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10 iPhone Apps to Help Monitor Kid’s Screen Time

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smartphonekidsThe world of technology is always expanding, bringing new and exciting opportunities for parents and their children. While most youngsters won’t have a smartphone of their own, the iPhone is such a kid-friendly and fun device that parents who own them tend to find themselves handing their phones over more often than they’d like. The Internet and the plethora of learning apps available through the App Store offer an unprecedented level of access to educational and entertaining tools, but also can encourage a more sedentary and tech-dependent lifestyle than most parents are comfortable with. These 10 apps will help you manage kids’ screen time and monitor their iPhone usage, and are indispensable tools for today’s modern parent.

  • K9 Web Protection Browser – A free replacement for the iPhone’s native Safari web browser, K9 Web Protection blocks sites that could contain questionable content while retaining many of the same functions and features of Safari. You won’t have to sacrifice screen rotation, pinch, zoom, print or URL tracking history in order to install safe search and blocking features.
  • Net Nanny – Part of monitoring kids’ screen time and Internet usage is having a clear understanding of what they’re actually looking at while they’re using an iPhone and knowing how to block questionable content. Net Nanny is an industry leading browser alternative that allows you to control what your kids are able to access online, and is an invaluable tool for parents with tech-savvy kids.
  • Mobicip Safe Browser With Parental Control – Monitoring your kids’ browsing habits and their screen time usage means keeping up with their cumulative usage, not just the time they spend on an iPhone device. This free app allows you to monitor your kids’ usage of tablets, iPhones and computers, both through a web-based dashboard and from within the app. Build your own filter with a premium subscription upgrade and filter YouTube search results from this award winning and top-selling application.
  • Norton Family – If you already have a Norton Family account, this free app will increase the amount of control you have over kids’ screen time and browsing habits. You’ll know what websites your kids are visiting, be able to block those with questionable content, determine how much information kids are sharing over the Internet and see what phrases they’re using in search engines.
  • Game Time Limit for Parents – An iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch can be a great tool for kids, but it can also be an addictive one. This $0.99 app allows you to monitor the amount of time your kids are spending with their technologically advanced toys and place reasonable limits with a password-protected shut-down. Start the timer and let your kids play; when the amount of time you’ve allotted is expended, kids are forced to hand over the device that no longer operates properly until the password is entered.
  • Limit Game Time Now! – As a parent, you know how much time your kids should be spending on an iOS device. With this free app, you’re able to limit them to only that much time before a password-protected alarm interrupts their gaming or browsing.
  • TimeLock – Time Limit for Parents – This $0.99 app puts a new spin on time restriction applications by running autonomously. Once you’ve determined how much time your kids can spend using an iOS device each day and set the limit, TimeLock will do the rest. The timer resets each day and can be stopped between sessions so that kids are able to spread their allotted screen time out over the course of the day.
  • Time Limit – This $0.99 app effectively manages kids’ screen time across iOS devices by rendering games, apps and browsers unusable after the allotted time has been expended. The only way to restore the device’s functionality is for a parent or caregiver to enter the passcode.
  • Screen Time – Media Time Manager – For $1.99, the Screen Time app allows you to set multiple timers, a feature that’s ideal when more than one child shares a single device. Kids earn more screen minutes by completing tasks and behaving well, and are encouraged to give them up for rewards and fun activities that don’t require an iOS device.
  • Kaboom – App Timer – Using a mixture of “rest” and “play” timers, Kaboom not only helps you monitor the amount of time your kids spend playing with an iPhone or iPad, but also encourages other activities in order to prevent eyestrain, headaches and other problems that can come with excessive use.

While these apps are infinitely valuable tools for parents seeking a way to keep up with kids’ Internet and iPhone use, they’re really only effective when they’re paired with active and engaged parenting styles. Make sure that you’re taking a personal interest in your kids’ usage, rather than simply setting a timer or monitoring app and walking away to pursue your own interests.

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