As a mother to three kids of various ages, with two still at home, I can absolutely say without a hint of hesitation that the number one thing that stresses me out the most as a parent is monitoring my kids online. Y’all, I’m sure you know, it is EXHAUSTING! The internet is a wonderful tool but when you have kids it can also be a scary tool without some way to monitor and filter what the kids have access to online. This is something I don’t take lightly, I want to keep my kids safe online as I’m sure you do. But boy it’s certainly not easy to do, that is for sure. From what they are seeing online to the amount of time they spend on all their various devices, I just couldn’t keep up. Seriously it was like a full time job!
Now you know I’m not a techy girl AT ALL, I’ve talked about that so many times here before. Anything tech related usually gives me one big fat headache and a twitch to match. I can’t even. I’ve tried so many different internet monitoring programs and apps over the years, like so many. They were either too hard for me to figure out and worse didn’t have all the features I needed in one place so I was constantly having to remember what they could and couldn’t do for me. Why oh why do these things have to be so complicated?
I also had many different rules in place, that I had also had to try and remember, to protect them. For instance, the kids had to have their devices in my room at night, but they each have so many different electronics now with Wi-Fi access, from the DS’s to the iPods to the WiiU, to the phones as they got older. I was just beside myself about it, I’m not even kidding when I say I would lose sleep over it at night. Plus I hated constantly nagging the kids and it being such a HUGE issue all the time. It wasn’t a peaceful situation which is the opposite of what I wanted in our home.
When I learned about Circle and they asked me to be a part of their blogger team, I was so excited and cautiously optimistic that finally a SIMPLE solution was in reach. Unfortunately it wasn’t yet available in Canada at that time but thankfully a couple of months ago I had the privilege of joining the Canadian testing team and have been successfully using the Circle since then. I can now tell you with honest sincerity that this device has CHANGED MY LIFE! Sorry to yell, but I want to shout it from the roof tops to everyone I know with kids. It’s that sanity-saving awesome!!
Because I’m such a huge fan of the Circle product, I want to be upfront about telling you that I am using affiliate links in this post. All this means is that I will receive a small commission each time someone purchases a Circle through my affiliate link at no cost to you of course. Now let me tell you more about Circle and how it is going to rock your world just like it did mine.
Circle (updated to add that it’s now called Circle Home Plus) is a new way for families to easily manage content and time online for every device in the home. As technology becomes more intertwined with our lives, the key is to get the most out of it, without having it completely take over. Circle wants to make it as easy as possible to help families find that balance in their lives.
How it Works:
Circle pairs wirelessly with your home Wi-Fi and allows you to manage every device on your network. If it’s connected to your Wi-Fi, Circle sees it and allows you to manage it. Whether it’s a laptop, tablet, or smart TV, Circle has you covered without any software needed on any of those devices.
Using the Circle app, families can create unique profiles for each family member.
Time Limits: Set daily time limits for each family member on any app, platform or category you want. With time limits you can customize how much time your kids spend on any given platform and even set a total online time for the day.
BedTimes: Create a bedtime for each family member and their devices. Simply set a bedtime, when the devices will disconnect from the Internet. And an awake time, for when the devices will reconnect.
Filters: Set individual filter levels for each family member. Circle has 4 preset age levels (Pre-K, Kid, Teen, Adult) and allows for further customization by platform, app, and category. Choose one that matches each family member’s age and interests, filtering out all inappropriate content. Circle can block ads for any user or device as well as it defaults Google searches to remove explicit content from their results.
Pause: With the press of a button, you can Pause the Internet. This disables access to a specific device, individual, or the entire home. This calls for a happy dance!!!
Insights: Check out where your family spends their time online – by platform, category and website. With Insights, you can see the total time spent online and where, either by day, week, or month!
The Circle App:
And all of these awesome features are managed by ONE simple Circle app on my phone. It’s now available for both Apple and Android. I can monitor them from anywhere, at any time whether I’m home or not. There is no more nagging or fighting with the kids. When time limits are reached I get notified on my phone. And if anyone tries to tamper with the Circle box or it goes offline I also get notified immediately. I haven’t had one single problem since I hooked it up. It truly has given me peace of mind. This is why I do not hesitate for even a second to recommend this product to everyone I know. Please, please, please do not let your kids have unrestricted access to the internet. Now we can keep our kids safe without the hassle or headache.
And for those wondering whether or not this non-techy girl was able to set up the Circle on her own? Why yes I did, it’s that easy! Honestly if I can do it, anyone can!! Once you have the Circle set up through your router, it’s just a matter of setting up each person’s individual profile. All the devices in your home (once they are turned on of course and try to access the internet) automatically pop up on the Circle. You can then designate each device to a particular person. If more than one person uses any one particular device, you can add that device to the Home profile.
Featured on Ellen:
I watch Ellen regularly so imagine how surprised I was when I saw her mention Circle on her show with a LIVE commercial. It’s very funny!
Are you tired of letting the Internet dictate what your family is exposed to? Not anymore! With CIRCLE you are the boss!! Keep kids safe online and keep your sanity doing it. Check it out for yourself and let me know what you think.
Finally a simple, stress-free solution to my #1 parenting dilemma!
- This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. However, I only ever mention products I love and would recommend whether I was being compensated or not. Thank you so much for your support of my site!