Parent Review: Disney’s Circle

What is it?
This little cube is a filtering device for your home that allows you to protect your family from inappropriate sites and content on the internet.  circle

A couple years ago, I looked around, as my children were growing older, and noticed that there was very little by way of family filters for the whole house available to the public.  I even asked a tech friend of mine for some help, and the ways to tweak my router (which is provided by the company we use for internet) were very complicated and truly beyond my “networking” skills…trust me, I tried.

Then I saw this new device that began as a kickstarter and eventually was picked up by the Disney corporation – A.K.A – Disney Circle.

We’ve had our Circle for about a month and I would like to do a review on it for you.

Ease Of Use: 
This device sells for $99, and we bought ours at Target, but I believe most major retailers will have this device for sale.  Basically we took this sleek looking box home, opened it and once we plugged it in, it was a easy to set up.  Have your internet router’s password available, walk through the app (which you install on your mobile device or cell phone) and once it connects the real magic and ease of mind can begin.

The app is easy to navigate and you can add then add your entire family to the “Circle”.  Once you add your family, you can then assign specific devices (which are visible to the network) to each person.  So, for example if your son has a google tablet, it will show up within the local devices and you can assign that tablet to your son on the circle.

The Filtering Software:
If you are worried what your children might watch on Youtube or even apps on their Apple or Android devices, here is some ease of mind.  You can assign the filter level of each child based upon their age.  All of the apps available on an app store can be filtered because this Disney Circle interfaces with the home router.  Even if your child is on their Xbox or Playstation console, it must still get its information from your home router, and Disney Circle will filter out the inappropriate content that you do not want your children to have access to.  I recently let one of my teenage boys use my Ipad, so since the Ipad is assigned to my profile, I adjusted my filter to “Teen”…when I went on my phone to access one of the streaming apps I use to watch tv, I was stopped, and I realized I had been filtered via the Disney Circle – it does really work!  This device, in my opinion, is totally worth the $99 I paid for it!

This device gives parents peace of mind when their children use the internet and/or various electronic devices throughout their homes.  No longer is finding a family friendly, easy to use filter a hard thing to do – I completely recommend this device for your home!

Other Perks to Disney Circle:
1) You can set a bed time for each profile/person in your home.  When the clock strikes that hour, the internet turns off for those assigned devices to that profile/child.
2) Does your child spend too much time on devices?  Then set time limits!  Once the time limit has been met, the internet will also turn off.
3) Pause the Internet in the entire house by hitting the “Pause” button on your device loaded with the Disney Circle App.
4) There is no work around, once the Disney Circle has been paired to your home router!
One of my kids tried to unplug the Circle and just use the router, and it wouldn’t work.
5) “Insights” – You can view all of the content your child views by using your Circle app.  You are the House Admin (and your spouse can be as well).  View the time your children spend on specific apps or site.  Learn what they enjoy doing, also start to see just how much time they spend in a day on these devices.

One word of caution, and this should be obvious, but here goes:
Do not load the Disney App onto devices your children will be using, this is the only “Work around” to the filtering software.  The one(s) who has the app loaded can control what is fed to all the devices.  So parents, you load the App, and you will ensure you children are protected in your home from unwanted, inappropriate content.

Should you buy Disney Circle? 
That’s entirely up to you, but we love ours and as our kids are getting older, it gives us peace of mind that they will not be subjected to pornography or other harmful content because of this little device and what it does.

I am giving Disney Circle thumbstwo thumbs WAY up!!!

For further review check out these youtube reviews/videos:
The Official Website:  Disney Circle
Disney’s Cirlce
Disney Circle Unboxing and Review

4 Steps To Godly Parenting

godly parenting


“…Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” –Ephesians 6:4


I’ve always been curious of this word “exasperate”…what does it mean?  Here are some synonyms – 

agitate, annoy, enrage, rile, inflame, aggravate, “drive up a wall”, disturb

You get the point.  

Questions to consider: 

I think it only fitting this week that we look at the healthy attributes of a father.  How can we be better parents, teachers and leaders of the children that we’ve been given?  What do we want our children to remember us by?  

It is crucial that we instruct, lead and love our children on godly principles and holy living.  Does it always work?  No.  Will we make mistakes along the way?  You bet we will.  Does that mean that we don’t try despite our propensity for mistakes?  Absolutely not! 

4 Steps to Godly Parenting: 

1.  Honesty with Self: 


First we must tackle honesty within our conversation today.  Be honest with yourself, you’re not perfect.  You were not perfect growing up, and you’re not perfect now.  That isn’t an excuse to not try, or to abdicate your responsibilities as parents.  Just understand that sometimes the expectations that we put on our children stem from our own shortcomings and inadequacies in ourselves.  We long to push our children harder and we set the bar higher because we look back at our own life and wished we had made other decisions or worked harder at specific moments in our past.  

Be honest with yourself.  You are the parent of a precious life, and when we push too hard out of personal unfulfilled dreams and goals, we will exasperate our child(ren).  Take a long hard look at your expectations for your child.  Goals aren’t bad to have, but if you find yourself pushing your child in a direction that resembles your own shortcomings and disappointments just to live vicariously through them perhaps you must stop and realign your motives and intentions!  Godly parenting wants to impress Godly principles, but doesn’t try to force children into molds that do not fit their personalities and temperaments.

2. Beware of the Anger trap:

 I find myself struggling with this one.  It is one thing to appropriately discipline children, it is another to lose your temper and rage at them.  Be careful how your discipline your child.  Children model themselves after their parents.  If you resemble a grumbling bear all of the time your children will eventually resemble this too.  If you rage, scream and shout your child will rage, scream and shout because this is a learned trait.  Similarly to growing up with an alcoholic parent, a child who grows up with a raging parent will be inclined to resemble that upbringing.  This isn’t absolute, but the propensity for modeled behavior such as anger can be passed on from generation to generation.  

Discipline, but don’t allow your anger to rage and fume and create a fire within your children.  These flames can burn long after they have left home.  

3.  Show up.

Your child’s interests may not always be the same as yours.  They may find a love for art or sports that perhaps you never had.  Invest in your child.  Spend time encouraging healthy interests.  Show up to events that your child will be participating in.  Also, actively find additional helps within your child’s likes.  If they enjoy sports, sign them up for that soccer team in the summer.  If they enjoy art, sign them up for a community art class.  Take the time to show up as the guide for your child.  Invest your time and encourage them in their interests.  A parent who shows up and invests in their child’s interests displays to that child that they matter and they are worthwhile and valuable.  

4.  Share the Word and Pray.

You don’t have to do this rigidly, but “devotion” time with the family is important. Carve out intentional spiritual teaching moments with your child.  Don’t make a big show of it, but let it be a part of who you are as a person and as a parent.  Don’t teach from a “do as I say, not as I do” mentality either.  The Word of God is vital to godly living, practice what you preach and teach through your example. You don’t have to purchase curriculum to teach your child about God.  Read a passage of scripture at night after dinner or perhaps pray before bedtime.  Living as a godly example to your child has to begin with a daily dose of personal time with the Lord as well.  Are we spending our time in the Word of God?  Do we pray diligently for our families?  From this stems our desire to spiritually instruct our children in the principles of Godly living.  


These are just a few suggestions to aid us as parents who long to raise our child up right.  Take time to pray for your child.  Ask God for guidance and wisdom as you teach and love your family.  

-Just something else to ponder today.   

What Parents ARE saying to their kids, but shouldn’t


Sometimes it’s spoken out of anger.  Other times it’s spoken out of selfishness.  Many times it’s spoken because forethought wasn’t given.  Let’s just lay it out there…sometimes parenting sucks.  We, as wanna be parents, sometimes we completely and totally suck at it.  There I’ve said it.  Now that we are all on the same page let’s move on.  

Yesterday we explored what parents should be saying to their children.  Today let’s explore the things parents should not say to their children.  I have a confession to make too.  At times I have been guilty of saying the wrongs things to my children, so what I am writing right now comes from my own experience as a father of four beautiful children.  


Here are a few things parents should avoid saying to our kids:

1. “I don’t have time right now.”


I’ve said this phrase, I was busy doing work and barely looked up at my child who was holding up a picture that they had drawn.  They wanted to show me and I was so consumed with what I was doing that I uttered this phrase.  When I realized what I had done I hugged my child and apologized.  When we utter a phrase such as this what many children hear isn’t that we don’t have time right now but rather we don’t have time for them.  It’s most likely unintentional and yes we all work and are busy, but be careful how you share your busy-ness with your child.  Don’t utter something like this with frustrated exhalations don’t let them think that they are less important than the work you do.  Your kids and your spouse are your first priorities after God.  

2.  “I Don’t Care”


This goes in step with the last one, but be mindful of how you express your frustrations with your children.  When conversations or actions get out of hand parents, we can’t stoop to the child’s level and tell them like a friend “I don’t care!”  We might do that with our words and even with our non-verbal communication of body language.  Be careful how you express yourself and in how you conduct your body language.  Your child needs your support in this world that seems to care less and less for the individual.  You have to be a source of hope, love and acceptance with your children.  Try not to utter “I don’t care” if at all possible, because in all likelihood you really do care so tell them that.  

3.  “Shut Up!”


This is a banned word in our household.  It’s obviously impolite to say to one another and with it there is a sense that what a person says doesn’t matter.  In the heat of an argument or a disagreement be mindful that words can hurt.  ‘Shut up’ is one of those words.  Parents, I know we want to hear from our children…and then there are times that we wished our children would be quiet.  Select better words to say to rear your children other than ‘shut up’.   It is not only rude but it carries with it a hostile approach which can be taken to mean what you have to say even outside of this argument is less important than what I have to say.  We may feel that way in the heat of the moment, but we want to give value to our children don’t we?  We want them to know that as they grow and mature what they have to say is important.  

4.  “I hate you!”


You may not even know you’ve said this phrase.  In fact you may not have said it in so many words, yet your child has interpreted what you have said to mean ‘I hate you!‘ In the heat of anger you may say things like “I am extremely disappointed in you” or “How could you do such a thing“, or “I can’t even talk to you right now“.  Kids sometimes misinterpret our anger and what we are saying to mean that they are despised and hated.  Make sure you measure your disappointment and your anger with them.  Let them know that what you are disappointed in are poor choices not your child.  Help them understand that they are loved.  Don’t for a moment allow them to think that you hate them.  I know we as parents we don’t obviously hate our children but sometimes in the way that we act or conduct ourselves our children can interpret it to mean that they are hated.  

5.  “Why can’t you be like your brother or sister?”


Every child is unique and different.  If you have more than one child it may be very tempting to compare them with one another…don’t do it!  If every child is unique and different why in the world would you want your other children to become the same?  We get frustrated with our kids, I know that to be true.  Yet don’t let them think that you favor one over another.  Don’t ask them “why can’t you be like your brother or sister?”  What can happen is that the child you are talking to can become convinced that their identity is wrong or they begin to question if they are good enough.  Young children even up to teenagers are still unsure of who they are.  When we compare them we are in a way validating in them that their identity is in some way wrong.  God made your child very uniquely, yes discipline them but don’t compare them.  Make sure they feel your love and acceptance and help them to craft their God given identities into adulthood.  

What am I saying?

Love your kids.  Hug em.  Don’t miss opportunities to teach them because you’re busy.  Make sure your body language and your attitudes aren’t in conflict with what your mouth is saying.  You have children who are like mold-able clay you can either help them become a beautiful vessel that God can use or you can dismiss them and let the world mold them.  Be the best parent you can be and be mindful of what you say to your children.  Also let them know that you’re not super parent, and you do make mistakes.  Own up to those mistakes so that they can also see how to act and respond in maturity to missteps and mistakes of their own.  Parenting isn’t easy, we will suck at it from time to time, but be encouraged we can do this!   

What Parents aren’t saying to their kids


Like it or not our culture and society is progressing.  Progressing where, well that remains to be seen.  But if the trends are any indicators where we’re going may not look so good.  I don’t mean to sound all ‘doom and gloom’ here but what exactly are parents teaching their kids these day?  And on the flip-side what are they not saying to their kids?

History Lesson:


How and who teaches our kids makes a world of difference.  Don’t believe me?  The Warlords in Africa understand this notion.  Why do you think they abduct young boys and recruit them for their armies?  He who controls the youth controls the next generation.  Right or wrong (and that last example is most definitely wrong) the principle is still constant and true.  Who is responsible for instructing the youth of our next generation?  The Parents!!!  But what are the parents not saying any longer?

Here’s a list of a few things they aren’t saying: 

1.  NO!

Discipline has become inconsistent at best.  Children are allowed to do more, stay up later, eat whatever they want and parents aren’t telling their children ‘NO’.  Let me make a confession.  As a parent of four children I think I know a little bit about kids.  And if we as parents don’t tell them no when we know what is best for them they will begin to craft their own ideals and notions of right and wrong.  I am the parent!  You are the parent and we have to set boundaries for our children especially when they are young and in the formative stages of life!  I’m not saying it’s too late for teenagers if you’ve never said ‘no’ to your child, but much of a child’s understanding of right and wrong begins when they are young.  Say no, not just to say it, but when it applies to situations and circumstances that may endanger your child, when they act up or push the boundaries…have the guts to be consistent and say no.  There are far too many lazy parents in our world today who just don’t have the time to tell their children no.  Be a better parent than that!

2. Wait!

We live in a fast paced, fast food society.  Everything is based on instant gratification. But what is that teaching our children?  Good things don’t come to those who wait, no good things come to those who get it now!  Whatever ‘it’ is get it, why wait?  This applies to purchasing items that are beyond our financial means, eating foods in over indulgence, and even sexual pursuits.  Parents, we have got to step up to the plate and tell our children to wait!  Don’t let them make decisions based on what their friends are doing or what modern media is telling them is okay.  Have ‘the talk’ with them.  Get involved in their lives and remind them that God does have a plan for their lives…and some of it involves waiting.

3.  I love you

Let me be clear on this point, many parents are saying the words ‘I love you’ but they’re not backing it up with action.  If you love your child don’t just say it be involved in their lives, actually listen to them as they share with you their day.  Be available to them so that they have someone to come and talk to.  They say body language is sometimes more important than actual verbal language at times.  So put the tablet, cell phone, or laptop down and actually make eye contact with your child!  Let them know that you love them by paying attention to them!  Parents we cannot afford to be selfish when it comes to sharing our love with our kids.  We only have them for 18 years of their life and then they go out into the world on their own.  Make it count, help them show love in the same respect by being there and being attentive to them.

4. Your choices matter!

Start young with this!  Make sure they understand what consequences are for both good and poor choices!  Instruct them properly and help them to weigh out their choices in this life.  We are witnessing a whole generation of young people growing up in a world where no one is responsible for the consequences of poor decisions.  How does that happen?  It starts at home.  If the parent can’t admit wrong doing or own up to bad choices, the child learns from this as well.  The child has learn to blame others for their mistakes, to ignore the consequences and to just do what makes you happy.  Parents we have to be adult enough to show our children how to admit wrong doing, and to help them make better choices in their lives.  It’s not a weakness to admit that we were wrong at times.  Doing so displays something that is lost in our society today: integrity and courage.

5.  Love the Lord with all your heart and serve Him first!

I understand many do not live in Christian homes, but for any parent out there who attend Sunday School as a child or still goes to church today this is one of the most fundamental building blocks for any child’s development!  Without knowledge of God’s love and our reciprocation in word and deep we stand to lose an entire generation to ignorance and faithlessness.  Understanding that God is real and that His love saves us has to be at the forefront of our children’s development.  I’ve heard it said that it’s not our job to get our kids saved, I offer an contrary view.  It is our job to point our children in the right direction and to instruct them in the ways of God!  If we feel ill-equipped then I think we’re doing it right.  It won’t be easy but when our children see faith in action through us the Bible lessons about God and our relationship to Him will be that much clearer!


Parents I cannot stress it enough, we cannot omit these important instructions from our children’s development!  The dangers in our society today are very real.  We are facing the possibility of an entire generation blind to faith and lost in sin.  We must instruct our children.  We must take the time.  We cannot afford to be selfish with our time and our knowledge of God.  Don’t dismiss this as just another alarmist, get involved with your children, tell them no, tell them to wait, help them to learn to make better choices in life and that consequences do exist.  Lead them and point them to God…make sure that you also display in word and deed these same principles and attributes in your life!

-Get on with it!


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