A Contract For Kids: 10 Rules For Using Your iDevice
As parents, we’ve got 2 choices: Shield our kids from technology, or help them embrace it responsibly. We chose the latter.
If you’re anything like my wife and me, you’ve discovered how much of an incentive iPhones, iPads and other digital toys are for good behavior. We recently gave my 9-year old daughter one of our old iPhones to use as an iPod. No cell plan (yet).
Rather than hand it to her and hope she figures out how to use it on her own, we created a contract between her and us that explains the dos and don’ts we feel are right (for our kids). We then asked her to read it, and sign it, so (we all feel) it’s real. It now hangs in her room, and makes it a lot easier for us (all) to recognize her good behavior, along with those (exceptionally rare) times when we do need to take it away.
This is a contract between You and Us.
A contract is an agreement between people that includes rules both sides agree to follow. By signing this contract, you agree to follow these rules. When Mommy and Daddy sign it, we agree to teach you how to use it properly, and keep you safe. When it comes to your phone- there are no secrets! Mommy and Daddy are always allowed to ask for your iPhone to look at your messages, pictures and videos to make sure you’re safe.
Our 10 rules for using your iPhone:
- You are not allowed to share any personal information – our family phone number, our address, our family plans, your birthday, even your brother’s name – without asking first.
- You are not allowed to create new accounts, join groups or install apps without asking first.
- You may only reply to messages from people in your address book. If you don’t recognize the name- you may not respond. For now, only Mommy and Daddy may add people to your address book.
- Please do not take your phone out of the house without asking first.
- Don’t text, email, or say anything to anyone that you wouldn’t say out loud with their parents in the room.
- You may share pictures of yourself with people in your address book. You may also share pictures of the dog. Just be selective, use your creativity and share the best pictures. Please ask permission before sharing anyone else’s picture (that includes your friends and other adults).
- Your device has a password to protect your privacy. The only people who are allowed to know that password is you, Mommy and Daddy. No one else.
- You may watch YouTube as long as you ask first. It’s just like TV. No watching unless you ask.
- Do not take or send pictures of your private parts or anyone else’s private parts. If someone sends pictures of private parts to you, tell Mommy and Daddy immediately. Failure to do so means you lose your phone.
- Be creative! Your phone is for more than watching, reading and playing. Use your talents to create something wonderful. Movies, art, stories – anything you dream up!
Mommy and Daddy gave you this iPhone because you earned it with your good behaviour and kindness. If you don’t respect all of these rules, you will lose your iPhone until Mommy and Daddy decide you’ve earned the right to have it back. This list was the right fit for our family. As always, you need to do what’s right for yours.
Please feel free to copy this list and adapt it for your own use.
You can also download a handy word doc version below.