I have an 11 year old son and a 13 year old daughter, both whom are avid users of electronics, especially their beloved iPhones. My husband and I decided to download the Genius App Manager app about 2 months ago because their screen time was becoming a problem.. at school, at home, out to dinner, everywhere!
At first, we would take their phones away, but that just lead to them moping around at best, and passive aggressive remarks or even tantrums at worst. This wasn't working. On an abstract level, my kids know that being on the phone constantly is detrimental to their well-being - we've explained this to them. While that's important to do also, it doesn't mean that children can be expected to put limits on themselves just because of that knowledge. We knew this too.
During a vent session with a fellow mom at brunch, she recommended Genius App Manager to me. She said it wasn't a cure-all or anything, but it really acted as a buffer between her and her kids when it came to screen time fighting. She laughed when she said she would tell her kids, "It's not me, it's the app. Go play outside and maybe it will let you watch YouTube later," with a shrug.
It's done that, and it really has gotten the kids to be more active. It creates an environment where YouTube and Instagram is more of a "treat" after a long day of school, homework, and physical activity than something that is done instead of these things. Thanks to being able to set times where my kids can't use their apps, they get better sleep. Sure, they still grumble about screen time, but I'm in awe at how creative they've gotten in order to get their steps in. Who knew you could play hockey with a soccer ball?
I think we are going to check out the Chores feature of the app next..