Picture this in your mind – you’re having a great Christmas dinner with a nicely roasted turkey on the table, sweltering in the heat waiting to be carved. But as you call out to the kids, no one comes over. There isn’t any response to know what they’re doing. Knowing that the smartphones are in their hands again, this is a time where modern parents dish out their virtual cane – Timeaway.

Developed by Tamara Sanderson, this Android app functions very much like a monitor – it lets you know how much time your kids spend on the phone, and when the time calls for it, locks down the phone until you press the release button. Furthermore, if you notice that your child has been spending too much time on a certain app, you can even limit or prevent the usage of the app in your child’s phone. Miraculous, isn’t it?

This idea was sparked by Sanderson’s concern as she noticed that people were all physically close but it was ironic that they didn’t make any form of contact with the people as she walked around Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. It’s no surprise what were they doing – looking down at their smartphones or tablets. Not to mention that this happened in one of the countries where smartphone addiction is growing into a huge problem.

Using her position at Google, she sought the approval to develop this idea on her own – and it gained the confidence from the developers of the software themselves. What it means to parents is that they are able to be in full control of the phone to ensure that kids do not overindulge in what was given to them and eventually develop healthy smartphone usage habits.

Not wanting to promote unwanted quarrels, Tamara advises parents using the app to have verbal agreements with their children on the usage of the phone prior to the enforcement of the app.

So now behave kids, including the older ones who have a ring around the finger.