If you’ve already read our previous post establishing why your family needs a tech policy, we’re back to help you craft one by sharing our own.

This is a sample of the tech policy we’ve established for our family. Our children are still young, so they didn’t have as much input in the creation of this policy as would older children. And, as you’ll see, a lot of the policy affects us— the parents!— more than it directly affects the kids. Modeling is the name of the game with little ones.

When there’s a rub with tech within our family, we have common ground to fall back on because of this policy— much better than just a vague idea that something is wrong. More importantly, this policy (which continues to evolve) keeps us between the rails, on track toward our main goal: to glorify God in all we do (1 Cor. 10:31).

Sutherland Family Tech Policy

Agreement 1: Ground Rules for Family Behavior

  • Our family agrees that our behavior needs to reflect our potential as new creations in Christ.
  • We will self-monitor our tech health (using RESET).
  • We understand that these rules are set in hope, not fear, and will help us use tech and love God.

Agreement 2: Establish Tech Time

Our family agrees that our tech will wait for us.

  • Independent tech use is from 8-9pm each evening (for parents), except on Sundays, which will be tech free days.
  • Our tech will go to bed 1 hour before we do (ie: 9pm).
  • We commit to spending no more than 2 hours a week on Drool Tech.

Agreement 3: Establish a Physical Place for Tech

Our family agrees that our tech, including devices for work, will only be used in common areas.

  • We will not have Drool Tech in bedrooms or behind closed doors.
  • When we enter the house, our phones will go in the junk drawer.
  • Phones will charge on the kitchen counter at night.

Agreement 4: Content Consumption and Creation

Our family agrees that our content consumption and creation will pass the Philippians 4:8 test (is it true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, praiseworthy?)

  • Our accountability plan is for Covenant Eyes to be installed on all devices.
  • Unhealthy or unhelpful content will be replaced with options like reading, crafts, or board games.

Agreement 5: Proper Priorities

We will prioritize people over screens. This will look like:

  • No screens during meal times (our guests included).
  • Family activity on pre-established family meal nights (Mon., Thurs., Fri., Sun.)
  • Putting devices down when a person enters the room. We will stop our tech use, greet them, and engage in conversation before continuing with our tech time.

Agreement 6: Tech Safety

Our family agrees that we will stay safe online by:

  • Creating clear expectations for what to do when we come across unsafe or unloving people or content online (ie: tell someone).
  • We understand that God created everyone in his image, that he loves everyone, and that our bodies, minds, hearts and souls are valuable to him.  We will let each other know if we view something that does not pass the Phil. 4:8 test.
  • We will only talk to people we know in real life.
  • We will include each other on texts or DMs to friends, acquaintances, etc. of the opposite gender.

This policy keeps us between the rails, on track toward our main goal: to glorify God in all we do.

Keep in mind, this is a policy that we’ve prayerfully worked out, together, over many conversations. It is something we come back to regularly, as we check in on our family’s relationship with tech.

If you’re looking for more to help you navigate these conversations and create a tech policy for your own family, check out the Gospel Tech podcast;  particularly “Re-Establishing Tech Boundaries” and “How to Make a Family Tech Policy”. You can also check out The Gospel Tech Workshop!