Have the Smart Talk with Your Kids as Soon as you Can

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If you’re like most parents you’ve got some form of limitations, rules, and guidelines in place for electronics. But have you ever formerly sat down and discussed them? What about if you’re divorced? Does the coparent understand and abide by the same rules?

Having The Smart Talk with your kids explains it all and after signing a mutually agreed upon ruleset everyone is more likely to abide by them.

Have you had the Smart Talk with your kids yet? #TheSmartTalk #CG #spon

The Smart Talk

Having The Smart Talk wasn’t awkward at all thanks to the digital tool created by LifeLock and the National PTA. It is a new, free resource for families that helps parents have clear conversations with their kids about using technology.

The tool lets you pick a topic and then allows you to set up rules WITH your child. By agreeing to the terms as they’re being made, everyone is more likely to stick to them.

Have you had the Smart Talk with your kids yet? #TheSmartTalk #CG #spon

Chesney and I focused a lot on screen time as this is a topic we both have issues with. Between laptops, desktops, televisions, iPods, iPads, phones, Kindles… it seems we’re always looking at some sort of screen.

We negotiated a bit and decided a maximum of 2 hours a day was reasonable for her. We were both satisfied with this and agreed that she would keep up with how long she’s on her devices or in front of a screen.

Have you had the Smart Talk with your kids yet? #TheSmartTalk #CG #spon

Also included in this contract was where the devices are stored while not in use, the times they are allowed, and who is in charge of keeping track of the time. She knows that these will be the same rules at her Dad’s house. (Thankfully, her dad and I have an excellent relationship and he’s totally on board with these rules too.)

Have you had the Smart Talk with your kids yet? #TheSmartTalk #CG #spon

Once everything is set, you print and sign a ‘contract.’

You know it’s serious when she sticks her tongue out. ;P

Have you had the Smart Talk with your kids yet? #TheSmartTalk #CG #spon

We hung our official family agreement on the fridge to remind us to uphold our deal. We even printed an extra copy for her dad to sign and hang on his fridge.

Have you had the Smart Talk with your kids yet? #TheSmartTalk #CG #spon

Developing a healthy relationship with an online lifestyle is important for everyone; especially kids. Personally, I can get completely lost in the world wide web and it scares me to think where kids end up if uneducated or unsupervised.

Kids are spending countless hours using devices and on the Internet–92 percent of teens report going online daily, with 24 percent of those teens going online “almost constantly.” –Pew Research Center

Visit the Smart Talk site to check out the online safety resources and create your own personalized family contract to encourage healthy digital habits. 

Which part of online safety is your biggest concern?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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  1. Robin (Masshole Mommy) says:

    I am so stressed about what the kids are going to see online that I don’t even let my kids use it yet. There is so much bad stuff out there, you know?

  2. vickie couturier says:

    im worried about pedifiles

  3. I need to do this. My oldest likes to watch YouTube videos and it scares me because you never know what pops up!

  4. At my son’s age, my biggest concern is inappropriate pictures being shared across devices. I like to think that he’d never do such a thing, though.

  5. Chelley @ A is For Adelaide says:

    This is so stressful! My kids are only 3 and 1, but I know things will only get worse- I am dreading it!

  6. When my son gets to this age I will have something like this. I think that kids need guidelines when it comes to the internet!

  7. Kelly Hutchinson says:

    My kids are online just about 24/7. This would be perfect for our family.

  8. Great ideas. I try to do this with my kids. I haven’t done the contract. Maybe that’s what’s missing since my kids break curfew and rules all the time.

  9. Oh my goodness, this is genius. Right now, I have my Little Mans chrome book set that he can’t access websites without approval, but this seems so much easier. I am totally looking into this.

  10. I like that this sets you up with a contract. There is no better way to let kids know you are serious!

  11. I talk to my son about the dangers online. I think this would be a good way to reinforce our talks though!

  12. Crissy Page says:

    So important in today’s world. This is definitely a talk I’ll be having with my kids in the near future.

  13. This is an awesome way to talk straight up with children of all ages. I can’t wait to share this with my grandchildren.

  14. Ann Bacciaglia says:

    This is a great way to talk to your kids about online safety. I am so lucky my kids were older when the internet became popular.

  15. Tammi Roy says:

    Online safety is so important. I am always worried about predators trying to lure the kids somewhere. We have had many talks about staying safe online.

  16. LauraOinAK says:

    I need to have The Smart Talk with a few of my boys. They seem to have forgotten house rules lately (especially the now 18 year old who thinks he’s above it all.) Safety on the internet is not a joking matter.

  17. It’s so awesome that you had a serious discussion and a contract rather than just locking everything up. I think that is way more effective.

  18. Sabrina @ Dinner, then Dessert says:

    It’s important to set ground rules and just as important to enforce them! You have to protect your kids!

  19. the internet is awesome, but it can also be very scary. it is good to do our best to keep the babies safe.

  20. Ourfamilyworld says:

    The twins are still very young and I’m concerned about inappropriate pictures that’s been going around the internet.I will check out the Smart Talk website.

  21. Wendy @ ABCs and Garden Peas says:

    My kids are still young, but I do worry about the possibility of internet predators, or something popping up that they don’t need to see. The internet can be great but also scary. It’s important to always be aware of what your kids are viewing.

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