We have included some suggested topics for discussion regarding the communication technologies your children may use. We have also included ideas for a family agreement. Read through these and decide which ideas you feel are most relevant to the needs of your family. Try to keep your final agreement as clear, simple, concise and manageable as you possibly can. Your agreement will also need to be age appropriate and will need to be revisited at least once per year.
There are some basic agreements which apply to all types of technology, these need to be discussed first. Ask your child to agree to:
- Discuss with a parent/carer if he/she is being bullied online or has received threatening, frightening messages or messages with inappropriate content.
- Tell an adult when he/she stumbles across something which is inappropriate or frightening. Reassure the child they will not get into trouble.
- Discuss ‘netiquette’ (i.e. rules for appropriate behaviour to use when interacting in online environments) with your child. Agree to treat others online with respect. Explain to your children that you trust them to do the right thing, even when you are not looking over their shoulder.
Special Note to Parents / Caregivers – If your child discloses something that is potentially distressing or upsetting it is important you remain calm whilst your child discusses these issues with you. If an issue arises, express sympathy and ask lots of questions before offering advice or acting. It is important not to overreact or respond in a way that deters your child from coming to you for help again in the future.