Amy Ritter Gibson is a tech-savvy mom who is not afraid to lay down the rules when it comes to her child’s digital devices. When her daughter was in the 4th grade, Amy decided it was time to set some ground rules.
“I right away connected her iPad to my phone so that I could monitor what was going on,” says Amy Ritter Gibson, PTA president of Oakdale Middle School in Maryland.
National PTA and LifeLock launched The Smart Talk in September 2015. Since then, many families have had The Smart Talk and created family agreements.
“What shocked me was that so many of my own friends were not watching what was being texted, or even having an ‘etiquette’ lesson about texting,” says Amy. “So when I saw your brochure in the PTA mailbox I decided to try it for my family and see what it was about.”
Win a Trip to Disney!
Thousands of kids across the U.S. received new iPads, smartphones, and laptops over the holidays. Since then, many families have been turning to The Smart Talk to form agreements with their kids. But now there’s another perk for those who have had The Smart Talk—a chance to win a free summer vacation.
National PTA and LifeLock have teamed up to send one family to Disney World in Orlando this summer as a part of The Smart Talk Giveaway. The Giveaway launched in early January and is open to all families.
The goal is to highlight the importance of digital safety—and have a little fun at the same time.
Parents who are logging on to enter are also sharing their own tidbits of advice:
“Everyone can check email and do research for a homework assignment but no texting or game playing until ALL homework is done.” – Joan T.
“If you are unsure of what you are about to click on, then DON’T click. Ask an adult!!!” – Shari P.
“No using your phone while walking! Eyes and ears need to be paying attention to the world around us!” – Brandi H.
The Smart Talk Giveaway runs through Feb. 16. The winner will be announced in March.
“The best time to teach our kids good online habits is right now,” says Hilary Schneider, president of LifeLock. “The Smart Talk gives parents new language to help develop an ongoing dialogue with their kids, so that the conversation can evolve over time as kids grow and take on more responsibility.”
Scott Meeks is the communications manager at National PTA.