About The Technology Contract
“The more work we do on the prevention side, the fewer problems we will have on the intervention side.” -Ryan Klingensmith, Shape the Sky Founder and Licensed Counselor
With every new challenge in life, there’s an expectation set before the venture begins. For example, before elementary, middle, and high school, students have a handbook and expectations to follow about attendance, academics, and behaviors. The same holds true for giving children access to technology, and there need to be expectations in place.
With the potential to be exposed to false information, risky behavior, cyberbullying, and concerning content, it’s important to set rules before allowing your children to access technology. Because children have access to different devices, apps, and social media platforms, it’s easy to get lost in setting expectations. That’s why it’s essential to start the conversation now to avoid future irresponsible internet and social media use.
Different Ways to Start the Conversation
Read it Before You Present It To Your Child
Read the contract before you talk to your child, and present the contract as an outline for your discussion.
Read and Discuss Topics Together
Read the contract with your child and discuss topics as you go. Be sure to fill in your own experiences to enhance the contract’s meaning in your family.
Have Your Child Read It First
Have your child read it on their own, and then have a conversation with them about your family’s expectations.
Two-Part Technology Contract
The technology contract is divided into two parts: “The Conversation” and “The Terms For Technology.” “The Conversation” section guides you through how to start the conversation. In particular, it focuses on how introducing technology to our youth impacts developmental psychology.
“The Terms for Technology” section consists of a list of expectations related to the device. It outlines what you expect from your children, what will happen if the rules aren't followed, and what to do if your child needs help due to what they see online. Note: this section is not a concrete list; it’s a detailed guide. Feel free to edit and adjust it based on your family’s expectations.