Internet safety is an important consideration for all families. We certainly emphasise it to our kids, and we are sure that a lot of our readers do as well. But how do you get the children to agree to behave in a specific way with technology, particularly on social media? How about using an internet safety contract with them so they understand expectations for its use in the home?
Sometimes, it is difficult to start the conversation with our children about internet safely, particularly as we are often worried that they might feel we are invading their privacy. It is important that we know and understand safety rules on social media ourselves too.
If we aren’t practising what we preach, it is much harder to chat to our kids, don’t you think? So for example, do YOU make sure that you are safe when you post photos online.
If you aren’t being careful about what you are doing, how can we expect our kids to do the same?
What do the internet safety contract printables look like?
We have created two contracts for you. One version includes some ideas for you. The other one is blank one that you can potentially work collaboratively with your child on.
As you can see, we have five very simple rules on the contract, but if you think that this isn’t enough, feel free to print the additional sheet, and write your own:
- Not give out personal information to people we don’t know: For example, never reveal your location, and this includes making sure that locations are locked down within apps where appropriate, e.g. Snap Maps,
- Not to use our names as a username: This is a simple, but sometimes forgotten rule. It is better to give away as little as possible within the online world, even within gaming, so that we are safer,
- Always ask before posting: If we are posting a picture of a friend, they should be allowed to say they don’t want it online. Just as we would expect the same courtesy,
- Be savvy about talking to strangers: We know as parents that children will talk in game to others, but do so in a respective way, and also with awareness. This means that neither your children, nor others are likely to be harmed, and
- Block and need to talk if we need to: If people do get “weird” in game, do take the necessary steps to block and report, as well as reaching out and talking to others. For example, we might want to chat to our kids about how to report to CEOP (UK), or other organisations relevant in other countries. It is, of course, also worth just saying it is OK to bring up anything they aren’t sure online with us well.
The contract has additional space for further options to be added.
Alternatively, you can use the other, blank internet safety contract and make up your own ideas. We have other ideas about internet safety on the site too. If you have time, do check some of these out as well after you have printed out this resource:
There are other ideas offsite too:
Remember: if you don’t know how to use something technical – ask one of your class or your kids!
Our top tip for chatting to kids about internet safety
There is nothing more empowering for a child to show an adult how to do something. You are both learning, and helping them to feel more capable and in control as they explain.
It is highly likely that they know more about these apps than you do anyway… 😂. If you want to understand more about social media apps, shows and technology, do also check out Common Sense Media. This site enables parents and kids to review books, movies, apps to help with deciding what age they are for. It is great because it is based on real experiences from both children and adults.
Cheers for stopping by and seeing us again.
This is a partnered post.