All of our kids sign a family technology agreement before they use a phone or computer.
We are the parents of 5 kids ranging in age from 9-20, and we were foster parents to over 35 children.
We are geeks who love technology and we see technology as a wonderful tool, but when you hand your child a phone or device with the internet, you are handing her the world.
If she's not old enough to go to the mall or other public place alone, she's not old enough to handle a phone or ipad without your assistance.
Managing Kids and Technology: What We Do
- Kids get phones starting in middle school, when they are going to activities where they might walk home, get rides with friend’s parents, etc. and need to be in touch with us. Before this time a phone is unnecessary.
- We as parents own the phone. We are paying for the phone, but even if a child pays for a phone at a later time, we as parents of the household still have a right to monitor the phone as guardians and protectors of the kids in our household.
- Because we are the parents, we have a right to read anything on the phone. No texts are to be deleted until we give permission. We have the right to take away the phone at any point.
- Kids pay a portion of their allowance for the phone.
- Everyone in our house (kids and adults) signs our family technology agreement. Here is a copy of our family’s: Technology Agreement
- When our children started using smartphones, we bought a subscription to a monitoring program, which is a phone service for parents. Some people object to this type of monitoring, but I believe in the value of it. We are not spying on them because they knew how we were monitoring them. We chose a program that shows everything — including deleted texts and chats. The one drawback is that it only works on Smartphones, so you can’t use it to monitor texting if your child still has an older phone.