As our kids are beginning to interact online and use the internet at an increasingly younger age, it becomes imperative that we as parents manage this use by focusing primarily on their safety. In my house we have decided to have our children sign an internet contract to ensure that they are not only are prepared to follow some simple rules, but that they fully understand the possible dangers and pitfalls of using such a powerful medium. Our children whilst technically savvy, do not always have the maturity to match, and hence we need to be constantly educating them about the many aspects of repsonabile online use. Having a contract not only makes them accountable for what they are doing online, but it helps us bring up some of the issues they may not have previously considered. It is important that you all know that these points are fully understood before you sign away. Usually I would see something like contracts as too formal for my family, however in this instance I believe it a great tool in starting up the conversations and making our kids accountable. It is not so much about the punishments and the contract as such, but more about having our kids recognise the importance of being aware of these issues to ensure they are able to make appropriate and safe choices for their online interactions.
Please feel free to print out and use for your family