The Internet is a valuable tool and resource for young people to learn about their world, research new things and communicate with friends. However, it is also a dangerous place where sexual predators lurk, images of sex and violence are commonplace and criminals looking for personal information employ deceitful practices. Below is a Parent/Child Internet use contract you can print out and use with your children to help set boundaries in the home regarding Internet use:
Parent/Child Internet Use Contract
1. I will make or find a list of recommended sites for my children to visit.
2. I promise not to use a computer or the Internet as an electronic babysitter.
3. I will try to get to know my child’s online friends and “buddy list” contacts, just as I try to get to know their other friends.
4. I will frequently check to see where my children have visited on the Internet.
5. I will set reasonable rules and guidelines for computer use by my children and will discuss these rules, posting them near the computer as a reminder. I will monitor for compliance with these rules, especially when it comes to the amount of time my children spend on the computer.
6. I will report suspicious or illegal activities to the proper authorities.
7. I will provide my children with opportunities for other types of entertainment and recreation involving outdoor and/or physical activity.
8. I will seek out options for blocking and filtering inappropriate Internet content for my children
9. I will not overreact if my child tells me about a problem they are having on the Internet, but will work with them to solve the problem and prevent it from happening again.
10. I will put the home computer in a family area.
I agree to the above.
1. I will not give my name, address, phone number, school, or my parents’ names, address or phone number; to anyone I meet on the computer.
2. I will never, ever meet with anyone I’ve talked to online without getting my parent’s permission first.
3. If my parents ask me for my passwords, I will give them to them. I will NEVER give out my passwords or any of my family’s passwords to anyone else, not even friends or other family members.
4. I will not try to win free things or buy things on the Internet without my parents’ permission. If I get a message that I won something, I will show it to my parents. If I get emails asking for private information, I will also show my parents
5. I will use good manners when online, including clean language and respect for others. I will not pick fights or use mean words.
6. I know my parents will supervise my time online and use software to monitor or limit where I go online. I understand they are doing this because they love me and want to protect me.
7. I will never enter a site that says I must be 18 years old to enter.
8. I will never download games, music or videos without parental consent, as I know many viruses can infect our computer this way.
9. I will never click on any links in emails or open attachments from people or sources I am not familiar with.
10. I will limit my time on the Internet to:____________a day, excluding homework.
I agree to the above.
Parents feel free to modify these lists as you see fit. The important thing is that there are some boundaries set and enforced in the home regarding responsible Internet use. Consequences for breaking
the contract should also be laid out between parents and children beforehand. It is important to let your children use the computer and become familiar with it as a powerful tool for education, research and communication. But, the consequences can be devastating to your family if your children do not learn to use the Internet responsibly.