Creating an Internet and Social Media Contract

April 19, 2018
Creating an Internet and Social Media Contract

Allowing children access to the Internet and Social Media can be a daunting endeavor for parents.

Here are some tips to establish a healthy balance with your kids.

Common Adult Worries About Children Using the Internet 

  • Safety
  • Inappropriate contact
  • Bullying
  • Privacy
  • Addiction
  • Impatience, immediate gratification
  • Children will become lazy


The 5 E’s – Create an Internet and Social Media Contract

1. Explain

  • Outline expectations
  • Talk about technology before you buy it
  • Set guidelines and rules for usage
    • When, where, how long
    • Make a plan (e.g., no devices at dinner, no charging in bedroom at night)
    • Turn off notifications
    • Discuss consequences for breaking the contract

2. Engage

  • Know what shows, apps, etc. your child is using and her passwords
  • Talk about media use
  • Discuss TV, movies, YouTube videos that your child uses
  • Become her “friend” but don’t be an active “friend”
  • Be open to discussing difficult topics
  • Ask questions

3. Empathize

  • It’s not easy to grow up in the current social media culture
  • Your child is growing up in a public space without privacy
  • Social consequences can be stressful

4. Educate

  • Prepare instead of always protecting
  • Teach instead of tell
  • Learn how to use the technology your child uses
  • Have literacy conversations at home

5. Empower

  • Encourage your child’s creative media use (65% of children today will have technology related jobs)
  • Share with your child interesting new apps and sites you find
  • Sign your child up for internet/technology/media classes that interest her
  • Teach your child new skills

For more information on managing children and technology, check out Common Sense Media here.

Content Created in Partnership with Seedlings Group
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