Oh screen time, you are society’s ultimate frenemy. You help us get work done, keep our kids in check when they’re having a meltdown and provide an escape when we need to decompress.
On the other hand, sometimes it feels like you’re too much—ike you’re smothering us and turning our brains and our kids’ brains to mush. Because of you, we have to remind ourselves to have actual interactions and conversations. It’s the ultimate love-hate relationship.
So what do we do? Do we just shrug and say, “Oh well”? Of course not! We find solutions. And it just so happens that our little devices have ways to help us. Below are seven apps that can help you limit and take control of your screen time. Check them out.
Freedom // iOS, Android, Desktop
This apps blocks certain apps and websites that can be distracting during the day, such as social media, shopping or news. You can block them anytime or set a schedule in advance.
ScreenTime // iOS, Android, Kindle
According to the website, this app has over 2 million downloads and was the winner of the 2019 National Product Awards. With ScreenTime, you can set time limits, give kids tasks and reward them with additional screen time when completed, set schedules, instantly pause your kid’s device and much more.
ZenScreen // iOS, Android, Chrome
ZenScreen focuses on keeping your digital world balanced by improving your “digital diet.” The app lets you start with “smart mornings” when you can scroll on your phone for 10 minutes, then have a 20-minute break. You can also set an entertainment limit and restrict social media apps before bedtime. And there’s an option for quiet time where you can set a “digital timeout” for dinner, date nights, homework and more.
DinnerTime // iOS, Google Play
This app allows you to remind your kids it’s time for a break from their device through their device. If it’s time to study or eat dinner, your child’s phone will show a screen detailing when their device will become available to them again. On the parental side, the screen will show whose phone or device is being limited, as well as what the time limit is for that device. The app also has a few other parental controls to take advantage of as well.
Qustodio // iOS, Android, Kindle, Desktop
With Qustodio, you can take steps to manage and limit your kid’s screen time by device as well as monitor their activity on social networks, block inappropriate content, limit games and apps and more.
FamiSafe // iOS, Android
On FamiSafe, parents can control screen time by setting schedules based on locations, reward kids with additional time and check usage of specific apps. You can also block other apps during study hours or bedtime, track real-time location and detect inappropriate content on kids’ devices and much more. Even better, you can protect up to 30 devices, depending on which plan you purchase.
Our Pact // iOS, Android
This app allows you to set and schedule screen time and app access, so the kids will have dedicated time to study or relax before bed. The app also allows parents to block or grant internet access at any time, and set rules to keep tabs on the apps that your kids use. For example, one app can be labeled as “Always Blocked,” another can be on a schedule and one can be “Always Allowed.” With a premium membership, you can manage up to 20 devices.
Do you have another app or method of limiting your kid’s screen time? Tell us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image courtesy of iStock.