Monitor Screen Time with ScreenBy - 02/10/2016
Many agree that too much screen time is bad for your children’s mental and social health. But how much is too much? There really isn’t a number that’s ‘just right’. And only you, as the parent, can tell if it’s too much. If you think your kids are spending too much time in front of the TV, then it’s time to cut down. And weaning your kids from the irresistible allure of the screen isn’t easy.
Thankfully, there are ways to cut your kids’ screen time to a healthy level. One of which is Screen.
What Can Screen Do?
Screen is a device that looks like a TV box. It manages your TVs, game consoles, PCs, smartphones, tablets, and iPads.
Screen controls your electronics based on the rules you create. For instance, you can tell Screen that family dinnertime is everyday from 6:30PM to 7:00PM. During dinnertime, Screen will turn off all connected devices. Screen can also control devices individually. For example, you can set 8:00PM as your grade schooler’s bedtime. So every night at 8:00, Screen turns off your child’s devices without affecting the devices that belong to your high schooler.
You can also use Screen to limit each person’s access to their devices. As an added bonus, Screen will give a gentle warning that screen time is about to end before automatically shutting off the device.
But don’t worry, the rules you set on Screen can be overridden by you at anytime. So if your teenager needs more time to finish homework, you can give her a few extra minutes.
If you want a cool display of your new power, open the Screen app, shake your phone, and watch all the devices under your Screen account instantly shut off.
Monitor Your Children’s Activities
Screen doesn’t protect your kids from the underlying danger of the online world, but it does help you monitor what your kids do online. It allows you to see which apps your kids launch on their phones, tablets, or computers. Screen can also be set to take snapshots periodically.
Form Healthy Habits
One key element of Screen is forming healthy habits. When devices are shut off, Screen suggests other activities that your kids can enjoy, though these aren’t randomly generated. Because you know your kids better than a device, Screen lets you customize which activities will be suggested.
How Screen Works
Setup is simple. To get started, download the Screen app (works on iOS, Android, and Windows devices) to your phone and the devices you want to control. Your phone should be set as the parent device. Second, connect the Screen (hardware) to your TV, cable box, or game consoles using an HDMI cable. Screen can control up to 3 HDMI TVs and 3 other HDMI devices. Third, plug it into a wall outlet and turn the Screen device on. And finally, connect Screen to your home Wi-Fi with the help of the app. Once connected and set up, you can start creating rules and setting your preferences.
Where Can You Get Screen?
Screen can be pre-ordered from their website, and it is expected ship later this summer. The pre-order price is currently $99 (plus $10 for shipping), but it will retail for $139 after the pre-order campaign.
Bonus: 5 Other Tips To Cut Off Screen Time
Screen is useful, but you need more than a device to ensure that your kids get a healthy dose of screen time and form positive habits.
1. Be An Example
Let’s start with the toughest step. Kids are natural imitators of their parents. If they see you watching TV or surfing on your computer, they’ll do the same. So start with yourself and limit your own screen time.
2. Say No To Cold Turkey
Wouldn’t you have a hard time reducing your screen time? It’s not any easier for your children, so take it easy on them and make gradual changes. One way to do this is by challenging and rewarding them. For example, challenge them to watch TV 1 hour less than usual and prepare their favorite meal as a reward.
3. Encourage Productivity
Your kids have other loves besides electronics, right? Be it making art, dancing, playing music, exploring the great outdoors, playing sports, or doing other things, encourage your children to engage in other passions. Encouraging them involves more than telling them what to do, help them cultivate their interests by supporting them and providing the tools they need to be successful.
4. Phones Are Not a Side Dish
Dinner time is family time. Don’t allow anything to interfere with it.
5. Be Responsible
And finally, and most importantly, do not make screen time an excuse to control your children. While it is true that you should exercise control over some things, you should not completely deprive them. Let them watch TV, play games, or surf the internet. Instead of controlling them, teach them to be responsible with their screen time.