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Most kids now have some sort of device that they can get on to access the internet. As a parent I want a kid safe internet experience so that my kids are not accessing anything online that is above their age level and above my standards. With the help of Circle, I can now manage my household internet usage, restrictions, and time limits as I see fit.
Funny story, but as I was setting up the Circle and my account I put my computer on the HOME account and put on kid restrictions so I couldn’t even access my own blog. Oops. It took me about 20 minutes to get everything hooked up, new account setup, adding my kids, and downloading the app. The only device is a small cube that gets plugged in directly to the router. You download the Circle parental control app onto your own phone as well as on to any child device that you want direct control over. Your phone will be setup with the parental controls, while the child phone will be scanned and setup as a child device with certain restrictions that you can add or change with simple clicks in the app and per child.
My son is now 13 and we are slowly allowing more access as he matures and grows. He has to learn responsibility as he ages and while that is not easy for me to give up control, I can now know that I do have some control to help still protect him from the crazy that is on the internet, but still allowing him some freedom to explore and figure out how to best use the internet and any device that can connect to the outside world.
One of the controls that you can put on is time limits. This will be use a lot in the summer when my son is notorious for wanting to be on devices all day long. I want him to go outside, find friends to play with, not just sit on a tablet or phone all day.
Each child can be set up with their own controls based on their maturity level and age, or just what you are comfortable with them having. You can see their usage for each day, set bedtime so that they aren’t up all night, set focus times when they need to be doing homework or getting ready for school, as well as be able to track their device location.
The app will let you know if someone/some device joins your network and whether you want that device to have access to your router as well. I am pretty stoked about the pause feature. At any moment, say when I have asked the laundry to be sorted, I can pause a device or all internet so that everyone has to pause and get their chores done. If by chance all chores get done, I can easily un-pause the internet and I can even reward them with a later bedtime.
All in all I love the control that Circle gives me with my kids and their devices, while it also allows me to slowly give them more of the reigns and responsibility to show me how they can use the internet properly. It is a wild and crazy world on the internet and most kids aren’t ready for all of it. I am glad that I can use Circle to help have a more kid safe internet experience.
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