You may have well heard this before, but implementing a Family Media Contract really is the key to minimizing the downside of technology and striking the right balance in your family. When I couldn’t find one that covered all the bases, from etiquette to physical safety, healthy habits for screen-time to accepting personal responsibility, I decided to write my own. I wanted one that reflected age considerations, and how the needs change as children grow older.
Generally, I’ve found there are several major inflection points when it comes to kids and devices. The first typically happens around age seven when kids start using devices in school and are excited to practice their budding tech skills. Then, the next at age 10, when kids start wanting to communicate with friends outside of school. The third happens when kids start using social media typically around age 13. And finally, the high school years, when a phone might as well be another appendage (apparently, 46% of teens surveyed said they’d rather break a bone than break their phone).
As parenting philosophies differ, we’ve provided three completely customizable versions of our family media contracts grouped by age. These are meant to serve as a starting point, knowing that families differ on whether a child has a right to privacy or ownership, or whether screen-time counts as a privilege or is earned.
Spelling out the rules of the road for your children can save you many future headaches and is worth making time for. Hopefully, we’ve shortcut it for you, and you can benefit from our lessons learned.
With best wishes,
Julie Paul and Friends