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Kid’s Electronics Christmas Contract

(Updated from 12-2012)

As a parent, I often find myself egregiously breaking the promises I made to myself back before I actually had little people who look like me living in my home.

For example, I swore that I would never let my kids succumb to the video game/electronics mania that, like a gluttonous snake, has slowly and methodically swallowed up our planet over the past two decades.

I should’ve known better than to swear.

As I’ve written about previously when describing the challenges of trying to teach my kids to avoid sugary foods, I’ve learned that American culture is more powerful than Dad.  This Christmas (2012), Santa brought our two older kids computer tablets, due mainly to the fact that it appears a word processor and the Internet are now necessary for fifth- and sixth-graders to complete their homework.  (Really.  I’m not making that up.)  But I decided I wouldn’t go down without a fight, so I drew up (lawyer speak) a contract for each kid to sign.

Feel free to steal this and modify it for your own hopelessly electronics-addicted family.  Click the image to get a nice, large version.

(Update as of 12/22/14:  Both iPads have been confiscated at various times due to a breech of contract since I first posted this in 2012.  In fact, one iPad is behind lock and key as I type.  Lesson?  Keep a copy of this contract handy, because you’re going to need it.)

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6 Responses to “Kid’s Electronics Christmas Contract”

  1. Leslie says:

    YES!! Finally a contract that asks kids to play responsibly!

  2. Denise Smock says:

    Do you happen to have this as an editable file?

  3. Meg Falcon says:

    My 3 sons began attending a new school this year that requires the use of and therefore provides them with an iPad. Device useage has skyrocketed as a result, not just gaming, but also 99% of their social interaction, via IM, Instagram, FaceTime, and Snapchat (Lord, forbid you use a phone!). It’s going to be interesting to see all three of them go into withdrawal next June when they have to turn them back in.

  4. Mark Johnson says:

    It’s a battle that I’m helpless against, Meg. Good luck!

  5. Chris says:

    Yep, it’s now impossible to get schoolwork done w/o an electronic device. Overall, not an improvement, imo. It means kid is staring into a bright screen sometimes almost until bedtime (then teacher wonders why he’s tired next day); constant temptations to play a game, contact a friend, look at just one video…. Steam now has a popup that comes up on his computer telling him how many of his friends are online playing what games, while he is trying to get homework done. Great. Even the physical configuration of the laptop makes it easier for the kid to hide the distractions; I’ve been in classrooms while kids were happily watching videos on the computers the school provided while the teacher had no idea what was going on. Our son’s concentration and productivity were definitely much better when he used a print textbook, pencils, and paper, but those days are mostly gone. In addition, any time there’s any kind of power outage, software glitch, etc., the kid can’t access most of his work. I think the schools are actually creating problems for themselves in many ways by shifting so much to technology, but it’s a tidal wave that isn’t gonna stop.

Let me hear from you!

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