I walk into the room, and their faces are lit up. I’d like to say they’re lit out of the sheer joy of my presence, but that would be a lie. Because when I walk into the room, nine times out of ten they don’t even know I’m there.
No, their faces are lit by the tiny screens nestled in the palms of their hands.
Like every mom in the world, I find myself constantly at odds with how to best balance technology usage in my home. It fields like a battlefield, and us moms raising children in the social media age are on the front lines.
On the one hand, we know with certainty that technology isn’t going away. It’s here to stay, and the world of social media is waiting for our children to tiptoe into it.
On the other hand, we know with certainty that technology isn’t going away. We can’t escape it. It’s there all the time, waiting to devour every waking moment of our daily lives.
So how to we help our children navigate the pressures that await them inside those little handheld devices?
But the internet can be an insidious place, and as parents we want nothing more than to protect our little ones from the pressures lurking at their fingertips.
Some of you may already be familiar with this magic little box, but perhaps there are others who, like me, are still trying to manage and monitor online usage alone. I’m here to tell you that there’s help in the wings.
No soldier is expected to go into battle without armor, so if navigating technology with our kids is a battlefield, consider Disney Circle your number one weapon of defense.
Disney Circle is a small device set up to help your kids learn time management. It’s not meant to monitor what they’re doing online so much as how much time they’re spending there.
I LOVE THIS!
I hate nagging my kids. I want to be able to tell them something once and have them immediately respond, and for the most part they do because they know that’s the expectation. But the lure of the screen can be very powerful.
Disney Circle is helping us all with this struggle.
Each person in the house (including myself) has a profile set up on the Disney Circle app (which I control on my phone). On this app, I am able to see exactly how long we’re all spending on our devices, and I can manage that time as I see fit.
My oldest is a YouTube junkie. He loves watching his favorite YouTubers, and though it is mind boggling to me that he finds it interesting to watch a video of someone playing Minecraft, I allow it because it’s his jam.
My oldest daughter could spend hours a day scrolling through Instagram, immersing herself in the gymnastics photos and videos of her favorite gymnasts.
My third born has all the heart eyes for the PlayStation, often cheering himself on through a hotly contested game of Fifa17.
And through it all, I found myself standing in the wings, constantly asking them to put away their electronics and find something else to do.
With the help of Disney Circle, which pairs seamlessly with my wifi, I’m able to set up time limits specific to each child. If I decide thirty minutes of YouTube is enough for school days, then after thirty minutes his phone will no longer access YouTube.
And I don’t have to say a thing.
No nagging. No huffing into the room in frustration because he didn’t do it the first (or fifth) time I asked. No taking away devices.
My goal in using Disney Circle is not to control my children, but rather to teach them to maintain their own healthy boundaries. This device is not necessarily a tool to filter out web content, though it certainly provides that option, so much as it’s a tool to teach time management.
We can all quickly, easily, and unknowingly get sucked into the lives of others online. I’m not immune to the temptation just because I’m a grown up, so for that reason I’ve set my own time limits. Together, we’re working as a family to enjoy the technology in our midst, but not be ruled by it.
And isn’t that the ultimate goal?
For more information on how Disney Circle can help you manage your home, visit their website here.
What about you? How are you helping your kids navigate this technological age?