Our Technology Contract!

If you’re like our family, Christmas brought presents in the form of technology. (Hallelujah, the boy proclaims – you finally got me a phone!)

With a fresh year upon us, it’s a perfect time to review the tech rules are in this house. As our kids have gotten older, we’ve all had to evolve, discuss, negotiate.

Our contract for Brynne (7th grade, iPod only) looks different than her high school siblings. She has to ask before she uses her iPod, which is kept in my bedside drawer. It’s more like an after school snack rather than a permanent fixture on her body.

The older, high school kids carry phones and do homework on iPads. Their tech contract:

Dear _________________________________

Congratulations! You are in possession of a powerful piece of technology. With this great privilege comes great responsibility. Your devices have the potential to do great good. They also have the power to cause great harm, not only to yourself but to others.

As a tech user in the Makechnie house, you agree to the following:

  1. Technology is used under the supervision of your parent. Other than homework and seminary, you must ask permission to use your iPad (not your phone.)
  2. Technology must be used in a public place, like the living room or kitchen, not in bedrooms or behind closed doors. If you need a quiet place, we will discuss.
  3. All apps must be approved.
  4. We will always know your passwords and follow you on all social media sites. 
  5. We will be able to read your texts and conversations at any time.
  6. Technology is put away and off your body at meal times.
  7. When you begin driving you will never ever text or talk while driving. 
  8. Never post anything online that could be hurtful or harmful to another human being.
  9. Never search for or post anything that you would be embarrassed for your parents or Heavenly Father to see. While on-line, imagine us standing next to you! If someone shows you pornography, FLEE.
  10. At 8 p.m. phones are to be turned in.
  11. At night, after homework is done, iPads are to be turned in.
  12. On Sunday, we have a technology Sabbath. This is so we remember what one another looks like and that the scriptures are actual books. Even God, who was incredibly busy creating the world and animals and people, rested on the seventh day!
  13. When riding in the car with friends or other adults, use devices appropriately. Have conversations.
  14. When using technology, and another person enters the room, close your device and acknowledge the person (it is also polite to stand up in certain situations).
  15. Download and listen to music that is uplifting. Ask: How does this make me feel?
  16. If you break your device  (it will happen) you are responsible for the replacement.
  17. If you break one of these rules, your devices will be taken away for a period of time.  They will be returned to you when your parents deem it appropriate.
  18. There will be times when we ask you to put your technology away for an extended period of time. Taking breaks are good for your brain! (See HERE and enter @maisymak for 20% off.)

Remember that these rules have been put in place because we love you.

Love, Mom and Dad

Signed:

Signed:

We had quite a negotiation session regarding this contract. Honestly, they think it’s super strict and totally unnecessary (go ahead, submit an eye roll 🙂 ). But we parents take tech really seriously. It is a WONDERFUL tool, but it can also be dangerous and addictive on young, growing brains. So we have rules because we love the darlings. The end.

Make your own contract by cutting and pasting the one above, or using the original tech mama’s TEMPLATE.

Kelle Hampton’s, PDA With Your Device? Get a Room idea is hilarious and adorable. I might get crafty and make one! Check out the Unplugged Motel, where family tech spends the night:featured1-1024x683It was especially hilarious to see the expression on my boy’s face when I suggested making the tech motel for the family. Still laughing.

Also, check out THIS LINK, or better yet, watch it with your kids!

Here’s another cute idea: crate your phone!

crateToday, all of my students put their phone in this cute crate and focus abounded – one girl even thanked me! Which goes to show…they need us on that wall 🙂

Want a cute crate for 20% off? Visit http://www.crateyourphone.com/ and enter the coupon code maisymak.

Enjoy technology, make some rules, stay strong.

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5 thoughts on “Our Technology Contract!

  1. Cherie Blessing

    Thank you so much for sharing this very relevant information. For me as a teacher, it helps when we hear from each other that other families have rules too. We’re not all alone in our strictness and concern.

    Is it okay to share your post? One of our teen and adult Sunday School classes at church right now is “What Would Jesus Text?”, and I think they would find it really helpful.

    I always enjoy your blog, neighbor!

    Reply
  2. Den

    I SO love this!!! There’s a big difference between strait and straight…as in “strait is the way”…. Thank you!

    Reply
  3. Julia Tomiak

    Thanks for this reminder to review the contracts and revisit technology issues. We will be meeting today to discuss (Oh, not another lecture, Mom!).
    I’ll stay strong if you do!

    Reply
  4. Kate

    Love this, Amy! My 8th grade daughter has a phone, but the only social media sites she’s allowed to use are Instagram and Snapchat, both of which I follow her on. The texting she and her friends do is crazy–not the content, just how much they text! And about the most mundane things! Luckily, she is an avid reader so she’s not swept up in the technology as much as she could be.

    My son is in 6th grade and he uses my iPad. He has a phone but only for when he is left home alone (we no longer have a landline). He doesn’t want any kind of social media, including texting. His friends all text, but he doesn’t yet seem interested in it.

    I really like the contracts and the time usage rules. I have to admit that is where I am weak. As a work-from-home mom, I work at all kinds of crazy hours, so if they’re quiet on their devices that means I get to do some work. It’s not a great system. I’ll have to think more about how to manage their time on the devices a bit better!

    Reply
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