KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Sept. 15, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — With studies revealing alarming statistics around children’s screen time, Carrots&Cake unveils a science-based approach that makes kids’ screen time healthier. The platform maximizes the benefits of screens by allowing parents to set the order that kids interact with apps. This balanced approach avoids dopamine feedback loops and allows kids to develop self-regulation.
Recent screen time studies point toward a growing crisis:
● In May 2023, the US Surgeon General issued an official advisory warning of the dangers associated with the overuse of social media and the mental health of kids. This ‘call of urgent action’ urged policymakers, tech companies, and families to create healthier online environments to help children.
● Kids aged 9-12 average five hours and 33 minutes on screens daily.
● Kids aged 5-8 average just 5 minutes a day on learning apps.1
Carrots&Cake aims to change kids’ online behavior and help them develop healthy screen habits. With Carrots&Cake, parents can select any educational apps from the App Store – what the startup refers to as Carrots. When kids turn on their iPhone or iPad these are the only apps they can access. When learning time finishes, the rest of the apps on the device unblock and kids can express their agency during free screen time – Cake.
The approach – developed with parents, teachers, and doctors – benefits the developing prefrontal cortex of kids. It balances dopamine levels, introduces delayed gratification, and leads to the development of self control, resilience, and grit. At the same time, it counters the persuasive design of apps that keep kids hooked. Kids have fewer screen time tantrums, and parents can hand over devices guilt-free.
Early users report their kids’ time on learning apps tripled, while overall screen time was cut in half. As a result, the science-based app was selected from a review of thousands of applicants to pitch in front of investors and press at TechCrunch Disrupt 2023 as part of Startup Battlefield 200, the industry’s preeminent startup competition.
Meredith DePaolo, a Yale-educated mom of two, and Co-founder of Carrots&Cake, said:
“What kids do first matters. Just like a parent would never serve a child a plate of broccoli along with a big slice of cake, you can’t hand kids an iPad with Duolingo and Tiktok and expect them to have the self-discipline to do any learning. With Carrots&Cake kids do their learning distraction free before streaming videos and playing games. They are no longer digital zombies.”
Co-founder Hamel Shah, a Cambridge graduate, INSEAD MBA, and dad of two, shared:
“While other screen time controls simply set a time limit on how long kids use their devices, Carrots&Cake takes a kid-friendly approach to screen time that accounts for children’s developing brains and lack of self-regulation skills. We combine learning and fun to make devices more beneficial and less addictive.”
Existing parental controls fall short. They cause stress in the parent-child relationship because they are one-sided, monitor kids’ private behavior, and use GPS to track kids. Screen use is controlled with simple time limits that fail to consider how the device is used impacts kids’ behavior. Often these controls get bypassed by tech-savvy kids.
Carrots&Cake is committed to transforming the digital parenting landscape, ensuring children’s screen time is safe, balanced, and healthy. It’s not about limiting screen time; it’s about elevating screen time and empowering families.
Meredith DePaolo [email protected] +60 10 907 4578
1 Common Sense Media
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