Sure, in a perfect world my son would make his bed and clean up the minefield of LEGOS without being asked. That would be the same perfect world in which I could eat chocolate cupcakes and lose weight. But in the world in which I actually live getting my son to take care of his daily responsibilities is usually achieved by a fair amount of threatening and frustration. At least until I found the ultimate motivator.

Screen Time Media Manager is an app that allows you to set up a profile for each kid, and assign a time limit of screen time for the day. That can translate into video games, TV, computer time, you name it. You can use it to keep track of that time by just pushing the start button when they power up the TV, or–and this is the really cool feature–they can earn those minutes by completing certain tasks, like finishing homework or clearing the dinner table.

Kids can also cash in their screen time for other treats like a trip to the ice cream shop or, even better, getting a new book. And older kids can choose to “bank” screen time to cash in on a different day.

I say older kids, because I really don’t think younger ones can wrap their heads around delayed gratification. Though come to think of it, neither can I. -Betsy

The Screen Time Media Manager app is available in iTunes for $1.99.