Children today spend more and more time in front of screens than ever before. LifeTech Balance, an Australian company, is tackling this issue of excessive screen time and the serious health risks associated with it. Co-founder of LifeTech Balance, Peter Kakris, envisions a brighter future for children by providing them with a unique and flexible solution. It’s no secret that screen time has become a hot topic, especially after the pandemic. Peter explains why it’s so important to pay attention to screen time: “This is the first generation that has been exposed to such high levels of screen use and it has been linked to health problems such as obesity, poor vision and difficulty focusing. We don’t really know what the long-term health effects of excessive screen time are. It seems like children’s brains are programmed to be in front of screens all the time.”
LifeTech Balance designed the ScreenCoach solution to solve this problem. It differs from other systems that limit how much time children can spend in front of screens. This app motivates children to make responsible decisions and rewards them for completing tasks, allowing them to earn more screen time. The app also includes a pocket money manager. This tool teaches kids important financial skills and encourages them to make smart spending decisions.
Research suggests a link between long screen time and mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. In addition, excessive screen time prevents children from engaging in necessary activities, leading to negative consequences such as insufficient sleep and physical inactivity. Lack of exercise combined with excessive screen time can contribute to anxiety, tantrums and obesity. The ScreenCoach app was designed with a vision to help parents and children find an amicable solution to screen time disagreements.
The ScreenCoach system is not only about managing screen time; it’s about teaching kids that they can have as much screen time as they want as long as they earn it by completing the necessary tasks. Although this might be more difficult to implement when children are older and used to it, there are ways to gradually implement it. Parents can start teaching their children as early as 6 or 7 years old. As an example, Peter says, “Children are rewarded with tokens for completing tasks, such as emptying the dishwasher, which is a form of positive reinforcement that promotes positive behavior. This approach helps children develop healthy lifestyles and habits that will serve them well in the future.”
The company has come up with a new hardware invention called “Merry Go Round”. It allows users to move around devices by touching different points on the screen. Parents don’t have to switch platforms every time their kids grow up. They can just update the features to keep up with their family’s needs.
Testimonials from ScreenCoach users reinforce the system’s success in Australia. One teacher said her son’s screen time decreased by 50% after using ScreenCoach. “It made a huge difference to his physical and mental health.” Another foster mother told the story of her 13-year-old daughter who was addicted to the screen. ScreenCoach helped her limit screen time to just one hour a day. “She improved her grades and her relationship with me,” she said.
With great success in Australia, LifeTech Balance is now embarking on a global expansion journey, starting with the United States.