cyber family

Sending your kids off to school is always an exciting time as you know they are about to grow another year.  Its also a great time to re-establish house rules concerning electronics and online activities.  We want our kids to learn how to use and leverage 21st century technology, but we also want to protect them from its unique risks.  Below are the new rules this year for the Spitzner household.  These rules are designed for 13 and 10 year old boys, feel free to adapt as you see fit.  As kids get older, I'm finding technical controls to be less and less effective, instead you need a family Acceptable Use Policy.  Here is ours, I would love to hear what yours are, post your comments online or email us at

  1. No gaming before school in the morning.
  2. No gaming after school until your homework is done and desk, bedroom and bathroom are clean.
  3. On school days all electronics are put away and stored in the family charging station by 7:30pm, except for homework as approved by Mom or Dad.
  4. You must maintain a “B” or better in all classes.  Anytime your class grade falls below a “B” you will lose your smartphone until your grade is a “B” or better.  Any final grade that is less than a “B” results in loss of your smartphone for the next semester.
  5. For school days bedtime is 8:30pm, wake-up is no later then 7am.  For weekends wake-up is no later then 9:30am.
  6. You will assist in family chores, to include but not limited to the following.
  • Cleaning the cat litter boxes every day.
  • Taking the garbage out every Sunday.
  • Mowing the lawn.
  • Shoveling the driveway.
  • Cleaning the kitchen.
  • Maintaining your office, bathroom and bedroom (including closet) clean and organized at all times.

For more resources and ideas on protecting kids online, check out our presentations for kids and families at our Presentations page.