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Establishing Healthy Tech Habits

THINK ABOUT IT

Most of us enjoy the many benefits technology can bring even as we sense ourselves forming unhealthy patterns. It is helpful to establish clear boundaries and agree together how we will use our devices.

TALK ABOUT IT

Use this family contract to guide a proactive conversation about appropriate boundaries.

TAKE THE LEAD

Start by explaining that it is your job as a parent to protect and to guide the children toward God-honoring choices in all areas of life, including technology. Talk through the parent section first to show how you plan to model healthy habits rather than just expect them from the kids.

SUGGESTED FOR PARENTS/ADULTS

Check all that apply.

❑ KNOW IT: I will become familiar with any device my child uses in order to guide and protect well.
❑ SHARE IT: I will be involved and spend time with my child to be a positive part of his/her online activities and relationships just as I am with offline activities.
❑ LIMIT IT: I will not use technology as a digital babysitter. I will engage in conversation with my child and give my child my full attention as much as possible.
❑ CHECK IT: I will frequently check websites, social media and other popular applications to monitor my child’s online activity and will visit with them if there is something I am concerned about or that might be inappropriate.
❑ PROTECT IT: I will initiate parental controls and activate accountability programs/tools.
❑ ENFORCE IT: If anyone in the family breaks this contract, we will calmly talk through appropriate consequences.

SUGGESTED FOR KIDS/TEENS

Check all that apply.
❑ PROTECT IT: I will not give personal information to anyone online including: name, address, telephone number, age, school, shoe size, etc. If anyone asks, I will check with my parent/guardian immediately.
❑ REQUEST IT: I will ask permission before setting up any online accounts including e-mail, social media, instant messaging, etc. and before downloading or purchasing any software, apps, music, games, etc.
❑ SAY IT: I will tell my parents immediately if I come across anything online that I know is wrong or makes me feel uncomfortable.
❑ ANSWER IT: If the phone rings and it is one of my parents, I will answer it, unless I am driving (if applicable). I will not answer, text or use any devices while driving.
❑ REVEAL IT: I will tell my parents if I meet someone online. I will not respond to e-mails, messages or friend requests from someone I do not know unless my parents approve. Nor will I write, call, or meet someone in person unless my parents say it is OK and come with me.
❑ JUDGE IT: I will not post, send, receive or text images that are inappropriate or offensive. (Good test: Would you send it to your grandparent?)
❑ WATCH IT: I will not search for anything crude, illegal or inappropriate, or treat others with disrespect through social media.
❑ SURRENDER IT: I understand that using any device is a privilege, not a right. I will follow our family contact to retain that privilege. If I break this contract, I understand I may lose access to my device(s).

OUR PLEDGE

We, the __________________________ family, agree to help one another practice healthy technology habits designated in this contract.

Signatures:
______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________

© 2014 Inkling Innovations & Lydia Randall