Your kids have come home from school, dropped their book bags on the floor and now they have their devices in hand absorbed in that game, but they have homework and chores to do. The battle begins on how to get your child off the devices to finish up the homework, do the chores or have family time. The makers of ParentsWare understand this dilemma and have developed an app for that! Yep, as the saying goes, there’s an app for getting those kids off the devices and doing what they are supposed to be doing.
I recently tested out this app over the weekend and I’m very pleased with it. My kids have some old iPads and old iPhones that have been out of service that we put educational games on to help entertain the kids. But it’s always been a fight getting them off those devices. Bed time is an argument, “let me finish this last level mom”, etc…
The OurPact app helps parents lock down the iPads, iPods and iPhone’s third-party apps via the OurPact app on your own device. So when its time for the kids to do their homework, you simply lock all the third-party apps from your own device by sliding a button or setting a schedule that you children will adhere too.
For us, I like to get the kids to clean up their toys 10 minutes before they have to start getting ready for bed. So that’s at 7:50. On the OurPact App, I have set the schedule for their devices to shut down all third-party apps exactly at this time each night. The first night they were not very happy about this little trick of mine, but every night after that, the compliance was amazing! As soon as the apps stopped working, they knew it was time to start cleaning up and heading up stairs to brush their teeth. The whining and complaining stopped.
OurPact allows you to set up as many different devices or child profiles as you like. Since the devices we let the children use are not “theirs” by possession, I have simply taken a picture of the device and given each device a name that way I know which device is which since our kids share them all.
Now you can set up different schedules or block access instantly if you want to. If your child failed to finish a chore and you want them to do it now, initiate the time out from the device for a certain period of time, like 15 minutes, or until you manually unlock the device.
Now one thing to note is that if you are logged into iTunes, the music app can still stream “tunes Radio” unless you physically log out of iTunes. I have the kids’ devices set up where they have to put in the full username and password to access any apps or music on the devices. In the iTunes app, simply log out if you don’t want your child to have access to this feature.
Please note that only “third-party” apps, meaning apps that are not made by apple are blocked. So anything that comes with the factory version of your device, will still be accessible.
Along with using the OurPact app, you can use your apple devices restriction settings to block access to twitter, Facebook, location settings, iTunes, the iTunes store, The App Store, volume controls, camera, face-time etc.
On your IOS devices you simply go to “settings”, then “general”, then “restrictions”. To enable “restrictions” you will have to put in a 4 digit pass code, (this is different from the pass code that unlock’s your phone) from there you will be able to block a multitude of things on the device. I have used these settings long before I discovered OurPact, but OurPact is unique in that you can create a schedule for your child to use the device and it helps parents fight that battle of too much screen time.
I like this because my children do so much better when we follow a daily routine anyway, so this helps keep my kids’ routines in check without the added drama. The best thing about it too, is that its free right now at the app store and I suggest heading over to get it while it remains free, because this is an app that I would spend a little bit of money to purchase.
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