Best Tools and Resources for Busy Parents
Parents have never been busier with managing one or more family-supporting incomes, monitoring kids’ education, and participating in community activities. Help is available through a number of supportive resources that are inexpensive or free and easy to use.
Many or most businesses now offer online access for shopping or managing business and finances. People can do their banking, order groceries, and send long-distance gifts on their computers or by using their smartphones. Tasks like these can usually be accomplished very quickly and conveniently. Today’s parents can use various apps to help them get stuff done and stay focused without taking extra time away from the kids’ needs for supervision and guidance as well as handling other family responsibilities.
Desk calendars or fridge planners are still widely used so that parents can see at a glance what is coming up for the day, week, or month. But many kinds of digital calendars or schedules are available for computer use or on a mobile phone as an alternative, making them readily accessible anytime or anywhere. With a click, a parent can see the day’s schedule or activities that are coming up. These can be scheduled into the device’s calendar so that an audio or visual reminder will pop up before the event takes place. Multiple devices of family members can be coordinated so that everyone receives the same reminders.
An old fashioned egg timer or the clock timer on the microwave or other appliances can be used at home to set parameters for specific activities. Of course, the computer and a smartphone also have a timer that can be used. These might include playtime, exercising, computer games, or television programming. Parents won’t have to constantly watch the clock when kids are doing a limited activity. They can do other things while waiting for the ding to remind them and the kids that the current activity is over.
Busy parents can multitask to accomplish more while situated in one location. For example, while having breakfast or waiting for the kids at soccer practice, a parent can check the news, write a to-do list, or deposit a check on their smartphone while sitting in the car or in the bleachers. While sitting in the doctor’s office waiting to be called to an exam room, a parent can check text messages or emails from kids or their teachers to keep up with school activities.
Parents who work from home to be with young children can schedule Zoom meetings or other types of video conferences for business purposes. If they travel for business, parents can use video chat on their smartphone or a hotel computer to stay in touch with the kids or help with homework. Time spent far from home can be put to good use by keeping parents visual to their children and vice versa to provide comfort as well as any needed guidance.
Parents may be busier than ever, but they also have many valuable resources to help them get things done efficiently. With good planning and technological support, parents can provide thoughtful, prudent oversight of their kids’ activities while accomplishing other things as well.