracks safety, driving, speed, crash detection and more, meaning it has many benefits for parents and their teens and tweens.
What’s more fun than capturing a special moment? Editing it! Our daughter was recently allowed access to Instagram and she is all about this app. With Adobe Lightroom, you can create, edit, organize, store and share your photos. Not only is it fun, but it is also a great creative outlet that may become an inspiration for a budding future photographer.
1 Second Every Day
Our daughter loves this app that allows her to record a one second video clip every day, and then takes those clips and edits them into a video. It’s a fun way to chronologically document something from each day of the year, and will continue to be fun to look back on years from now. The app is compatible with iOS and Android.
There are many apps that are thought-provoking, useful, and inspire creativity. These apps that I’ve mentioned have brought our tween and teen a lot of joy over the past months, and even better — they have learned some new skills that they will carry with them throughout their lives.