What do kids get up to on screens? How much time do they spend on devices? Are the apps they use child safe? How will our kids develop healthy screen time skills?
These questions are enough to keep parents up at night. But when it comes to managing kids and their devices, a lot of parents place their trust in traditional parental monitors as a solution. Unfortunately, those controls often fall short and fail to address the root of the screen time problem. Families need a balanced solution that helps kids stay safe, builds healthy screen time habits, and teaches self-regulation skills.
This is where Carrots&Cake comes in. It’s the first science-based parental control app that prioritizes learning. With Carrots&Cake, kids’ screen time becomes more beneficial and less addictive.
How Carrots&Cake works - Learn First. Play Later.
Carrots&Cake makes kids’ screen time safe, productive and balanced using a learn first, play later approach. During setup, parents select learning apps - Carrots*. When children turn on their devices, they will only have access to learning apps. Once they complete their time on the learning apps, the device automatically unlocks for a set amount of free time – Cake Time – that the parent sets. Kids maintain agency. Parents set boundaries. Carrots&Cake keeps kids safe. By default, inappropriate content is always blocked on Carrots&Cake as well as access to the App Store, so kids can’t download blocked apps.
*Parents can choose from anything available in the App Store or use apps they already own. If you’re not sure which apps to use, Carrots&Cake will help you with a list of apps appropriate to your child’s age.
Why traditional parental controls fail
❌ Other parental controls are one sided
✅ Carrots&Cake fosters family relationships
Parental controls are typically installed on a child’s device without their buy-in. They are one-sided. This strips kids of their agency, and it puts stress on the parent-child relationship creating a condition called ‘reactance’. It’s what happens when kids feel that rules are forced on them and their freedom is threatened. It leads to bad behavior, defiance, and tantrums.
Carrots&Cake creates a partnership between parents and kids built on compromise and trust. When a child turns on their device, they must first complete their learning apps – Carrots. As soon as they finish, the device unlocks and they have the freedom to use their favorite apps during their free time – Cake Time. Kids get to maintain their agency within the healthy boundaries that parents set.
"Carrots&Cake creates a compromise between parents and kids regarding screen time. Kids have agency, but parents decide which apps kids use."
Dr. Clifford Sussman, MD
Child Psychiatrist & Addiction Specialist
❌Other parental controls don't address the root of the problem
✅ Carrots&Cake uses science to develop kids’ self-regulation
Traditional parental controls use a simplistic timer-based method to determine when to cut a child off from their screen time. And all too often, when that time is up, kids can just press a button that sends a message to a parent requesting even more time. But these controls make no differentiation between the type of activities that a child does online. This is a mistake because what a child does online has a huge impact on their behavior and development.
If children spend their screen time playing games, streaming content, and visiting social media sites, they are engaging in high dopamine activities (HDAs). These activities offer instant rewards that cause spikes in the pleasure center of a child’s brain. The more accustomed a child gets to the pleasure, the more stimulation they require to experience the same spike. They crave more HDAs for longer periods of time. This is a dopamine feedback loop. It makes it nearly impossible for a child to disengage on their own from a screen. It’s harmful to kids’ developing brains, and it can lead to screen addiction.
Carrots&Cake balances low dopamine activities (LDAs) along with the HDAs. Carrots&Cake requires that kids first engage in activities with a high cognitive load. These are apps that require a child to complete several steps before rewarding them. This gets kids comfortable with delayed gratification which directly leads to the development of grit and resilience. After completing LDAs, kids get a session of free screen time. It’s the balance between the LDAs and HDAs that’s crucial to kids developing self-regulation skills. It’s easier for Carrots&Cake kids to put down their devices and they experience fewer tantrums.
❌Other parental controls are hackable by kids
✅ Carrots&Cake is safe and secure
Many of the traditional parental control programs, including Apple's Screen Time, can be bypassed by tech-savvy kids who tweak default settings or reinstall their favorite apps. As a result, parental controls are only temporarily effective before kids find a way around them.
Carrots&Cake settings can only be accessed by parents through their secure password and pin code. Carrots&Cake can’t be uninstalled by kids. Additionally, the AppStore is blocked when Carrots&Cake is active, so kids can’t reinstall the apps that parents block.
What sets Carrots&Cake apart?
Carrots&Cake is the only science-based approach to parental control and it’s the first to prioritize learning. Based on principles of behavioral neuroscience, psychology, and cognitive science, Carrots&Cake empowers children while also ensuring they spend screen time in a safe and positive way.
Carrots&Cake promote healthy screen use by reducing the firing of the brain's reward pathway. Dopamine levels stay balanced. This helps kids remain in control of devices and reduces tantrums when screen time ends.
Asking kids to first complete Carrots — learning apps with a high cognitive load — results in delayed gratification. This develops resilience & grit. Kids learn to self-regulate. Carrots&Cake help kids identify their intrinsic motivation and improve behavior.
With Carrots&Cake, kids focus on learning without distractions. Through micro-learning, kids compound knowledge with small but consistent daily effort.
Carrots&Cake gets results
Carrots&Cake is built by parents and developed with teachers, doctors, and specialists to respond to screen time issues real families face. Kids aged 5-8 spend an average of three hours on devices daily. Anxiety and depression in kids have increased. Self-confidence has decreased.
While parents buy terrific educational apps, studies find that children do not use them when they are given the choice between learning apps and games. The average time spent on top educational apps (e.g, ABCmouse) is only 40 minutes per month compared to an average of 30 hours spent on Roblox.
*Source: Sensor Tower, App Annie
Carrots&Cake is a healthy and balanced solution to the screen time dilemma. Kids actually use educational apps. Parents of Carrots&Cake kids report a 200% increase in their kids' daily educational app usage, with a 50% reduction in their overall daily screen time.
*Source: Sensor Tower, App Annie
Try Carrots&Cake FREE
With Carrots&Cake, kids no longer spend mindless hours watching YouTube and playing Roblox and Minecraft. Screen time becomes healthy and balanced. Kids develop skills to become good digital citizens, and families can reclaim quality time.