I’ve finally found the perfect solution for managing my son’s screen time! I’m so excited to share my plan for managing screen time with you!
Managing Screen Time: Problem Solved
Hey friends, hey!
I know that we’ve talked about our kiddos and screen time before — it is honestly a never ending issue around here, and with Summer Vacation fast approaching…ugh.
It sounds like such a ridiculous first world problem, but screen time is a large source of stress for me. I run a pretty tight ship but I often find myself second guessing my methods. Am I keeping my son safe? Do I check what he’s doing online often enough? Am I encouraging creativity and a love and understanding of technology? And how do I create a good balance between preparing him for the future but also making sure that he spends time enjoying the REAL WORLD?
There is no manual for this, although it would be extremely helpful. Sometimes I just want someone to come to my house and decide all the things for me while I take a nap and read a good book. Hi, here are my crazy kids, can you figure out life? Thanks so much.
My friend and fellow blogger Shawn has a daughter the same age as Jon David (they are actually friends, which is adorable). We were recently on a trip together and I shared my frustrations and fears about electronics, especially as my son (now 11 1/2) approaches his teenage years. Shawn quickly pulled out her phone and showed me Circle with Disney, and explained that she could track her daughter’s device usage from an app (currently only available on iOS) on her phone! She swore that it has changed their lives, and I made a note to look into it when I got home.
After doing some research, I am completely convinced that Circle is one of the most useful products in the entire universe for managing screen time. Not only can you track and control the usage of ALL the devices in your home, but soon Circle will give you the ability to control your children’s usage when they aren’t at home! My son is at the age where he takes his devices to friends’ houses pretty regularly, so this is a big deal for me.
So how does Circle help you when managing screen time?
It allows you to set restrictions on all of your children’s devices — gaming devices, laptops, desktop computers, iPods, and tablets. If it connects to the internet, you can monitor and control it.
You can set content filters according to age and maturity. You can turn off certain apps or social platforms. You can filter out certain websites, content, or ads.
You can set a “Bedtime” for devices, when they automatically will not connect to the internet. This is useful for kiddos that use their iPods as an alarm but you don’t want them iMessaging or going online from their beds.
You can set an “Awake” time as well. If you have a child who tends to get up super early to get online, this is really useful. Sorry, kiddo, your stuff won’t work until 9am. The end.
You can also set time limits — these time limits can be according to platform or they can be an accumulative total. You decide.
Does your child have friends visiting? As soon as they connect to your network, you can restrict their devices as well. This will ensure that your kids aren’t accessing inappropriate content or playing late into the night on their friend’s device.
Dinner time? You just smarted off time? Chore time? You can pause your child’s internet usage at any moment with one simple push of a button. If my son doesn’t come the first time I call him for dinner, I push the pause button immediately. LOVE THIS.
You can manage this on the go. Is your child home alone while you run errands? Pause the internet or check on what they’re doing while you’re away. Make them send you a photo of their completed chores before you’ll enable their internet privileges.
As you can see, there are a lot of reasons to love this device. And I’ll give you one more — set up is a BREEZE. Just plug it in, download the app, and locate your child’s devices that show up on your screen. Set up their profiles and you’re done. Easy peasy.
Got a crafty kid? Unplugging Circle triggers a notification to your phone. You’ll never NOT know if it has been unplugged.
One of the coolest things of all?? NO MONTHLY FEE!!!! Nope, none. You purchase Circle for $99 and that’s it. That is literally your ONLY expense for this service.
You can purchase Circle HERE — please be advised that this IS an affiliate link, meaning I do make a small percentage off of every sale. This does NOT change your cost at all — you pay the same price regardless.
After researching Circle with Disney I reached out to the brand to see what I could do to help spread the word about their product, which I genuinely LOVE and think my readers will find useful. This resulted in a partnership which I could not be more thrilled about. There’s nothing I love more than working with brands I truly believe in to bring you something I think will change your life for the better!
I’d love to hear any questions you might have about managing screen time and what you do to help limit and filter screen time in your home.
Have a great day!