Digital Safety for Teens: 20 Tips in 20 Days – #1 Create A Smartphone Contract Together
#1 Create A Smartphone Contract Together
When you give your child their first smartphone, it’s important that you make clear your expectations about how and when that smartphone should be used. Without it, your teens are entering into the digital world—and facing all it’s dangers—without your guidance.
Having a written contract lets your child know your expectations, and what are the consequences if they break those rules. By writing it out, your child has no excuse for behaving inappropriately online.
However, the contract shouldn’t be one-sided. Instead, work on it with your child and talk to them about what you want to do and why—the more they understand your reasons for monitoring and limiting their access, the more likely they are to agree to it. In fact, you might get them to agree to everything you want—and they won’t try so hard to get around it, either. awesome
As pointed out by Boys Town, teenagers tend to value fairness—and when they’re allowed to have a real say in an agreement, it’s automatically far more fair than it would otherwise be.
It also helps to create the contract when they are younger and getting their first connected device. They should know that following the rules are a condition of keeping the phone, rather than rules being imposed upon them after they’ve already had free reign of the web.
If you’re not sure where to begin, check out our article on how to craft a smartphone contract, where you’ll find more tips, ideas, and even a sample contract that you can adjust to fit your families needs. Every household is different, and you’re the one who knows what’s best for your child.