It is important to our family…
To lead our lives with integrity and kindheartedness.
To communicate with friends and family in a respectful manner.
To listen and respond appropriately to others.
To spend free time engaging in physical activities, games, artwork, writing, etc.
Our use of technology – smartphones, ipods, tablets, computers, laptops, etc –
should also reflect these guiding principles.
We understand that we should follow the below rules/standards for our safety and to allow us to uphold our core family values.
- Limited usage on school nights (ie: Mon, Tues, Wed and Thursday). 15 minutes after school and 15 minutes before bed. Turn device to vibrate at other times. Music is allowed to be played on the special ipod marked music only
- On weekends & holidays (non school nights), no more than 1 hr straight of usage at a time
- When asked to get off your device, you have 1 minute to finish what you’re doing and put it down. We don’t want to ask twice, so please acknowledge when you hear us.
- No using your devices while doing other things – best to focus on one thing at a time.
- When someone speaks to you while you are on your device, put down your device immediately and look directly at the person so you can listen attentively and show respect.
- No double screens at any time. That means no using your device while watching television.
- No using your device while walking – this is for your safety.
- No devices used or placed on the table / desk during meals or homework. That includes checking and/or responding to things. Be sure it’s on vibrate so as not to be interrupted. It’s important to focus fully during homework and engage in conversation with others during meals. For homework, it’s okay to use computers.
- Limited usage of devices when hanging with friends and during sleepovers. The purpose of this time is to interact face-to-face with your friends. There’s no reason to be communicating with others on your device or even playing on your device while with friends. It defeats the purpose of having being with your friends. Using the device for music and taking videos/pictures is ok but should not be done the entire time you are together.
- Limit your usage of devices while in the car. Regardless of what you’re doing when people enter and leave the car, you must put the device down and acknowledge them. When there are other people aside from you and the driver, it’s rude and disrespectful to be on your device. The car is also a good opportunity to enjoy the music and even (dare I say) be bored. Look out the window – there’s a whole beautiful world out there.
- No devices in your bedrooms without permission – and never overnight.
- Do not text before 8am or after 9pm on school nights and before 9am or after 10pm other nights
FOR YOUR SAFETY – DO NOT
- Share personal information over email or text including: name, address, birth date, phone #, name of school or classes, schedules, holiday plans, etc And never share anything with strangers and/or on public websites.
- Share your passwords to your devices or any accounts.
- Allow anyone to use your device as they could post things from your accounts that appear to be from you. (Tip: when with friends and you aren’t using your device, don’t just leave it on table or somewhere for others to potentially use when you are not looking – always put it away). Your friends may think it’s funny or harmless to post on your behalf but you/we may think it’s inappropriate. Anything with your name or picture represents you and is out there for everyone to see.
- Use someone else’s device or password or identity
- Use location tracking on your device. Turn it off – except find my iPhone or any other apps we may want to use to track you.
- Allow your accounts on photo/video sharing websites/apps to be public.
- Accept someone as a “follower” or a “friend” if they you do not directly know the person. We understand you may want as many followers/friends/likes as possible, but people can pretend to be someone else. So a good rule is to only accept if you have met the person face-to-face.
- Communicate or follow strangers via email, text or on any app or website even if the person knows (or says they know) your friends or family members.
- Post pictures or videos that reveal personal information. For example, clothing with the names of schools, teams, etc. and building or street signs. Think about what information a stranger could use to find out more about you.
- Post, text, email or forward pictures/videos (or comments) of yourself or anyone else that are inappropriate, embarrassing, damaging, offensive or mean – regardless of whether or not people tell you to do it. Once it’s sent/posted, it’s out there forever. Even if it’s deleted, it still exists. Plus, others may have saved it or kept a copy of it. What might seem funny or harmless to you may not be to others. In general, a good rule is not to post, text or email pictures/videos of others without their permission. It’s also best not to “like” or comment on anything inappropriate. If anyone ever tries to “scare” you into doing something like this, alert a grownup prior to doing anything – even if they specifically tell you not to and/or say they will harm you or someone else if you do.
- View anything inappropriate on YouTube or other sites. If you have a question as to whether or not it’s appropriate, ask a parent or assume it isn’t.
- Set up new accounts on existing apps without permission.
- Download any software without permission – even if it’s free.
- Purchase anything without permission, including in the iTunes store, even while using gift cards.
- Participate in internet surveys
- Send viruses
IN ORDER TO GIVE AND GET OUR FRIENDS RESPECT – DO NOT
- Use emails, texts, websites like youTube, Facebook, Instagram, etc to:
- Talk about others – spread gossip, embarrass or bully others
- Share your feelings about a person. A good rule of thumb is not to make comments to others or about others that you would not say to them directly. This includes text messages.
- Try to discuss/resolve a problem/situation. People tend to feel more comfortable trying to address problems in writing, as it’s much easier than confronting/discussing problems face-to-face. But often, they say things they would never say to your face. It’s the coward’s way out. Plus, not only does it take longer to resolve, more issues may arise when people read things without hearing how you are actually saying it.
- Post, text, email or forward pictures/videos, emails of or from others without their permission. If they want to share with people, they can. Problems can also arise when you show others what someone wrote about them. Even if they ask you to do it and/or you ask them if it’s ok for you to do it, sometimes they may later regret it or may not have realized what they were saying yes to. Better to be safe than sorry.
- Participate in contests or ratings or anything that asks you to vote or comment about people (ie: who is the prettiest or who do you like best), even if it seems harmless or like it’s just for fun and nobody cares. You should care – because things like this can only lead to people feeling hurt and/or embarrassed. There’s no good reason to participate. Actually, it’s best never to answer those questions even when asked in private message or even face-to-face.
- Post pictures/videos from a party or group get together (3 or more friends) without thinking about it first. We all realize that not everyone can be invited to everything, but seeing it first-hand seems to sting a little more. It can make you feel bad to see pics/videos of events where you were not invited. The last thing you want to do is hurt someone else. The nice thing to do would be to tell those you are with not to post anything as well. Note: if you’re at a one-on-one playdate but was invited elsewhere for that same time, there’s simply no need to post pics/videos during the playdate. Best to wait until another time/day to post things so others don’t get hurt.
- Create or forward emails/texts to friends that are chains that ask people to forward x # of friends and saying bad things will happen if you don’t. These are not real. No one will get hurt if you get one and don’t respond.
- Create or forward emails or texts to friends with links without permission / discussion.
- Use emails, texts, websites like youTube, Facebook, Instagram, etc to:
- While we respect and appreciate your need for privacy, please understand that we will read your texts, emails and posts and will do so without permission, as these are our devices that we are kind enough to let you use. It is not that we don’t trust you – but we don’t necessarily know what other people you communicate with will do / say (and what rules their parents have) and therefore, we can’t trust they have the same guiding principles. Please understand that our reasons for viewing are to protect and guide you through the very challenging and constantly changing world of social media.
- Please provide us with all accounts you have set up and all passwords. Do not change a password without letting us know.
It’s not a right to have these devices, it’s a privilege. While we understand mistakes are made, we believe it’s critical to live according to these values.
Therefore, breaking these rules will result in the following: