Thinking about creating a family tech agreement and looking for tips? A family tech agreement is a set of rules about how devices like smartphones, tablets, computers, TVs, and gaming consoles are used in your home. Besides establishing boundaries for screens, these agreements encourage families to come together and discuss healthy technology use.
A family tech agreement can help families to:
The best family tech agreements are tailored to the specific needs of each family. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, but here are some general principles to help you create an agreement that works for you.
Tips to consider for family tech agreements:
- Make it age-appropriate. The rules in your agreement should be tailored to your children’s age and maturity level.
- Be realistic. Don’t set rules that you know you won’t be able to enforce.
- Be flexible. You may need to update your agreement as your children grow and change.
- Get everyone’s input. Make sure that everyone in your family has a say in the rules.
- Post it where everyone can see it. Put your agreement where your family can see it, such as on the refrigerator or a bulletin board.
Once you’ve considered these factors, you can start to draft your family tech agreement. Luckily there are many sample tech agreements available online to use as a starting point. Here are some key elements that you may want to include:
- Screen time limits. Set limits on how much time your children can spend using technology daily. This may vary depending on the age of your children and what they are doing on their screens.
- No-screen zones. Designate specific times and places where technology is not allowed, such as at the dinner table or in bedrooms.
- Parental controls. Consider whether to use parental controls to filter content and monitor activity as needed.
- Open communication. Encourage your children to talk to you about their online experiences and come to you with any concerns.
Summary – Tips for Family Tech Agreements
Creating a family tech agreement can help children learn to use technology safely and responsibly. Make it a family affair and involve everyone in the discussion and decision-making process. Children learn by watching the adults in their lives, so be sure to model the behavior you want to see too. Lastly, focus on the benefits of technology, such as learning and connecting with others as well as negatives, like FOMO, disinformation, and advertising directed at kids. When kids understand tech’s positive and negative impacts, they can make informed choices about their tech use.
About Jessica Speer:
Jessica Speer is the highly acclaimed author of books for kids and teens, including the forthcoming, THE PHONE BOOK - STAY SAFE, BE SMART and MAKE THE WORLD BETTER WITH THE POWERFUL DEVICE IN YOUR HAND (Releasing Summer 2023). She is also the author of the award winning, BFF OR NRF (Not Really Friends)? A GIRLS GUIDE TO HAPPY FRIENDSHIPS and MIDDLE SCHOOL - SAFETY GOGGLES ADVISED, both of which grew out of her work with kids. Blending science, stories, and fun activities, her writing unpacks tricky stuff that surfaces during childhood and adolescence. She has a Master's Degree in Social Sciences and a knack for writing about complex topics in ways that connect with kids. Jessica regularly contributes to media outlets on content related to kids, parenting, friendship, and social-emotional learning. For more information, visit www.JessicaSpeer.com