Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Eager for E-Mail

iPod Touches. Facebook accounts. Unlimited YouTube access. Nintendo DS-es.

All desired. All denied. Repeatedly.

On a regular basis, I'm vociferously reminded the injustices of our parentally determined deprivations. Rebuttals prefaced with "Everybody else..." are uttered ad nauseum.

A myriad of reasons can be provided as to why we've decided the particular items above are not going to be granted to our twosome at this point. (They're eleven, and Facebook, if no one else, agrees.)

However, Hotmail email addresses seem a viable and useful option. Not gmail addresses. Google, not unlike Facebook, prefers eleven-year-olds abstain. Hotmail does require parental permission, but at the time of this writing, no age limit dictation.

In days of yore, preceding the web's invention, if a scrawled note found its way to the wrong hands, embarrassment galore might ensue. The whole class might discover the deepest secrets conveyed therein. Now, if a hastily composed email finds its way to the wrong inbox, the whole world might discover the deepest secrets conveyed therein. Embarrassment is an understatement.

We're allowing our twosome to have email accounts, with the contractual agreement below:

To ensure I retain the privilege of an email address, I, ­­­­­­­­____________________________
hereby commit to:

-Ensure all my composed emails are kind in nature, never using inappropriate language or detrimental sentiments regarding any people or their possessions.

-Remember that at all times, my emails incoming and outgoing are subject to parental review…with or without notification.

-Never forward any group emails or chains.

-Remember that an email sent is something that can be shared with those I don’t intend to see it. Once I hit “send,” the email is “out there,” and I have no control over who sees it. I will compose all emails fully aware that not only mom and dad, but my teachers, ministers, future employers, grandparents, law enforcement agents and untold others may see it. 

-Never pressure anyone to acquire an email address of their own, respecting each family’s choices.

-Never go on YouTube without a parent or guardian present.

-Accomplish my personal obligations to the best of my ability without complaint prior to computer time.

-Ask a parent or guardian before getting on a computer for any reason, in our home or elsewhere---including friends’ homes, school and church.

-Remember if at anytime, clothes are found on my floor or smashed into my drawers, I know I will lose computer privileges for a week.

-Acknowledge personal grooming lapses may result in lost computer privileges.

-Understand that disrespectful talk to mom or dad may result in the cancellation of email address altogether.

-Acknowledge that use of email and computer is subject to be revoked at any time, for any parentally determined reason.

-Remember that an email address and computer use are privileges, not rights.


Are we too tough?

Not tough enough?

Fire away. So far, it's feeling pretty workable for us.

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Tracy said...

Love it, Cheryl. I know my twosome are only four, but I've had to already think about this stuff since their paternal grandmother gave them iPads for their last birthday (without my advance knowledge...) I've limited screen time, have taken the Internet and YouTube apps off the devices entirely (learned that I needed to delete the latter the hard way: "WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO????" The first thing to "go" in punishment for my son is the iPad since he could play video games all day long; daughter could care less.

I know this is a bridge I'll have to pass one day, and as always, I appreciate your passing it first and sharing your experience so I can learn from your and DD's wisdom. :)

cat said...

Oh I love your terms !

Goddess in Progress said...

I think you are awesome. I only wish more parents were this firm!

Elizabeth said...

Great Contract!
My girls (12 & 14) bought their own iPods...they really just wanted mp3 DH is one of those "might as well getthe best" kind of has come in handy, but it takes a lot of effort to keep track of.

Cheryl Lage said...

Wheew....glad we are not entirely alone out there in our "nobody else's parents do this" land! :)