Apps to trick kids into behaving during the holidays

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DENVER — Let’s just call it like it is. These apps were designed to help stressed-out parents trick their kids into behaving in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Some parents might find this deceptive or downright dishonest. This article is not for those parents.

However, parents who have no qualms using electronic trickery to get children to do what they want now have many options for both Apple and Android devices. For those parents, we’ve listed a few apps you might want to download.

Santa’s Naughty or Nice Scan-O-Matic (free for Apple and Android – rated 3.7)

“Kids behave when they know mom or dad can instantly check to see if they’re being naughty or nice or even tell them if Santa is watching!” the makers of this app promise.

Then they take it a step further, by letting you “scan” your child with a “naughty or nice detector.”

“You can even change modes to scan your child’s finger or you can scan them from afar!” according to the developers.

Parents can secretly determine the outcome ahead of time by tapping the reset button.

“A tap on the left side of the RESET button gives a Naughty outcome when scanned, a tap on the right side of the RESET button gives a Nice outcome,” according to the website. Or you can really mess with you kids by pressing right in the middle to get a random result!

But the makers didn’t stop there.

“Here’s a great way to really throw off kids: tell them Santa is watching and then show them that the Santa Watching light is on,” the developers state. Again, you secretly control the Santa Watching light.

Portable North Pole (free for Apple and Android – 4.6 rating)

With this app you can create a video from Santa personalized just for your child or have  Santa  make a special call directly to your phone. Choose from an array of personalized scenarios and make dreams come true.

Santa’s Watching (Apple devices, $.99)

What if you had a way to snap your child out of that tantrum with just two words?

Those two words are “Santa’s watching!” and that’s the power this app promises to give parents.

“The message tells your child that he or she needs to listen to mommy or daddy in that gentle way that only Santa can deliver. Watch your child’s eyes light up with amazement at the idea that Santa is watching him right now, and watch your child’s behavior instantly improve,” the developer states. “You can use the app over and over again, with different messages, so that your child will know that Santa really is watching all the time.”

You can chose a gender, a behavior and a guardian, then hand your phone to your child so they can hear a personalized warning message from Santa.

Kringl (Free for Apple and Android devices)

Kringl calls itself “The Proof of Santa App.”

It lets you overlay an image of Santa over your own photos — like a shot of your fire place or Christmas tree from last year. You can choose images of  Santa enjoying your cookies and milk, Santa searching for the child’s gift and Santa checking his list.

You can even adjust the lighting to make sure Santa looks seamless.