We live in a different world today. Social media, pornography and cyberbullying are literally at the fingertips of our kids and teenagers. So parents need to take an involved and proactive approach to internet safety. That’s why I created an Internet Safety Contract and Poster for each member of our family. It keeps each person accountable and creates healthy online boundaries for the whole family. Check it out.
As a mother of four boys and one little girl, I can’t be naïve when it comes to the inappropriate and damaging content that my kids can find online. My hope is to teach my children the harmful affects of pornography and the dangers of the cyber world so that they can take that information and make good decisions when I’m not around.
What is an Internet Safety Contract?
An Internet Safety Contract is an agreement among family members to hold each other accountable while using the internet and other online resources. It is a new way to think about internet safety. It details written rules that each person in the family is asked to follow and requires the signature of each person involved. Each of the rules is designed to help family members while online and avoid the dangerous and damaging content that is so readily available.
Download your contract and quick-reference poster
I created an easy-to-understand contract and poster that explains the importance of being safe when using the Internet. This two-page package gives the top ten ways to stay safe on the Internet and a contract for kids and teens. Each member of the family can sign the contract and hang it in a prominent place in your home. Click on the link below to download and print your PDF today:
Read and review as a family, classroom or youth group
We decided to sit down as a family and read each of the 10 ways to stay safe on the Internet. After each tip, we discussed what each of those items means. It was an awesome way to have an open conversation about the Internet. Here’s the 10 tips:
- Turn it off: If you see pornography (pictures or videos of people with little or no clothes on), turn it off right away and tell a parent or a trusted adult.
- Surf waves, not websites: Avoid mindless scrolling, chat rooms or unfamiliar websites. Always use the Internet with an objective in mind.
- Keep your info private: Don’t give out any personal information online without your parents’ permision. Avoid befriending someone online that you have never met in person.
- Email with caution: Never open an email from someone you don’t know and don’t give out your email to untrusted websites.
- Don’t close doors: Only use the Internet in high-traffic rooms in the house such as the kitchen or family room and keep your screen visible to everyone.
- Be kind: Do not bully or say unkind words towards anyone while using the Internet. Do not tolerate bullying by others either.
- Say no to swearing: Do not participate in inappropriate language or conversations while using the Internet.
- Be cautious with downloads: Do not download music, games or software without your parents’ permission. Hackers can install virus’, pornography and other malicious material onto your computer.
- Don’t buy stuff: Do not order anything online without your parents’ permission (even if it says it’s free).
- Think twice with pics: Do not post or send pictures that will embarrass, incriminate or jeopardize the privacy of you or anyone else. Once it’s posted, it will never go away.
Sign and commit
Our conversation about internet safety elevated to a different level as soon as I told my kids that they can’t use the Internet in our home unless they signed the contract. Then, all of a sudden, I think they realized how serious we were. As a family, we are committed to holding each other accountable to being safe on the Internet.
Although, ultimately, my children will have to decide for themselves if they want to follow the terms of the Internet Safety Contract, having a continual open conversation about cyber safety, is crucial. When children and teens know what is expected of them, it’s much easier to make better decisions.
Here’s a link to the PDF download one more time in case you missed it:
I hope this information will be helpful for your family, students or youth group. Let me know what you thought in the comments below. Here’s some other helpful links to learn more about staying safe on the Internet:
- Fight the new drug: Standing up against Porn
- Pinwheel: Safe phones for kids (use coupon code Marie2022 for 10% discount)
- A guide to Internet safety for kids, teens and young adults
More from My Silly Squirts: 7 powerful resources to help teach your kids about pornography