Three weeks ago my son came to us with a guilty look on his face and said “Mom, Dad I did something bad, I watched an inappropriate YouTube video”. Those are words you never want to hear from your 9 year old son. Of course my mind goes to all of the disgusting images he could have possibly seen and suddenly I am tight in the chest.
My son knows he isn’t allowed on YouTube and came to us because he felt guilty about it. (Thank you Jesus for a son who is sensitive to disobedience). That was the moment when you stop and say “Wow, as parents we have done a super crappy job of protecting our child on the internet.”
It doesn’t take long on the internet to know how many unhealthy images and things there are for children to see, read or get caught up in online.
Now what my son saw wasn’t the worst thing he could see, thank goodness. He was searching for a video on how to make an origami Yoda and next to where he was searching was a sponsored video entitled “10 embarrassing photos sent to the wrong person”. There was no full nudity but enough inappropriateness for a 9 year old boy to feel shame over.
Did you know the average age of exposure to pornography is 9 years old?? And guess what? I have a 9 year old. That statistic freaks me out.
After we gave our son an appropriate consequence for his actions, and took responsibility in the role we played as parents for not protecting him well enough, my husband and I started searching for things we need to do to try and keep my kids safe on the internet. Two days later my friend texted me and asked if I had heard of Circle by Disney. I am a firm believer that nothing happens by accident. So I was so grateful she reached out to me!
Let me tell you what CIRCLE can do all from an app that you control!
Circle allows you to:
1. Set time limits on your child’s internet/app use (don’t leave it up to yourself to remember when 20 minutes are up).
2. Allow you to completely block apps and websites that you don’t want your child on. We have it set to not allow my children on YouTube. If, for some reason, I want to allow them on YouTube for 10 minutes to watch a video on how to make an origami Yoda I can, and then turn it off after that.
3. Monitor any other device (ipad, phone, game tablet, computer, etc) that is connected to your wifi while in your home (sorry neighbor no Snapchatting at our house).
4. Set a bed time and wake time so you know your kids are being protected from picking up that device late at night or before you wake.
5. Pause their device for chore time, family night, dinner or homework time.
6. You can check insights and see exactly how long your child (or you!) is spending on the ipad/tablet/computer for a day, week, etc. It even breaks it down by apps. social media, etc. And let’s be honest, this is good for us to monitor our time on these as well as our children.
Here is a video to help explain it more…
If you, like me, are ready to take control of knowing where your child is when they are on their devices click here to buy for $85 today only. For the next 24 hours it will remain this price and then will go up to $99 after that.
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