Managing Technology at Home

  • Set Expectations & Make an Agreement

    Regularly share your expectations with your child about accessing only appropriate sites and content, as well as being a good person when online (even when parents aren't watching). Outside of school, it is likely that your child has already been confronted with multiple opportunities to access content that parents wouldn’t approve, such as pornography, hate sites, celebrity gossip, reality tv personal blogs and more, all of which may influence your child's beliefs, values and behavior. Understand that your child's use of many technologies (such as laptops, video game systems, and cell phones) likely gives your child the ability to connect to unfiltered public wireless networks (such as in a restaurant or coffee shop, by picking up a neighbor’s wireless signal, or connecting to the Internet through a cell service). Therefore, it is important to maintain regular, open dialog about internet use and access. Discuss your expectation for appropriate use and behavior.

    Additionally, parenting experts suggest parking all technology devices, from cell phones to iPads, in a common spot overnight to discourage late night, unmonitored use and sleep disruption. Don’t allow your child to sleep in a room with an iPad, laptop or cell phone. Remember to model appropriate use and balance of technology in your own life, too! 

    The Health and Physical Education Department at North Allegheny encourages students to adopt a 5-4-3-2-1-0 countdown to help students balance their media use as a part of overall healthy living.

    5-4-3-2-1-0 Balance Life Graphic from the NA HPE Department

    Media Agreements are a resource and checklist that parents can use to guide conversations with their kids about media use. They are designed to help parents establish guidelines and expectations around media use and behavior that are right for their family. Some families are comfortable using them as signed agreements. Others refer to them to use simply as a checklist to guide conversations. Either way, they are a great way to help parents and kids get on the same page about media and technology use. Take time to review these Family Media Agreements and discuss them with your child:

    Family Media Plan from the American Academy of Pediatrics 

    Family Media Agreement from Common Sense Media

    Family Engagement Resources from Common Sense Media


Parent Resources

  • Common Sense Media 

    A great site for reviews of movies, music, apps, video games, and more. Sign up for their weekly newsletter to stay in the loop of the latest teen tech trends.

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  • Family Online Safety Institute

    FOSI’s Good Digital Parenting provides you with videos, tip sheets, resources, blogs, and more. Including advice about talking with your kids about online safety.

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  • Connect Safely

    A site dedicated to educating users of connected technology about safety, privacy and security. The site includes guides for families about common resources on the Internet.

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  • FTC Kids Online

    A guide published by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers parents practical, developmental targeted tips to guide their children in navigating the online world.

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