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Managing your kids’ screen time and internet activity is a challenge every parent knows well. New technology offers a centralized solution.

We live in a world of screens, and no group is more captivated than our kids, but too much screen time can hurt social development, learning and even the quality of sleep that kids get. 

The challenge 

As any parent can tell you, controlling access is quite a challenge. Luckily, technology offers a solution. 

“I recommend Circle to parents as an easy way to set limits around screen time,” says Adam Pletter, Psy.D., a parent and child psychologist. Circle is a standalone WiFi device that allows parents to see apps being used, sites being visited and to set usage time limits on any device. Families can also manage mobile devices outside the home using Circle Go for iOS & Android devices. 

Simplified control 

“Circle makes it really simple to identify which devices go with each person in the home,” says Matt McKee, vice president of business development for Circle Media Labs Inc. and author of “Parent Chat: The Technology Talk For Every Family.” “I can manage all the content and time that my sons spend on those smart devices. I do all of this from one app.” 

Dr. Pletter agrees. “Compared to many other third party parental control systems, Circle is more user-friendly,” he says. 

Both McKee and Pletter praise the ability to reward kids with more screen time for completed chores using Circle’s Chores Connection. McKee uses it to encourage his kids’ creativity. “If my youngest son wants to consume an hour of YouTube then he must create a YouTube video. Being able to automate this has been a game changer for us.” 

Dr. Pletter points out the flip side. “I also use Circle as a tool to set virtual time-outs following inappropriate or irresponsible behaviors.” He thinks Circle will only become more necessary. “We are raising future adults who will have to regulate themselves. Circle is the best option to help children learn to regulate themselves.”

Jeffrey Somers, [email protected]

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