Experts in digital safety
What is a family digital agreement?
The problem that often comes with a signed contract like this is that these rules and regulations are easily broken. Many families, and children, find it difficult to stick to everything listed on the document – and as they grow older, the rules need adapting, too.
This family digital agreement is designed to help you all have useful, positive conversations about technology. You’ll come together to plan out actionable ideas, and for your family’s smallest members, perhaps start thinking for the first time what it means to have an online life.
What can a digital agreement do for my kids?
✔ Allow you to reflect on how much your family uses technology as a whole, and implement positive change
✔ Help you establish healthy boundaries surrounding screen time and digital behavior
✔ Give you the tools for an ongoing, respectful conversation about your use of technology
✔ Tailor the discussion to your family, with separate sections for tweens and teens on relevant issues like social media, screen time, or not having offline hobbies
How to make a family digital agreement
Download the ideal worksheet for your family using the buttons below.
Digital agreement for under 8s
Digital agreement for teens and tweens
What to do before getting started
1. Have a parent or guardian read through the worksheet before you come to it as a family. This will help prepare the discussion.
2. Talk to kids beforehand about when you’ll be creating this agreement. Springing it on them out of the blue may make them more defensive.
3. Find a space where you all feel comfortable and relaxed, ahead of the discussion. Reduce distractions and create a positive, welcoming environment.
4. If anything starts to get a little heated, take a break and come back when you are ready.
5. Try to stray away from rewards and punishments that involve technology – for example, giving extra screen time for good behavior. The goal is to create healthy digital habits over bargaining tools.
Revisiting your family agreement
This is why we don’t recommend creating and signing a cell phone contract that allows for little flexibility, or naming specific rewards and punishments for rules that could be broken. Kids will often be set up for failure this way.
Instead, use your family digital agreement as a springboard for regular communication, and revisit the written-down rules and ideas you’ve decided on together as your child grows. If your family needs to use both the under-8s version and the teens and tweens, you could have separate discussions, or print out both versions and mix and match – whichever works best for your family dynamic.
Once you’re all on the same page, you can start working towards digital wellbeing with a shared perspective, and face fewer struggles in the long term. Good luck!