You know what’s hard about parenting teens? Everything.
From bad attitudes to self-absorbed behavior, teens push parents to the limit on a regular basis. Throw in struggles with motivation, grades, part-time jobs, chores, and time management, and family conflict just bubbles to the surface like hot lava. Did I mention bad attitudes?
Someone needs to create a few smartphone apps that would make parenting teens easier. Let me get the ball rolling with a few ideas:
1. Teen Translator
Tired of trying to decipher the hidden meaning behind your teen’s mumbles, one-word answers, glazed-over facial expressions, slammed doors, silent treatments, negative body language, and eye-rolling? Just record a three-second video clip of your teen “communicating” and this app will first break down the psychological, behavioral and emotional barriers your teen throws at you and then decode everything for you in easy-to-understand language. It’s kind of like SnapChat for parents, but practical.
2. WWOPD: What Would Other Parents Do?
The next time your teen thinks you’ve just doled out the strictest punishment on Earth, whip out WWOPD to prove him wrong. Just type in your teen’s infraction and watch a range of real-time punishments scroll before your eyes. When your teen sees how Justin from Indiana lost driving privileges for three months or Tonya from Delaware had to get a part-time job to pay for her two-year cell phone contract, he’ll realize he got off pretty easy being grounded for only one weekend. Bonus: You can also use this app to discover creative punishments when you’re tired of simply confiscating your teen’s phone or shutting down his video game console for a week. (That’s SO 2015.)
3. Mess Detector
Go into stealth mode and download this little beauty on your teen’s phones. With a built-in, room-by-room scanner, this app detects wet towels thrown on the floor, open cupboard doors, empty toilet paper spools, open bags of potato chips, dishes sitting on the counter and more. As your teen lounges around the house (presumably with cell phone in hand), a Mess Detector to-do list pops up and temporarily disables all other apps until your teen cleans up after himself. Guaranteed to annoy your teen, and destined to be a parenting favorite!
4. Attitude Monitor
Like a virtual mood ring for Millennials, the Attitude Monitor uses thermochromic technology and a simple color-coded chart to determine your teen’s hormonal-infused, change-by-the-minute mood. Blue means “happy/calm/approachable,” black means “anxious/stressed/needs a snack or a nap” and red means “about to explode/don’t engage/take cover.”
5. Virtual Ass-Kicker
Pushed to the edge by your teen’s attitude or behavior again? No need to bang your head against the wall, pop a vein in your temple or yell yourself to the brink of a heart attack. Let the Virtual Ass-Kicker ream your teen without you even getting involved. Think “tough-love” delivered by a persona of your choosing, such as a Marine drill sergeant or Jillian Michaels.
Of course, this is just a starter list. What apps would you recommend?