3 apps to help tweens and teens with self-control

Check out three apps that can help teens and tweens focus and manage their emotions.

Teens and tweens who learn and think differently may struggle with self-control for a number of reasons. Certain apps can help them think before they act, keep their emotions in check, and stay focused on specific goals. Here are three apps that may help teens and tweens with self-control.

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1. Forest

Forest is a simple game that helps kids (or adults) stay focused and on task. It rewards users for not using their phones.

Whenever your child wants to focus, they plant a seed in the ground. Within 30 minutes, the seed can grow into a tree. But if your child exits the app to use the phone, the tree dies. While the tree grows, the app displays messages like “Put down your phone” and “Leave me alone!” It keeps track of how long your child has waited for each tree and how many times your child put the phone down over time.

Available for: Android, iOS

2. ReThink — Stop Cyberbullying

Created by a teen activist, ReThink — Stop Cyberbullying monitors what kids type into their mobile device. If a child types a word or phrase that could be cyberbullying, a pop-up comes up to flag it. The pop-up might say: “Rethink! Don’t say things you may regret later!” This gives kids who struggle with impulse control a chance to reconsider before sending a hurtful message online.

To use the app, kids have to remember to select the app’s keyboard. While the app catches most swear words, racial slurs, and bad language, it’s not perfect and won’t stop all cyberbullying.

Available for: Android, iOS

3. Pomodoro apps

The “Pomodoro Technique” is a time management method that focuses on working in blocks of time, usually 20 to 30 minutes. After each block of time, there’s a 3- to 5-minute break. Then there’s a longer break of 15 to 30 minutes after four blocks.

You can try lots of free Pomodoro apps for both iOS and Android to see which one works best for your child. Just search for the word pomodoro. (That’s Italian for tomato.)

Available for: Android, iOS

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