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Social Media Contract with my Teen/Pre-Teen

Updated on May 1, 2014

My child decided one day that her life would not be complete without an Instagram Account. We had been avoiding it for a while because we felt that she was too young, but all of a sudden everyone in the world was on Instagram and she felt that she needed to join the circus, I mean the fun!

So, I asked around and learned of a "contract" that some parents had come up with that would help "define" the parameters that we felt would be appropriate for her ago.

We altered it a bit to fit our family values and we talked about why we were using this contract and our reasons behind it. Then we had her sign it and we signed it as well.

So far so good. We monitor her account, we ask her to take down anything that we think is silly, we make sure that nothing she is looking at is inappropriate as well, and we hope for the best.

In a world where everything it out there, we are hoping to keep a little privacy in her life.

Below is the contract we altered after getting it from a friend:

Family Parent/Child Instagram Contract

1. Mom and Dad will “follow” me, can access my account any time because they have my password (which I will not change without giving notice), and I will delete any pictures/videos they ask me to.

2. I will keep my Instagram account set to “private” at all times and will not accept follower requests from people I do not know. I will be selective about who I choose to follow and will not use Instagram as a way to seek attention from celebrities.

3. I will report to my parents any pictures or interactions which are odd, suspicious, or make me feel uncomfortable. I will stop following anyone who uses bad language. Mom or Dad can instruct me to block a follower at any time.

4. I will never give out my address, location, or any other identifiable information on Instagram. Geo-tagging will never be enabled. I will never use the “Explore” feature.

5. I will not post pictures/videos that would embarrass or hurt another person, including members of my family. I will not post a picture of another person without their permission. I will not use Instagram as an outlet to complain or rant.

6. I will not over-post pictures, especially of myself (“selfies”). In addition, I will not refer to myself as “hot” or “sexy,” nor will I call myself “ugly.” I will not beg for “likes,” “comments,” or “follows” in my captions. Any comments I make on friends’ posts will be positive and uplifting.

7. I will not post inappropriate pictures/videos. Inappropriate pictures/videos include but are not limited to: immodesty, nudity, “duckface,” sticking out my tongue, or attempting to look like I’m 25.

8. I will not overuse hashtags, #because #using #too #many #hashtags #isjustridiculous.

9. I will not let Instagram take over my life. I will not view how many comments or likes I get as a measure of my self-worth. I will not use it when I could be having genuine face-to-face interactions with the people around me. I will turn my iPod over to my parents upon request if they feel it is necessary for my well-being.

10. I will keep in mind that what I post is a reflection of who I am, and that any picture or content I put on Instagram is out there forever. If I cannot say it to their face, I should not post it on Instagram.

11. My Instagram account is based on my behavior – if I am angry, if I yell, if my room is messy, if I am behind on homework, if I fail a test/assignment, my account will be “suspended” until my behavior/actions are acceptable to my parents.

12. I will not respond to any messages that are mean. It is not my fault if I get a message that is inappropriate, but if I do, I will tell my parents right away.

13. I will treat others the way that I wish to be treated when using social media. I will keep in mind that my technology use affects others.

14. I will check with my parents before downloading or installing software or doing anything that could possibly hurt our computer or jeopardize our family’s privacy.

15. My Instagram account will only be used at home during the hours of 8am to 8pm, and only on the 1st floor in full view of my parents.

I know that this contract is required because my parents love me and want to keep me safe. I understand that the violation of these conditions will result in loss of privileges, including having my iPod taken away, or if the problem persists, deactivation of my Instagram account.

_______________________________ ________________________________

The contract can be adapted as needed to work within your family value.

This contract will not solve all our issues with Instagram and it will not make my daughter behave all of the time, but hopefully it will put some parameters into place that will make her think twice about making Instagram the center of her universe.


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© 2014 lilyofthevalley17


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    • Amy Jo Baker profile image

      Amy Jo Baker 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I really like this contract! It's a great tool for opening discussions while you also make clear what is and is not okay. My 14 yo son is not interested in social media (yet) so, whew! My older three sons and I went through similar dialogs when they wanted to be on the "new" Facebook. It cracks me up now, my oldest son is 22 and I still have his password and he still apologizes for comments his friends might make. Like I'm going to ground him or something? 8)