FOR MOST parents, ferrying their kids around is one of those time sucks that you just can’t get out of. Footy practice, calisthenics, sleepovers; you name it, they need you to drive them to it. Research by Allianz in 2018 showed that nearly two-thirds (61%) of Australian parents and carers report spending up to a full work day (eight hours) every week on ‘taxi duty’, with more than one in ten (12%) spending nine or more hours a week picking up and dropping off.
What’s more, it often becomes a thankless expectation. Even Uber drivers get occasional good feedback. Skoda thinks it doesn’t have to be this way and that kids need to offer something in return. That’s the premise behind the ‘Skoda Parent Taxi’ app. This uses GPS to track a car’s journey and then allows parents to set how many miles equals any one chore for the children to perform.
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We’re not talking about cleaning chimneys or refurbishing weaving looms (but, as an aside, South Australia has no laws that regulate child labour), just the usual stuff like cleaning up their bedrooms, taking out the rubbish, a spot of light vacuuming, tidying the garden or cleaning the car.
Once a journey is completed, the app logs a total of the distance travelled and then suggests which chores should be performed in return. The secretly delighted parent can then send this via a receipt to their kids’ smartphones or tablet, preferably timed to ruin a crucial moment of Minecraft, and shame them on social media too. Parents can also monitor prior journeys, create bespoke chore receipts and track the total number of journeys completed.
Kids. Consider yourselves served.