4 Tech Tools That Teach Kids About Digital Balance

March 27, 2024
Diane Almanzor

It's a common feeling these days: screens everywhere, seemingly commandeering every moment of our lives. Yet, there's an interesting twist to this digital dilemma. The very technology we often view as the culprit behind our screen saturation might just be the key to unlocking a more balanced lifestyle.

When you look at the big picture, it's pretty clear we're in a bit of a social pickle. Almost half of us in the U.S. are missing out on real, in-the-flesh chit-chats daily. And with millennials peeking at their phones around 200 times a day, it's a no-brainer that we've got to strike a better balance with our gadgets.

Check out these four fantastic tools and apps designed to help us guide our kids in navigating the digital world wisely without going overboard:

Screen Time - Apple’s Built-in Tool

Did you know your iPhone or iPad has a built-in feature called Screen Time? It's this nifty feature tucked into iOS devices that's like a virtual coach for managing screen habits. Think of it as the friendly nudge we all need to not overdo the digital.

Here's what Screen Time can do for you:

  • Daily and weekly reports: Shows you how much time you're spending on different apps. Kind of like a reality check that helps you see where your time's going.
  • Setting limits on app usage: Lets you decide how much time you think is reasonable to spend on each app. It's about making choices that feel right for you.
  • Scheduled downtime: This feature is like setting a "quiet time" for your apps, so you can take a break from the screen.

The idea here isn't to make rules for using your phone or tablet. It's more about making us aware of our habits. It's pretty handy for helping kids learn to manage their screen time, too. But it's also a reminder for us adults that there's a time for screens and a time for other stuff.

Google Family Link

Next up is Google Family Link, a digital co-pilot who's got your back when setting up the digital playground rules. This app allows you to collaborate with your kids to build a savvy and balanced screen time strategy.

Here's the lowdown on the Google Family Link:

  • Activity reports: Gets the inside scoop on how your kids are using their devices. No more wondering where all that screen time is going.
  • Remote device lock: Handy for making sure bedtime or study time is tech-free. It's a straightforward "time's up" for gadgets, minus the drama.
  • App management: Gives you the power to approve or block the apps your kids are itching to download. Keeps the digital space a bit safer and more suited to what you're comfortable with.

Google Family Link is all about teamwork. It's bringing your kids into the loop on digital decisions, transforming potential conflicts into collaborative discussions.

Forest: Stay Focused

If you find yourself or your child glued to screens for hours, Forest is a unique app that turns the idea of screen time on its head. Instead of scrolling endlessly, this app rewards you for keeping your phone aside.

Here's the rundown on Forest:

  • Visualize focus: Imagine planting a seed in the app. This seed grows into a tree, but here's the twist: it only grows when you're not using your phone. It's a cool visual way to remind us of the value of staying focused.
  • Earn rewards: Using the app not only helps you focus but also lets you rack up coins for your efforts. You can use these to unlock different trees in the app or even contribute to planting real trees around the world. It turns your focus into a force to go

More than just another app, Forest is a playful push towards being more mindful and productive. For kids, it's a blast—they get to see their focus literally grow into a forest. Plus, it teaches them about the rewards of patience and dedication, not just in their tasks but in contributing to a larger cause.


Finally, there’s Aro, a game-changer in screen-time tracking and discipline. It offers a whole new approach to balancing our digital and real-life moments.

Aro aims to transform our homes into sanctuaries of peace, free from the relentless ding of notifications, by being intentional about avoiding too much screen use.

Here are what makes Aro unique:

  • Sleek Hardware: Imagine a charging station that doubles as a mindful reminder to take a break from your screen. Aro fits seamlessly into your home, providing a chic spot for your phone to recharge and giving you the space to do the same.
  • Flip Feature: Aro now also works without the hardware. You can just easily flip your phone—your screen down anytime, anywhere—to activate Aro time.
  • Track Time Away: Aro celebrates time spent off our phones, encouraging a healthier relationship with our digital devices.
  • Promote Healthier Rhythms: Aro's goal isn't to enforce screen time limits but to foster better habits naturally. Whether it's putting the phone away during dinner, family time, or while enjoying a book, Aro nudges us toward more mindful use of our devices.

More than a screen time manager, Aro promotes enhancing the quality of our lives by encouraging us to engage more with the world around us. It's a visual and practical tool for anyone looking to break free from the grip of constant connectivity and rediscover the joys of life beyond the screen.

Finding Digital Harmony

The digital world is vast and amazing, yet navigating it can sometimes feel like we're trying to drink from a fire hose—especially when it comes to managing screen time for both us and our kids. 

With the right tools and apps, we can find the screen time balance we are all aspiring for for ourselves and our children. 

Still, the heart of our journey isn't just about the tech we use but about how we, as families, come together to foster a digital environment that's nurturing, enlightening, and balanced. 

Find a tool that not only helps teach our kids the importance of time away from screens but also encourages us to adopt healthier tech habits. Integrate it into your daily routines, and show your children that achieving a balanced digital life is possible.

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Aro app leaning against the Aro Home device
A close-up, overhead shot of the Aro showing a phone charging in one of the slots.
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Life happens off your phone

Make phone-free time a part of your daily routine with Aro.