8. Make kids accountable. Technology use is a privilege, not a right. Make sure they earn it.
- Give kids plenty of opportunities to be successful.
- Catch them making good choices.
9. Enforce appropriate consequences if rules are broken.
- Work with your kids to develop a computer/Internet use contract that outlines their privileges, what will happen if those privileges are exploited and what they can expect from you. Sign the contract along with your child and post it near your family computer (see the sample contract (PDF) from the Cyberbullying Research Center)
- Be reasonable when enforcing consequences. Completely banning the technology is not a realistic solution. Youth will find ways to access the technology elsewhere (for example, at a friend’s house, library or coffee shop).
- Effective consequences must help the child make better choices next time.
- Be consistent and follow through.
10. Explain what’s at stake. Let kids know that what they do today may be used against them in the future.
- Talk with your children about sexting. Many children are unaware of the legal ramifications and behave in this risky manner thinking it will stay between friends.
11. Find ways to say “yes” That means doing your homework and knowing the sites they visit, the songs they download, etc. — and finding ways to use technology that lets us say “yes” more often than we say “no.”