Technology and Co-Parenting
We are all very aware of how much technology we use nowadays. What would be a better that a way to incorporate technology and use it in a way that can be help co-parent. Let’s be honest, parenting alongside your ex-partner is not always the easiest, so anything we can do to make the process a bit easier is helpful. There are multiple applications that could help make sharing custody and visitation easier on you and your ex. Check out the following apps to help make these stressful times easier.
Use Artkive to digitally store all of your kids’ artwork. With Artkive, you can create a keepsake book of all of your child’s creations and share those creations with your co-parent. All you do is take your child’s artwork, either digitally or send it into Artkive. Artkive will create a keepsake book. Once the keepsake book is created, you are able to send your child’s artwork, which is professionally photographed and saved in the Artkive app. All of your child’s artwork will be stored and kept for easy access anywhere. If you want a copy of these creations, Artkive can also format the images into hardcover books. What a great way to share your child’s creations!
As a parent, letting our children have access to technology can be scary. Kaspersky Safe Kids is an app designed to help parents track and control your children’s digital usage. Kaspersky Safe Kids allows for tracking location, manages the screen usage time, and protects your children from being exposed to inappropriate online content. Kaspersky Safe Kids also includes psychologists’ expert advice that can help you and your co-parent learn about online security and safety of their children.
Another great app for keeping tabs on your child’s screen time, online activity, and social media is Qustodio. Qustodio is a parental control app that allows parents to manage and supervise their children’s electronic devices. This app works on many different types of devices, including Mac, Android, iOS, Nook, and Kindle. Qustodio can help parents to keep track of, and limit screen time and also show parents what their children did on their device at what time. The Qustodio app can also be used to block inappropriate content, watch social media activity, track calls and locations, and set time limits for specific apps.
INFO-SHARING AND SCHEDULING APPS
Cozi Family Organizer was not made to be a co-parenting app. However, after The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Parents Magazine, and USA Today have deemed Cozi Family Organizer the next digital helper in the co-parenting world. Parents can utilize the Cozi app to create a color-coordinated calendar to help parents coordinate schedules. With Cozi Family Organizer schedules, parents can distinguish each child’s activities and distinguish between family parenting times. Once you create the very helpful color-coordinated calendar, parents can share it with each other and even send reminder emails and agenda emails to each other. If you are feeling really amicable with your co-parent, you can add store shopping lists, favorite recipes, to-do sections and even family journals. The best part of all, the Cozi Family Organizer app is free!
Our Family Wizard is a website that parents can utilize to help deal with issues that come with child custody and visitation. The Our Family Wizard app is extremely useful in helping families with scheduling; it includes a color-coded custody calendar where you can keep track of your parenting schedules, including pick-up and drop-off times. Our Family Wizard recently updated their app for iPhone users to address a variety of common co-parenting issues. Our Family Wizard entails features that allows parents to send and receive messages to one another and also has a journal entry feature. Another important aspect Our Family Wizard offers is parent’s access of emergency contacts, shared expenses and even child immunization records.
The next application, Fayr was created to specifically help with co-parenting with two desires: to become a better co-parent, and to make the experience of co-parenting better. The Fayr app provides tools such as contributive communication, argument diffusion, and emotional support to better co-parent. While using Fayr, both parents will have access to a shared calendar complete with a geo location log. This is especially useful in situations here in the Lowcountry. When the annual hurricanes hit, one parent can take the children to a safe place and is able to check-in at the safe location on the app via GPS, so your co-parent knows where your children are. Another cool way to utilize Fayr is parents can message via the app and even track expenses. While tracking expenses, parents have the ability to export expense reports into time-stamped PDFs to have efficient record-keeping.
Stop fighting with each other for your children’s information. 2houses is the newest app that helps solves the co-parenting arguments regarding information you may need about your children. The 2houses app offers each parent all the information they may need, whether it’s the basketball coaches’ phone number, the doctors’ email or even what size pants your co-parent bought your child last week. 2houses has a file sharing feature that allows parents to share information such as release forms, report cards, and medical information. Further, 2houses allows you to access these files and import them into PDFs or CSV files. For separated parents, 2houses can be used to show a balances on what expenses need to be paid and by whom, to ensure that all accounts are balanced and even offers alimony coding. Around birthdays and Christmas, 2hosues has a cool feature allowing you to make a wish list for presents keeping each co-parent in the know about what the newest cool gift your child wants is or what size he or she has grown into over the summer. Head over to the 2houses website and subscribe for a free 14-day period!
Google Calendar seems like the most common app that most people, not only parents, think of to keep things organized and neat. The Google Calendar app is extremely useful and easy to navigate. Besides the calendar feature, Google Calendar also offers images and maps to make scheduling visitations easier on both parents. Any discussions you and your co-parent may have, whether it is about tickets to events, flights, hotel confirmations, or even digital receipts can be added to a shared calendar for a smooth effortless integration. Both parents have access to Google Calendar and can see the shared events, making parenting scheduling and communication so much more efficient. Whether you are trying to sync parenting schedules, plan big events in your children’s lives, or just make small changes to every day plans, Google Calendar is a popular app to use!
With all of the different communication methods available, parents should never miss a message, right? As we are all very aware, the opposite is actually true. Things fall through the cracks; a conversation over text gets accidentally looked over when you meant to respond later or even worse, deleted. Email chains can take ages to find, when you’re standing in the window at the pharmacy with no service. AppClose is an app that allows co-parents to keep all of their communications and parenting must-haves in one place. Co-parents can rest peacefully knowing AppClose automatically backs up their parenting information - from visitation schedules and messages to financial requests and vaccination schedules. AppClose provides co-parents with a secure record of all communication and has the capability to export / print if you prefer paper copies. Best perk of all, AppClose is free!