The tag-line of this app is ‘Make your kids earn their lifts with The ŠKODA Parent Taxi app.’ Somewhere, in that car company, is a very frustrated parent, who literally went to the effort of pitching an app to Škoda in an attempt to get their children to help out more around the house.
Just like a real Taxi app, parents can see their past trips and the fares (also known as chores) that they have ‘charged’. They can also log a receipt for the fare and the chore that the child owes. The app even has the ability to share chores to social media so parents can shame their children for not completing the task! There’s nothing like a bit of helicopter parenting and public humiliation to build up that healthy amount of parent-child resentment.
I think Škoda’s website just brilliantly showcases this aspect of the app. The photos picture a forlorn teenager washing the car and hoovering, whilst her gleeful mother sits watching her. I suppose the saying does go ‘nothing in life comes for free’, and apparently Škoda believe not even a parent’s unconditional love does, as they encourage parents to ‘make those miles pay’.
Mummy blogger Jo Middleton tested the app, which is available on iOS and Android, and said it’s “the app she’s been waiting for.”
“It’s true that kids generally have a better social life than adults and as result that can mean a lot of car journeys each week,” she said.
“Although I love encouraging them to get out and do more, I think it’s a great idea to swap miles for some help around the house in return.”
Can I just ask though: what makes Škoda think that an app is going to change what teenagers do around the house?
Take this scenario: Before the app, parents would simply use their words to threaten a lack of lift if the teen didn’t clean their room. The teen would ignore it and storm off. The parent would then cave in and take them anyway. Now, with the ‘Parent Taxi app’, the parent has already taken the teen to their destination, and then, as that teen’s fare, given them the duty of tidying their room. When the teen comes back, they see their fare, they storm off and go to their room, but, of course, do not tidy it. The parent simply stands there, angry with themselves that they’d already given the teen the ride.
Do they think that allowing parents to share the chores to social media will be an effective form of encouragement? I hate to say it, but I have never, in my life, heard a teenager say ‘Yeah, so, I stopped being friends with her when I saw a post from her mum saying she never did the hoovering.’
What’s your response to that one then, Škoda?
My concern is the response from other companies. I mean, what’s next? An app that makes kids build flatpack furniture after parents have cooked them a meal? An app that charges children every time they’re tucked in? I am all for change and progression, but surely, charging a 7 year old with hoovering after you dropped them off at their fancy dress party is a little too much? Why not just stick to doing what every other generation of parent has done, which is simply to nag your kids about helping around the house, threatening to take away their toys and phones? Honestly, the parents of this generation have it so easy!
Let’s just hope for the kids’ sake that the parents have absolutely no idea how to even find the App Store.
Images via Getty