This is our story.
Don’t just survive. Help your family thrive in a world of technology.
While many of us long for the days of Little House on the Prairie and walkie-talkies (just me?), the reality is…
Tech is here to stay.
And to be honest, many of us don’t want to give up our online grocery cart or the silly memes on our family group chat.
While our devices save us time and keep us connected, it’s easy to fall into tech traps: doom-scrolling, technoference (ignoring what’s right in front of us to stare at our phone), or just answering the siren song of ever-present digital distractions.
Before you know it, screens have taken over—at the dinner table, on the way to soccer practice, and during bedtime stories.
Families desperately need a plan to stay connected with each other and to raise kids who thrive in a 24/7 connected world.
I learned this lesson the hard way.
In the chaos of a cross-country move,
we handed over an abandoned smartphone to our 12-year-old.
She’s the classic oldest child—super responsible—the kind of kid that cleans her room without being asked.
The phone seemed like a good idea. She could stay connected with old friends and we could reach each other in a place where we didn’t know anyone.
Months passed. One day our daughter came home from school and while spooning cereal into her mouth with one hand, she was scrolling with the other hand—and not talking to me. It used to be a “How was your day?” moment, but suddenly the phone was more important than our daily chat. I wondered where my kid went.
A few months later I was leaning over the kitchen counter looking at my own phone when I came across a video of our daughter lip-syncing an inappropriate song she found online. I knew she didn’t really grasp the meaning of the lyrics, but I realized at that moment we had failed her. We had given her too much too soon.
We replaced the smartphone with a brick phone with no internet access. There were many tears. As parents, it was one of the most challenging, yet smartest things we’ve done to safeguard our family from the harms of the online world.
I don’t wish this experience on any other family. And unfortunately, many families have experienced much worse. I don’t say this to scare you, but to help you understand that when you hand a device to a child you are handing them the world.
We can’t completely protect our children from all the harm out there, but we can prepare them (and ourselves!).
This is why Better Screen Time exists, my friend! We’ve created the family-tested resources we wish we’d had years ago.
Now, it is more clear to me how to help them develop naturally without screens getting in the way.
–Ameri, mom of six (four of them are teens!)
The Faces Behind Better Screen Time
Founder & CEO
I’m a mother of 5 so I answer to “mom” daily. With a BA in secondary education, I also revere the title of “teacher” and have been one in many contexts.
I’ve taught preschoolers how to swim, 7th graders how to record a family oral history, and college students at Purdue how to speak Spanish beyond “¿Cómo estás?”
My joy comes from seeing someone else’s eyes light up when they “get it.”
Tyler is our resident tech expert. With a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue, Tyler works as a software engineer in the aerospace industry.
With his background in technology and ability to explain complex things in a simple way, his contribution to our mission is invaluable. His positive personality keeps things light around here.
We're parents too.
We are right there in the tech trenches with you when it comes to navigating devices with kids. This is what you can expect from our resources.
Each month I read several tech-related books, full-length studies, and news articles covering the latest tech trends and their impact on families and children.
I like experimenting with new ideas in my own family (just ask my kids!).
Parenting NOT from a place of fear
I pair scary stats and stories to keep you updated with doable strategies so you won’t feel paralyzed or overwhelmed. No need to hit the panic button!
Introducing tech, bit by bit
My background in child and adolescent development has helped me to understand why and how we should introduce technology slowly and gradually so our children will thrive.
Personalized to you
I understand there is no one-size-fits-all approach to technology. Every family and situation is different. I will share research and ideas that will inspire you and lead you to the right tech solution for your child and family.
Get to Know Andrea and the Family
I grew up in the shadows of the Grand Tetons in Idaho, and my dad was a potato farmer. I compare anything hard in life to potato harvest. When life gets tough, I think back to sorting rocks, dirt clods, vines, and rotten potatoes, standing for hours on end, (sometimes in the snow!) and I think, “this still isn’t as bad as spud harvest.”
Tyler and I love just about anything outdoors. You’ll likely find me in particular doing things FAR out of my comfort zone in the name of committing to screen-free time!
I’m a co-chair of the Interfaith Work Group for The Screen Time Action Network at Fairplay. I also volunteer at our local high school through the Aspire Program helping students prepare for college, and I serve as a mentor for youth and youth leaders at our church.
Our family does not have it all together (who does?), but we work hard to stay connected. On any given day in our small home, you might hear beatboxing or band instruments, you might smell brownies or baked bread, you might see us wrapped up in a board game, or you’ll listen in on a bit of joyful banter about the best parts of the day.
About once a week Tyler and I splurge on Peanut Butter Park ice cream. THE BEST. It’s practically an end-of-week tradition!
Awards & Certifications
Their suggestions and strategies are principle-based and easily applied to a busy family life–but more than anything, they are helping parents around the world to see that they are not alone in wanting their families to use screens wisely.
-Eric & April Perry, founders of LearnDoBecome.com