Empowering the Digital Generation: Screen Time Management Apps That Put Kids in Control

digital footprint & identity digital safety digital well-being Feb 28, 2024
Empowering the Digital Generation: Screen Time Management Apps That Put Kids in Control

By: Hayden Hammerman | Seasonal PR Intern, Digital4Good


In an era dominated by digital devices, parents often find themselves grappling with the challenges of monitoring and controlling their children's device usage. The constant warnings from pediatricians about the potential dangers of excessive screen time only add to the stress. 


As children grow older and more independent, perhaps it's time to shift the burden of responsibility. What if, instead of imposing strict time limits, taking phones away, and continually monitoring online activity, we entrusted the tasks of monitoring and managing screen time to the kids?


Good news — there’s an app for that! 


The rapidly growing need for screen time management has led to the development of numerous applications aimed at helping tweens and teens take control of their screen time while instilling a sense of responsibility. 


To help you find the one that works best for your children, we’ve compiled several recommendations below.


iPhone Settings 

(Cost: Free)

iPhone users can leverage the built-in settings to gain insights into their app usage. By navigating to Settings > Battery, users can view a detailed breakdown of the time spent on various apps in the last 24 hours or 7 days. This straightforward approach not only raises awareness but also encourages self-regulation.


Opal: Screen Time for Focus 

(Cost: Free version or Pro for $8.99 per month)

Opal empowers users to set precise limits on their device usage. The app carefully monitors daily phone activity, sending timely notifications if predetermined limits are surpassed. Beyond traditional time constraints, Opal enhances focus during work sessions by allowing users to selectively block distracting apps. This proactive and personalized approach encourages individuals to make intentional choices about their screen time, fostering a mindful balance between technology and productivity.


Pocket Points

(Cost: Free)

Designed with students in mind, Pocket Points introduces a gamified element to screen time management. By keeping their phones locked while on campus, students accumulate points that can be redeemed for discounts and coupons. This app not only fosters responsible screen time habits but also rewards users for their discipline.



(Cost: Free version or premium for $6.99 per month)

unGlue takes a holistic approach, putting the responsibility on kids to manage their own screen time across smartphones, tablets, and computers. With features like setting time parameters on each device and defining internet schedules, unGlue allows children to make informed decisions about their digital consumption while giving parents overarching control.

Not only does unGlue offer app-blocking features like other apps, but it also introduces the innovative 'Time for Chores' feature, providing a unique incentive system where screen time becomes a reward for completing tasks. 


The benefit of these tools goes beyond mere monitoring; they serve as catalysts for self-reflection. Discovering the amount of time spent on specific apps or websites might prompt a teenager to reassess their digital habits independently. The objective is not just to control but to instill a sense of ownership, fostering the desire for positive change.


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