We have been debating giving my oldest a phone for Christmas. She will be 12 in February and began middle school this year. Once upon a time I had said they would never get a phone until they were driving. That conviction seems harder to keep these days as her schedule gets more complicated and as so much in her world is becoming more and more dependent upon technology.
You may be making these decisions too. And, like me, you may be concerned about your kids’ exposure to all of the bad that the internet has to offer. Please, please, please do not underestimate the dangers that lurk at the other end of a smartphone, laptop, or internet browser on a game console. Do not assume that your kids will not stumble across something. Do not assume they won’t be tempted to seek out inappropriate sites. Do not assume that it is not a big deal. It is a huge deal.
My family has been using Circle with Disney for two years now. It is an internet filter that can be set for each individual person in our home. Not only does it filter out the bad stuff (nothing is perfect, but it does a great job), but I can also set time limits and bed times. The internet turns off on my kids’ devices at 9pm. Last year they introduced Circle Go. For just $5/month, this filtering service travels with my kids’ devices. Wherever they have internet access on their devices, the filters are in place.
Circle is pretty inexpensive anyway, but they have a $20 off deal going this week. I would strongly suggest you make this investment to help increase the protection of your kiddos. Whether you go with Circle or not, please be a champion in your home of making your kids’ venture into the online world as safe as possible.
*Disclaimer: by ordering from the links provided, I do get a little bit of commission. But I would be telling you to buy this even if I didn’t!