How to Create a Family Internet Safety Plan

They say that those who don’t plan, plan to fail. To have a healthy, happy, successful family, internet safety is one area in which you cannot fail. Here’s how to sit down as a family and create a family internet safety plan.


1) Articulate your family goal

This might be as simple as “We want to keep online pornography out of our home.” Or, your goal cover many areas such as using time productively, using the internet to develop skills, avoiding technological dependency, strengthening relationships online, or phone etiquette. Either way, it is helpful to know what you want your family internet safety plan to accomplish.


2) Be specific according to your needs

Families with young children may need to specifically state certain amounts of time for online activity or limit access to just a few sites. However, as your family grows in age and maturity, your family internet plan guidelines can become more general principles like moderation or using computers in public spaces.


3) Plan for things to go wrong

You broke a family internet rule? You accidentally stumbled on pornography? Someone made you feel uncomfortable online? Discussing these scenarios ahead of time removes the shock value. Your kids will know how best to handle whatever situation arises, and they will feel more comfortable talking to you about it because your family has already discussed the possibility.


4) Promote accountability

When your child breaks an internet rule, help him own his actions and their consequences. You might say something like this: “I see you spent three hours online today, when our family internet safety plan says that we only spend two hours online per day. That was your choice, and so tomorrow you will not have any time online. The day after, though, you can make a different choice and not have to miss out on internet time.”


As you create a family internet safety plan together, your children will develop valuable skills for later life, like self-discipline, intentional internet use, off-line hobbies and coping mechanisms, and time management. As they become adults and create their own routines and lifestyles, your grown-up “kids” will have the habits and know-how to help them succeed both off-line and online.


To read more about developing healthy online habits and teaching your family to be safe online, click here.


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