Tap Teens’ Obsession with Social Media to Help Manage a Busy Family

Nielsen’s Social Media Report 2012 found that Americans are now spending more than 30 percent of their mobile online time on social sites. With that emerges an opportunity for parents to tap into their children’s mobile life with apps that help them stay connected, informed and in sync with their offspring.

Google Calendar and Cozi, for instance, allow family members to stay on schedule and organized in real time. Doctor appointments, sporting events, school projects and even family game night can be put on the calendar and reminders can be set to help ensure nothing is forgotten.

Life360 and FindmyFriends allow parents to keep track of and communicate with their family in the digital age. Life360 has Family Map, Family Chat and Family Alerts features. Both apps have location triggers that automatically send messages when family members arrive at home, school or an extracurricular activity.

Parents and children can also use their smartphones and tablets to stay in sync with homework as more schools embrace social networking in the classroom. Increasingly, individual teachers have created their own school-sanctioned websites where they post homework assignments and general classroom updates. Many teachers and schools also use Twitter to easily communicate updates or school events.  Parents and children should tap into both to stay informed.

Those looking to stay in touch with kids at college or those studying or traveling abroad can use video chat apps like Oovoo and Skype. Parents can get a view into their children’s daily life via updates or pictures that they post on popular social sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and Pinterest.

Although technology can help parents manage a busy family and stay connected, there are times when it’s best to get off the grid entirely. Fortunately, there are apps for that too. When parents are ready to shut it down so that their children can pay attention in school, engage in the family dinner conversation or get a good night’s rest, Verizon Family Base puts the control of children’s connectivity at parents’ fingertips.