Family Media Contracts
When setting clear expectations for media use in our families, it can be helpful to have a "contract" which all parties discuss and sign.  These can be used as a family acceptable use policy, or simply as a starting point for family discussions about media use.  

A Few Points to Emphasize in Conversations With Your Child
from Media! Tech! Parenting! Timely Topics on Teaching & Parenting Digital Children blog by Marti Weston
  • A telephone, e-mail, texting device, iPad, iPod Touch, etc. is not a toy, even though it sometime feels like one.
  • A digital device connected to the digital world decreases privacy. It is easy for pre-teens and adolescents to think that activities are completely private.
  • All digital activities leave digital footprints. In fact, since even charging groceries at the grocery store leaves digital footprints, keeping a record of all the digital footprints made for one day can be fun for the family.
  • Negative, mean, gossipy, or cruel comments via phone, text, or e-mail travel rapidly to other people. Reminder: If you cannot say it face-to-face, do not say it in digital form.
  • Sarcasm in a message or text on one end can seem like bullying when another person reads it.
  • Intentions matter less than consequences in digital life.
  • Digital cameras need to be used wisely. Before sending or forwarding an image, take ten seconds to wonder if anyone in your family might think an image is unsuitable.
  • No one has the right to use an individual’s image without that person’s permission. Protect your image and the images of your friends
  • Avoid by-standing. If a person uses digital devices to cyber-bully, get help for the bullied student, anonymously if necessary, but right away.

Family Media Agreements 

These agreements (elementary, middle and high school) from Common Sense Media, can be a great contract for talking to your children about acceptable online behavior.

Family Internet Safety Game Plan 

This "Game Plan" from provides a contract for families to use in order to establish agreed upon rules for media use in the household.

Family Policy for Digital Devices 

Do you want to create your own family contract, but don't know where to start?  Try downloading and printing this contract as a starting point.

An iPhone Contract from your Mom 

This article featured in the Huffington Post last December is a contract/letter from a Mom to her 13 year old son who just received a cell phone.