Family Guidelines for New Tech Devices

Tip Sheet

You just gave your kid a new smartphone, tablet or computer and they are beyond excited – but how can you make sure they’re using it wisely?

MediaSmarts’ research has shown that kids with rules in the home about tech use are less likely to do things like post their contact information, visit gambling or pornography sites and talk to strangers online. Having a family agreement or set of rules for using devices is also a great way for parents and kids to work together on how to be safe, wise and responsible online.

MediaSmarts has created a contract for parents and guardians to give to their kids along with their new devices, in order to spark a conversation about healthy digital habits and set practical family online rules.

Older kids are also a lot more likely to follow rules if they’ve been involved in making them. You can fill out your own guidelines in the contract together as a family using some of these suggestions, or come up with your own!

Here are some examples of guidelines to consider adding:

  • I will not be mean or cruel to anyone online, even if someone else is mean to me first.
  • If I ever get mad while I’m online, I will let myself cool down before saying or doing anything.
  • If I see someone being bullied online, I will ask them privately how I can help.
  • I won’t share anything that belongs to someone else without their permission.
  • I will never pressure anyone to share any photos with me that they don’t want to.

Download the contract here.