My Daughter’s Shenanigans
- At the time, I had my phone password turned off whenever it connected to my home WiFi, so my daughter just got onto my phone and adjusted the amount of time per day that she was allowed on certain apps. She also extended her bedtime and was able to get into YouTube to watch her favorite Minecraft show. It took me a few days to realize this and I thought that maybe I did something wrong on the setup. Just in case, I added a password to my phone.
- Unfortunately, I didn’t consider that she knew the typical password I had been using lately, so she tried it on her phone from within the app by logging in as a parent. She was able to adjust the Screen Time settings. I had to change the app password.
- After this, when she tried to login again, it failed since I had changed the password. She clicked on “forgot password” and it sent an email to reset it. My phone was locked, but our desktop computer was always signed in to my email account. She was able to get into it and reset the password. I saw the password reset email the next day and changed it again.
- She tried to uninstall the app, but it wouldn’t let her. Without even doing a Google search, she found an app that would uninstall other apps. She said she just went to the PlayStore and typed in “uninstall”. With each breach of security I wasn’t sure if I should be mad or extremely impressed by her ingenuity.
- Last but not least, I recently talked to her about all of the things that she had done over the past year to get around the app. There was one more thing she hadn’t shared with me yet. She realized that when her phone starts up, she has about 20 seconds before Screen Time loads, so she would try to open apps before her time ran out. Screen time would close most apps when it loaded if it was bedtime or if she’d used her time limit for the day, but she realized she could get her music app to play in the background.
Sigh… deep breaths… maybe she’ll be a tech genius someday, right? Like I said, most kids probably would not go to these lengths to get around the app. Even with all of the shenanigans, we only missed a few days of use.
So all that being said, I really love this app and it worked great for our Android devices. The nice thing is that you can get the free/basic version to start with to see if you like how it works. We tried using this with my older daughter’s iPhone, but it really doesn’t work the same. The iPhone technology is different and it makes parental monitoring much more difficult. We pretty much gave up on that, but we were still able to use it on her Android tablet. Keep reading below for all of the product features this app provides. Besides all of the bedtime and app monitoring, one of my favorite features is that the kids can do chores to earn more time on their device. Win-win for everyone!
Disclaimer: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites at no cost to my readers.
Time Savers for Busy Moms
If you’re a busy mom like me, you really should check out the rest of my website! I post recipes and products that save time for my busy family, like my favorite kitchen gadgets. Be sure to subscribe to my page to get new time-saving recipes and ideas in your inbox! Here are a few of my posts: Reverse Seared New York Strip Steak, Acne Product Review for Proactiv vs. Curology, and Incredibly Simple Potato Cakes made from instant mashed potatoes and fried in avocado oil.
What does the Screen Time App do?
The Screen Time app as the free/basic version allows you to monitor one device per child. The premium version is currently $3.99 / month with unlimited children and devices. I would highly recommend this app for controlling Android devices. In case you didn’t see it above, we also tried this on my older daughter’s iPhone with limited success due to the iPhone security limitations.
This is from the product description section on Amazon and most of the bells and whistles are from the Premium (paid) version:
Screen Time is a parental control app that lets you manage the time your kids spend on their tablets and phones.
Screen Time has an app timer that lets you set a daily time limit on the apps you want to restrict
Block games at bedtime, but allow reading apps
Block all apps at lights out time
Block social apps and games, but allow educational apps during school hours
Time for lunch? Push a button on your phone, and your kids will be timed out from their devices. No more begging, bribing, or shouting!
Reward your kids with bonus time for completing tasks and chores
Kids used up today’s Screen Time? If they tidy their room you can reward them with bonus time from the convenience of your own device. Add as many different tasks and chores as you like – you’ll be amazed how your kids start to manage their time responsibly!
Keep track of what they’re up to from the convenience of your own device, without having to own theirs.
Block certain apps completely. Get an alert whenever your kids install a new app.
Once installed, Screen Time requires your own password to uninstall.
I just wanted to add that I didn’t receive this app for free or in exchange for a favorable review. It’s just one of those apps that has really helped me to monitor the kids’ time online and we really loved using it!