This post is sponsored by Xfinity. All opinions expressed are my own.
If you think kids spend a lot of time in front of screens during the school year, wait until you see what they do while on summer vacation. With games like Fortnite and Rocket League and an endless stream of YouTube videos at hand, there’s no shortage of screen activities to keep kids entertained while mom and dad are at work.
Thankfully, Xfinity makes it easy for me – a parent of two teenage boys – to set screen limits for my kids with Xfinity xFi. Xfinity xFi allows me to manage my home WiFi network from anywhere on any device. Here are just some of the ways I use xFi in my household:
Pause / unpause Wi-Fi devices
Because I have xFi profiles set up for each of my two boys, with the push of a button on my xFi interface, I can pause every WiFi enabled device associated with their profile.
This means I can continue working on my computer and the internet while cutting off access to one or both of my sons for as long as I desire. There are dozens of ways you can use this to your advantage, but in my household, the internet is currency. If I need my sons to complete a list of chores or get their summer global campus homework done, I disable their WiFi until they show me that their work is complete.
Fortunately, I don’t need to use this as often anymore, but it’s also known in my household that if you aren’t listening to mom or dad or being disrespectful, you can expect an “internet penalty”. The duration of the penalty fits the crime.
Of course, even when chores are done, and the kids are behaving, I don’t want them staying up all night playing games or watching videos. With xFi, I can set a bedtime mode for each child. There are separate settings for weekdays and weeknights in case you want to give your children a little extra time to play on Friday and Saturday nights.
In my house, Bedtime Mode cuts off the Wi-Fi for my children’s devices at 9:30 pm on weekdays and 12:00 am on weekends. During summer, I treat every day as a weekend and let them enjoy their screen time until midnight. Your settings will obviously vary depending on the age of your children as well as your own screen time limits.
Screen time is one concern parents have. Another is what your children are doing with their screen time. This is why xFi allows you to utilize its Parental Controls for one or more profiles. Turn on the controls and your kids are instantly blocked from a pre-defined list of internet sites, mature videos and more.
To keep things simple, the Parental Controls feature is handled with a simple on/off toggle. This may be too broad for some parents, but for many other parents, they would rather be too restrictive than not restrictive enough.
Monitor internet usage
I’m a numbers guy so I love to have statistics to back me up when I need them. xFi gives me a daily, graphical breakdown of internet usage for each of my children. This comes in very handy when your child hits you with a, “But Dad, I’ve barely even used the internet today.”
A relatively new feature, called Active Alert, lets you receive an alert when your child nears or exceeds a length of internet time you specify.
What you need to access xFi
The beauty of xFi is that it is included with your Xfinity Internet service. As long as you use Xfinity’s xFi Wireless Gateway (modem and wireless router combo box), you already have the full set of xFi features at your disposal. You can access the xFi interface from any web browser or via the free xFi app on your smartphone or tablet.