Having a digital career not withstanding, it was with some trepidation that we allowed our oldest child to graduate to higher level internet access, complete with her own email address. The unexpected parental reward: funny little emails from her replete with “I LOVE YOU!!!!s” and smiley icons that are a delicious departure from regular inbox contents. (Yes, we know this has little chance of lasting into the teen years).
However for her and us, with this right comes clear responsibility – and even the most web savvy of parents today can struggle with how best to approach a child’s internet involvement. If you have not contended with this issue already, you soon will be, and you might therefore want to print out a copy of this well drafted list of ground rules on internet participation we sourced from The Kid Safe Foundation,a terrific resource on a range of topics related to kids’ safety, that can serve as a compact between you and your kids before they surf, chat or engage.
Kids Computer Contract
I will not give my personal information to anyone or to a website. My personal
information is my name, address, phone number, parent’s information, my school
name or location and personal photos.
The computer should be located in an open area of the house – family room or
kitchen. No computers in the bedroom.
I will check first with my Mom or Dad before I fill out any forms on line, join any
groups or post photos.
I will only visit sites which have been discussed and approved by my parents.
I will report to my parents (Circle of Safe Adults) right away if I receive
anything (picture, email, instant message, pop up) which makes me feel
I am not allowed to meet people online or to participate in ‘open forum’ websites
or chat rooms.
I can only communicate with people on line that I know in the real world. (Family
I will not participate in cyber bullying behavior. If I can’t say it to someone in
person than I shouldn’t say it online.
I will not open emails, links, or URL’s from people I do not know. I will check
first with my parents to let them know what I am receiving.
I will use the computer for the amount of time per day as set by my parents.
I understand that my parents can supervise everything I do on the internet.
They will do this to ensure my safety…they love me.
I have discussed with my parents that there are people online who befriend
children, but who are not safe.
I will not share passwords with anyone including my friends. (Only parents
should have their children’s passwords so they can properly supervise their
children’s online activities.)
“Using the computer is a privilege not a right.”
Learn more at TheKidsSafeFoundation.org