Erev Shabbos Parashas Vayechi 5776

Dear Parents,

Last week, we discussed the great challenges parents face navigating the opportunities and pitfalls of modern day technology. Providing a safe environment and creating a place for technology within the family’s value system presents situations that never existed in previous generations. While eliminating all technology at home may work for some families, and more power to you if you can, the vast majority of parents need education and guidance as they attempt to find a healthy balance in this area.

Highly recommended was to read an article by Dr. David Pelcovitz, and I share the link with you once again – http://klalperspectives.org/dr-david-pelcovitz-2/

One of the measures Dr. Pelcovitz recommended was creating a Technology Contract between parents and children, that governs what, when, where and how devices may be used by children. Since we are neither lawyers nor psychologists, drawing up a contract seems like a daunting task. There is a resource that could potentially be of great help. We are indebted to a concerned parent who brought it to my attention.

The following site has an on-line rubric for creating a contract that can be tailor-made for your family, and individualized for each child appropriate to his or her age. I suggest you look closely at what it has to offer. While it is not a Torah source, and you may feel the finished product is not appropriate or necessary for your family, you will at least be able to cull ideas and circumstances you may not have thought of. You will also see the extent to which `reasonable’ families outside of the Torah world find various online usages `normal’ and acceptable even for the youngest of children. This may help give you pause when considering what homes you allow your children to play in.

You can access the contract building rubric at http://www.irules.co/

For once, parents really have their own homework to do!

Best wishes for a wonderful Shabbos,

Rabbi Kalman Baumann

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