How One Tech Giant Is Helping Parents Manage Kids’ Screen Time

Amazon’s new products provide a glimpse into kids’ digital diets.

There’s a critical conversation happening right now around kids and screen time, and Amazon is joining in. The company has announced two new features in its Amazon FreeTime subscription service designed to help parents learn more about their kids digital habits, as TechCrunch reports.

The first feature, Discussion Cards, gives parents a quick summary of the books, video games or apps their kids access on FreeTime. The cards also provide parents with questions about the content so they can engage offline with their kids about what they’ve learned.

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In addition to giving parents insight into what their kids are looking at, the Discussion Cards can help draw connections between online behavior and off-screen activities. As TechCrunch explains, if a child was reading a book about animals, the Discussion Card may suggest the whole family get involved at the local animal shelter.

The cards can be found within Amazon FreeTime’s other new feature, the Parent Dashboard. The dashboard breaks down kids’ weekly screen activity, including how much time they spent playing with an app or reading a specific book.

As TechCrunch notes, there is something slightly big-brotherish about the monitoring, but this isn’t specific to Amazon and is fairly common among kids’ apps. Plus, the tools seem geared towards giving parents a rare window into the content their kids are engaging with, and with the internet at kids’ fingertips, a little monitoring isn’t a bad idea. Plus, being able to see how long kids are spending on screens, and exactly what they’re learning, can spark important conversations about kids’ relationship with technology.

Read more about the new Amazon features here.