15 Clauses to Include in a Technology Agreement for Your Preteen

Tuesday, June 4, 2019
young person on phone in bright room

The internet can be a scary place. There are very real dangers for our children. But it is also an integral part of modern life. I believe that teaching my kids to use technology responsibly and wisely is a vital life skill. So, when my two preteen daughters became old enough to want (and buy) their own phones and tablets, I wrote this technology agreement. The kids signed it, as did my husband and I, so if (and when) rules are broken, no one can claim they didn’t know the expectations.

 Here are 15 clauses we chose to include in a technology agreement for our preteen kids. Take what works for you, leave the rest.

1. I am being awarded the privilege of personal technology because my parents feel I am responsible, considerate, and honest.

I will seek to remain these things.

2. Even if I paid/am paying for my own device, it is Mom and Dad’s responsibility to teach me safe and responsible usage.

Therefore, they may take my device away as they feel necessary.

3. If I lose or break my device, I will still be responsible for any ongoing payment attached to it.

Welcome to the real world.

4. Mom and Dad must always know the password for my device.

And they have the right to inspect my device at anytime.

5. I will always answer the phone when Mom or Dad call. 

Also, I will always respond to their texts in a prompt manner.

6. My device will be charged in Mom and Dad’s bedroom at bedtime each night.

I may not remove it from their bedroom until after breakfast the next morning.

7. I will use my device to build relationships, not tear them down.

I will not use it to lie, gossip, create drama, or demean anyone. When other people are creating drama I will seek to be the voice of kindness and patience, or stay out of it entirely. I will seek Mom and Dad’s guidance if necessary.

8. I will not use my device at the dinner table or when people are trying to speak to me.

Even if Mom and Dad bring their devices to the table, I may not. I will put my device away in restaurants, church, and when visiting face-to-face with friends.

9. I understand that everything I communicate through the internet can be captured through screenshots and archived.

Anything I post can, and likely will, come back to haunt me. I will be careful what I say and what I share via photo and video.  Nothing on the internet can be guaranteed to be private and secure.

10. I will ask people permission before posting their photo on social media.

If they change their mind and want it taken down, I will respect that too.

11. I will not google anything having to do with relationships or sex.

If I have a question about these things I will ask an adult I trust, preferably Mom or Dad.

12. I will not send or receive inappropriate pictures.

If someone sends me a photo of themselves in which they are not fully dressed, I will speak to Mom or Dad about it immediately for help dealing with the situation.

13. I will not share more than one selfie a day to social media. 

My friends know what I look like, they don’t need constant reminders.

14. Mom and Dad will follow me on all my social media accounts. 

I may not block or “unfriend” them at any time.

15. Mom and Dad are on my side. 

They want to help me have a good, safe, and healthy experience with technology.  I know I can go to them with any questions or concerns regarding these rules.

This preteen technology agreement has served us well for a year and a half.

My daughters knows what is expected of them and have shown great responsibility. When we come to questions about how to properly use social media, we pull out this agreement and work through it together. I am not naive enough to think that an agreement will always prevent kids from making poor social media choices, but it does open a dialogue about best practices and convey what is expected.

What did I miss? What would you add to a preteen tech agreement?

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