Apps let parents control children’s usage of electronic devices


Parents struggling to get their children away from smartphones and tablets for meals, homework, exercise and other activities can arm themselves with new apps to remotely block access to the devices.

Usage of smartphones and tablets among children has tripled since 2011, according to Common Sense Media, a San Francisco based non-profit that studies the effects of media and technology on young users.

A new app called DinnerTime Parental Control, for iPhone or Android smartphones, enables parents to restrict when children can use their smartphones and tablets. “The price of entry level smartphones and tablets have come down a lot, and as a result, more and more kids have their own individual devices,” said Richard Sah, co-founder of DinnerTime, based in San Mateo (CA). With the free app, parents can pause activity on a child’s Android smartphone or tablet so that they can focus on things like homework, exercise and family time.

Once a device has been paused, all functions on their device are blocked, including the ability to text and play with apps. DinnerTime Plus, another free app from the company, lets parents manage the apps their children use and to views the apps they are using in real time. Parents can also purchase detailed reporting, which outlines how much time kids spend on certain apps, and how often they used them.

Apps let parents control children’s usage of electronic devices With Parents Watching, 45 Percent of Teens Would Change Online Behavior (CTIA)