Although our iPad is pretty much constantly switched on here at The Madhouse, so far we've only really used it as an entertainment centre, downloading various games that the adults as well as the kids love playing. When the opportunity came up to review the Supernanny app, I was keen to see what else it could do. I redeemed the code and synchronised the iPad.
As soon as 10-year-old Sophie saw the Supernanny icon on the screen, she shrieked "oh nooooo Mum ! Are you going to be nasty ? What's that all about ?" ! Wow ! Instant reaction and I hadn't even looked at the app yet. We therefore had a quick look together.
The first thing I love is that you can create multiple profiles, which is indispensable if you have more than one child, and that you can personalise them with a photo. This means that even children too small to read or recognise their name will be able to understand that it's on their profile and that you're about to punish or reward them. I think this would somehow make it more real to them.
Fans of the Supernanny show will instantly recognise the key features, such as the rewards chart (which comes in a choice of theme - Pierre chose Space and the girls chose Fairies !) and the time-out timer, both of which could be very handy tools when out and about. No more waiting until you get home (and invariably forgetting about) punishments or rewards, you can deal with good or bad behaviour on the spot. I like the fact that you determine what the rewards will be in advance and can even add a photo of the rewards to really personalise it and make the kids understand what they are working towards.
Whether or not you watch the TV programme, you will be able to take advantage of Supernanny's no-nonsense advice via a catalogue of parental help videos and advice pages. You can also determine a list of rules for each child to follow, with age-defined lists pre-loaded that you can tailor to really suit your individual kids' needs. Getting the kids involved at this point is a brilliant idea as it really makes them think about their behaviour and its consequences. You could also ask for their input to help define the rewards.
The app also includes a few very simple games which won't keep the kids entertained for hours but will give you a few minutes to get your head straight ! There is also a shop giving you the option of buying all manner of Supernanny merchandise.
If you don't adhere to Supernanny's methods, you won't like the app because it stays very close to the principles of the show, but if you're a fan and/or you need a simple tool to take a few headaches out of parenting, it's a great little app to keep on your ipad. The girls have been asking to add a star to their rewards charts every now and then so they obviously haven't forgotten it's there, and the knowledge that the time-out timer is there when needed will hopefully act as a deterrent for bad behaviour too ! When Pierre finally decides he's ready to start potty-training, I'll be using the rewards chart to map out his progress and encourage him too.
star rating : 4/5
RRP : £1.99
for more information : http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/supernanny/id392617730?mt=8
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