Monday, August 20, 2012

Teenage cell phone contract


My oldest son Aidan, feels like he is the last kid on earth without a cell phone.  

Next month he will be 14.  He's starting his freshman year of High School in just a few weeks.
Aidan is a great kid.  He loves making music and plays guitar but his passion is being a drummer. 

Aidan rockin' out on drums with some other kids to Kryptonite at The Swiss in Tacoma

Aidan is starting to get busier with school activities, he played baseball last year, he's taking on leadership roles at school and has been playing on our worship team at church and will be playing on the youth worship team during youth group.  
While I know that Aidan isn't the last kid his age without a cell phone, I do realize most kids his age do have access to their own phone.  
Texting is becoming the primary means of communication with kids now, and while we don't want technology to rule our life, we realize that we need to embrace what it has become in our culture. So, with that in mind, we decided to let our son get a cell phone for his 14th birthday.
My husband and I try to parent very consciously, so making a cell phone contract where we laid out all of the rules and expectations seemed like the most logical first step.  
  I am not one that likes to reinvent the wheel, and really, the internet has nearly everything, so I assumed I could find a perfectly written, well fitting teenage cell phone contract out there somewhere in the great world wide web.  
I did not.
So, my husband and I sat down together, spent several hours brainstorming, writing and rewriting, then reviewing the details with our son, then did some more rewriting, and came up with the following cell phone contract.
Since I was searching for something like this on the internet, I know many other parents might be too, so I wanted to share it with you.  Please pin this and share it with others.  Feel free to copy and paste the following contract and make changes to it to fit your family life.  You may click on the title and it will take you to a google document page where it is written, and then request that I send you the file.  
I know that having a cell phone to use is a privilege. I understand that my parents love me and want to keep me safe. My parents respect that I am becoming a young adult and want the privilege of having the use of a cell phone. With that in mind, I agree that:
  1. My cell phone must be turned off by my bedtime and placed in an agreed upon location downstairs.  It is my responsibility to be sure the cell phone is being charged when necessary.
  2. During family meals, my cell phone will be turned off or silenced and in my pocket or placed away from the table.  I will not check texts or take calls during meal time.
  3. I will practice proper etiquette when using my cell phone in public places, and be conscious of how my usage affects those around me. I will make sure my phone is turned off or silenced when I am in church, restaurants, or other quiet settings, and I will not place or take texts or calls during those times.
  4. I understand that having a cell phone is a means of communication, and is not a replacement for actual face to face interaction with my friends and family members.  Therefore, when I am with others, I will make the people I am with my priority.
  5. I understand that I am responsible for knowing where my cell phone is and for keeping it in good working condition.
  6. I will obey all rules my school has regarding cell phones usage on school grounds.
  7. I will never text while driving, and will not ride in a car with someone who does.
  8. I will not use my cell phone to take pictures or video of nudity, violence or other unlawful activity.
  9. I will not use my cell phone for malicious purposes, i.e. bullying, spreading rumors/gossip, etc, nor will I send text messages that are vulgar, obscene, or sexual in nature.  I understand that such messages are both highly inappropriate and potentially illegal.
  10. I will alert my parents if I receive suspicious or alarming phone calls or text messages.
  11. I will alert my parents if I am being harassed by someone via my cell phone.
  12. I understand that my parents can go through the contents of my phone at any time, with or without my knowledge.  I agree to surrender my cell phone immediately to my parents if asked.  I will not delete my texting history without permission, and I will fully cooperate in showing my parents the contents of my cell phone, including contacts, pictures, videos, text messages, etc, stored within.
  13. I will always respond to my mom or dad’s texts/calls as soon as possible in the given situation.
  14. When at home, I will use the home phone to make calls. I understand that I do not have unlimited calling and that each call is charged by the minute.  I will be responsible in my cell phone call usage when outside the house.
  15. I understand that my cell phone may be taken away for failing to complete school assignments or homework and for failing to maintain a sufficient grade point average, as defined by my parents.
  16. I understand that my cell phone may be taken away for disrespectful or disobedient behavior, including (but not limited to) back talking, inappropriate sibling interactions (i.e. fighting, hitting, name calling, etc.), and failure to complete responsibilities at home when asked or required.
  17. I understand that failure to follow and respect any of these rules can result in the loss of my cell phone for any length of time determined by my parents.

So what do you think?  We are new at this whole cell phone thing.   Do you think we left anything out?

UPDATE August 2014: I am no longer able to share the teenage cell phone contract at this time.  I have reached the max amount of shares on Google docs and need to figure out how to change the setting.  Until then, please feel free to use the above and copy and paste it, but it's bad ju ju if you don't give credit where credit is due.  Feel free to share it with your schools, shout it from the rooftops, print it out and pass it out, just make sure you credit holy-craft.com so that people know where to find it if.
Thanks!

147 comments:

Tiffany said...

Amen sista!

Michelle Paige said...

Super complete! I'm pinning this for future reference--thanks!

Erin said...

I love this. Chase is only 3, but I'll be doing this too. I love all of them, but #4 is so important for kids to know! Great job!

Jessica said...

I love it - great job. thanks for sharing.

Carolyn said...

This is a great contract. Lots of important things that are great for all kids.

Michelle@ourwonderfilledlife.com said...

Love this, nice job mama {and dad too!} So thorough, fantastic!!

Jen said...

This is brilliant! Love it all but especially #4.

jeanne@juNxtaposition said...

great idea !!! so ingenious to make one up yourselves @!!!

K Coake said...

Pinned it for use when I have teenagers and kiddos with phones. Thanks so much!

Denise Ramsey said...

Excellent job, Rachel and Mike! The only thing I would add is that if he goes above and beyond any of the cell phone minutes or text messages that are allowed in the plan, he will have to pay back the excess monthly charges in a manner decided upon by his parents.

Christine said...

Rachel... this is GREAT!!!! The contract seems perfect to me! What a great idea!

Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer.. From Dream To Reality!
P.S. Please don't forget to put my button or text-link somewhere on your site :)

Christopher Badot said...

I think #4 is one of the most important ones. I would however add the rule that the cell phone is to be used by you and you alone. My son has let friends use his phone to "call home" only to find out they sent someone a silly text as a joke, but you know how those types of jokes don't always turn out so funny.

Erin {Home Everyday} said...

This is extremely well written and I think covers any potential problems. Nice work, I am pinning this for the future!

Bonnie and Trish @ Uncommon said...

Ok...LOVE THIS!! We allowed our 13 year old daughter to finally get a phone. Mostly related to after school activities in that she goes to a school not close to home! I will be printing these out for her! Your son looks like an incredible kid. My daughter and he have the same passions. She is a singer/guitar player and also plays in her youth worship band!! This really hits close to home! Thank you so much for sharing with us at Uncommon!! :)

Tutu Crafty said...

Amazing i think very logically as well and couldn't find anything as well, i was so bummed. Im so glad i came across your page via Pinterest!

Amazing Idea and Great Rules Thank you so much for sharing it with us. Although my daughter is only 3 right now im pinning this for the future<3

Thanks again

Trina Miner said...

Fabulous! I will be using this or something like this when my 6 yo is of cell phone age. You are good parents!

Katharine Devinney said...

It's perfect timing that I found your blog via HOH. My daughter lost her battery for her cell phone and my husband made her wait almost a year before getting a new battery. We got the battery today and she has to get her room clean before getting the phone.

I know she is going to clean her room well because she can't wait to have a cell phone back.

I am glad that she will have her cell phone because up till now I was at the mercy of her friends. We know that all teenagers aren't as responsible and thoughtful.

Thanks for sharing your rules. I'm going to copy them and edit them to work for our family.

Dawn Krajewski said...

While I agree with everything on this list, I do have a problem with PART of #8, I would mention that it is ok to take a picture of unlaw activity, is happens to be wallking down a street and see the getaway car moving that just robbed the bank. I think there is a fine line between the 'right' type of unlaw acts?

Kiera said...

amazing contract...will be pinning it for future use, our agreement with our 11 1/2 yr old daughter is that she will get a phone WHEN we she isn't in the care of an adult and that will probably be when she is 16 and driving...so she can deal until then!

Jaime said...

Love this. Where were you 6 years ago??

Andrea said...

thank you! i just found this on pinterest! i dont have kids yet, but my husband and i talk about the rules that we want to enforce in our home to make it a safe haven.

this is fantastic! my husband got a cell phone as soon as he could afford it by working (he was 16), but i didnt get a cell phone until i was in college.

and things are definitely different now! good for you and your husband for finding middle ground...wisely!

megcowey said...

I think you have done a great job with this. I presume you are paying for the phone plan and not your son. I do think it is a little too prohibitive. Having the phone made off limits for misbehavior unrelated to the phone makes it sound like one more lever to use to get universal compliance. You say he is a great kid. Why not acknowledge that he is heading toward being an adult and trust his judgement a bit more. I'm only referring to the final two points. You have covered many important points of etiquette that are often ignored by adults. Well done for emphasizing them.

Kara said...

Regarding #12 and the rule about not deleting texting history w/out permission, if your child has a smartphone, there are apps for both Android and Apple that allow you to automatically backup texts to an email address. I use one on my business phone to make sure I don't miss any important texts. I think it would be easy to add that app to the phone and direct the backup to a parent's email address, or even to a gmail address set up specifically for that purpose.

Lesley Yates said...

Amazing! So glad there are other parents out there who are laying down the law when it comes to cell phones. My daughter is only 10 & almost everyone she knows has a cell phone & with very little restrictions! It's so frustrating! Thank you for sharing! So glad I came across this! Not only is it a great contract, but also encouraging for those of us feeling like we're swimming upstream trying to be good parents!

HungryGirls said...

I am 23 and I think this is a fantastic idea. It's sad when you see an 8 year old texting their friends(because that is out there believe it or not) so I commend you for not giving in sooner. I hope other parents do this for their children too, however maybe they could even agree to no texting and driving..

Kate said...

Most of this is reasonable, except for #12 sounds a bit ridiculous. He has to ask to delete texts? Is this every time the inbox is full?? And I do have to agree that he is 14... and you say he's a good kid. So maybe you need to trust him? Even though there is nothing and never has been anything illegal, vulgar, etc on my cellphone, I STILL wouldn't want my parents going through my phone at any given time. It's just a disrespect for privacy. And I do have to agree that taking away a cellphone for something completely unrelated is not a good punishment. When I was that age, my parents tried doing that a few times and it didn't make me regret what I'd done or want to make it better. It just made me angry. Lastly, the rule about no gossip is slightly too strict. Illegal stuff, bullying, etc is all VERY VERY reasonable, but small gossip happens when you're a teenager. And taking away a phone for being a normal teenager seems a bit over the top.

With that said, most of this sounds very reasonable, and I wish more parents would implement cellphone contracts! It makes me sad seeing these 12 and 14 year olds posting suggestive pictures of themselves and sending vulgar texts all because there parents let them do whatever they want!

Holy Craft said...

I appreciate all of your comments and have been very surprised at how many downloads this contract has had. Seems like many of my readers were looking for something similar themselves!

Number 12 on our list has made for a large amount of, shall we say, discussion. The particular cell phone plans that we are on are pre-paid phones. I like to say that my Italian husband feels better going back to his mafia roots and having no trace whatsoever of his activity. While the pre-paid phones are easy on the wallet, they don't provide that paper trail that many cell phone contracts provide. Therefore, if we allow him to delete his texts before we have a chance to look over them, then we have no way to retrieve them short of tracking down the other side of the conversation (and don't think that isn't past me!) to find out what the exchange was.

As for taking away the phone for something totally unrelated, it's currency. When he was a toddler, his books were his life. We had to take away books as punishment because that is what would make him take notice. Our son's current currency is his cell phone. As a follow up to that, Aidan has had his cell phone for a month, and he's only lost his phone once for about two hours.

As I commented in the post, I realize that this contract won't work for everyone, but if you can take a snip it here, or a piece from there, or an idea from there, that work for your family, then I'm happy to help!

christopher nannery said...

All this looks good to me except. you put nothing in there about Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter. From personal experience i think kids shouldn't even be on Tumblr. It is so easily accessed to Pornographic images. Just putting that in there something to think about. Kids are getting smarter every year. My kid is only 1 so i can only imagine what it will be like in 13 years. lol

The Royals said...

You did a great job! We have had a contract similar to this one since my oldest was 13 (he is now 19). It has worked great and there is nothing better to make your kids behave than to take their cell phone away. My boys are very respectful with their cell phones.

SHinnston said...

Love it, they are the same rules we have with our kids and they only have phones for walking to and from school and emergency. But can see the older they are getting they already are testing me. This contract will be great for us both to refer back to. Thank you.

SHinnston said...

Love it, they are the same rules we have with our kids and they only have phones for walking to and from school and emergency. But can see the older they are getting they already are testing me. This contract will be great for us both to refer back to. Thank you.

SHinnston said...

Love it, they are the same rules we have with our kids and they only have phones for walking to and from school and emergency. But can see the older they are getting they already are testing me. This contract will be great for us both to refer back to. Thank you.

SHinnston said...

Love it, they are the same rules we have with our kids and they only have phones for walking to and from school and emergency. But can see the older they are getting they already are testing me. This contract will be great for us both to refer back to. Thank you.

SHinnston said...

Love it, they are the same rules we have with our kids and they only have phones for walking to and from school and emergency. But can see the older they are getting they already are testing me. This contract will be great for us both to refer back to. Thank you.

Scrapalooza said...

This is great. I know quite a few adults that need this! :)

Leslie said...

Taking away books as punishment?? Yikes! I'm an elementary teacher and this worries me. Parents should celebrate a love for books, not create a negative association with them.

Try to think of natural consequences for actions or consequences that are directly related to the misbehavior.

That being said, I love the idea of a contract and will be saving this to use as reference in the future!

Kristen said...

Loved it and pinned it! Thank you for sharing!

StephanieLynn said...

I honestly think this is a bit too strict. If he's such a good kid you need to trust him. Right now that whole "respecting that he's becoming a young adult" isn't shown anywhere in here. I think you should trust him until that trust is broken and act accordingly. You might as well not have gotten him a phone at all for how many rules you put on it.

Lisa said...

Love it! I wish more adults would heed some of these basic manners for cell phone usage. Having a contract in writing simply allows all parties to be held accountable.

Lisa said...

Love it! I wish more adults would heed some of these basic manners for cell phone usage. Having a contract in writing simply allows all parties to be held accountable.

Bianca said...

I agree with all of these except for the part that as parents you can at any point check their phone. While I understand the meaning behind this rule I don't feel right going through my daughter's things without asking her first and giving her a reason for why I am checking in... sometimes kids have things to say to their friends that they don't want to talk to their parents about and that's ok.

Tono, Brielle, Bryton & Callie said...

This is great! Nicely written! I think that if more parents would use and enforce rules like these that we would have a lot more respectful teenagers! Thank you!

Katie Byrd said...

This is awesome! What a great way to teach responsibility!

Katie Byrd said...

This is awesome! What a great way to teach responsibility!

Paige said...

Okay so as much as I want to like this idea I just don't. I'm 15 years old and honestly I would absolutely hate my mom if she did something like this to me. This is a horrible way to teach responsibility. All I see it doing is teaching kid's how to be sneaky and liars. Trust me I would know I have friends whose parents are this strict and they go to parties drink, smoke weed and have sex ALL the time. Now I'm not saying my mom let's me do this stuff because she doesn't, but she isn't strict about it. Instead of telling me "Don't have sex." She says, "I know you're a teenager and teenagers want to experiment. And as much as I want you to wait to have sex and keep it for someone special I need you to know that you can come to me about anything and if you decide to be sexually active I want you to know to come to me so I can take you in for birth control." HM.......Well this is awkward which one should I choose? Go behind my parents back and get pregnant OR know that my mom loves me and will help me through everything? Instead of saying, "Don't drink. Don't do drugs. Don't go to parties." She says, "If you ever find yourself in a situation where you don't feel safe driving home, or your friend has a had a couple to many drinks I want you to call me. I don't want you getting driving drunk or to be driving around with someone who is drinking. I'd much rather come get you at 2 in the morning than to get a call at 2 in the morning that you are in the hospital due to drunk driving." I know all parents care about their kids but I see my mom trusting me more than you will ever trust your son. She trusts me enough to make the decisions, but let's me know that she's there if I need help.
This whole "reading their text messages" thing is getting old. I don't find that right in any way shape or form. I don't have anything to hide from my mom but I would still hate it if she went through my texts and pictures. If I want her to see a picture I'll show her. If I want her to read a text I'll show her. But other than that there is no reason she should be looking through my phone. How would you like it if you're son took your phone and started reading all your texts? You don't have anything to hide? It's still privacy though and I bet my left arm any parent would say they wouldn't let their kid read their texts. So why is it okay for you to read theirs? And saying "Oh I trust my son I just want to be sure that nothing is going on." NO you obviously do not trust him. If you trusted him you wouldn't be reading his texts! You're a snoopy parent who needs to grow up and let him figure some things out for himself. You're not going to be there all his life holding his hand telling him he shouldn't right with that wood pencil because he could get a sliver. Let him figure that out on his own! Just be there ready to give him a band aid. That's the best thing a parent can do is always be there for their child. I know I'm 15 and a lot of you are going to be pulling the "You don't have kids so you wouldn't know" card but coming from someone who sees kids lying to their parents all the time and sneaking out and doing something they shouldn't I would say my opinion is pretty important. But hey he's not my son you raise him however your heart desires. Who knows maybe he'll turn out differently than everyone else I know. Then again maybe he won't.

jekisa151 said...

this is a very good idea... but i don't know if you know this via ipod/ iphone/ smart phone they can get on youtube.... which i understand sounds totally fine... till on mutliple occasions my little brother who is also a "very good boy" great grades plays sports responsible all that has beenn caught watching porn on youtube..... check yourself very very easy access so becareful with how much freedom they have i agree trust ur kids but also be smart about how trusting you are

Dana said...

Wonderfully written. Pinning for future reference for my now 1 and 4 year olds. We have also had to use books as currency in punishments. They are never taken away for long, but when nothing else gets their attention, you gotta do something.

As for those who keep saying it is too much, they should trust him, blab blab, need to step back and let them parent their child. Have you ever thought that maybe it is this type of a situation that keeps him a good kid. The rules are clear and defined so he never has to second guess his actions. The cell phone is a privilege not a right. No where does it say that they WILL read every text. He only needs to ask before deleting them. If he is such a good kid and has given them no reason for concern I doubt they will read them every time. But it is so important to be upfront, clear, and honest about the conditions and consequences. I think this is great because it opens a communication window between parent and child before privileges are granted. Then if the child does happen to slip up then you cam remind them of the conversation by bringing the contract out.
Not only are they teaching him responsibility for the present but he is starting to form habits of responsibility for the future.

And Paige, you don't know what you are talking about in this situation. Remember the parents were once teens as well so they know how kids sneak behind their parents backs. As for my child reading my texts: are they paying for it? No. Until they are capable of providing for themselves, I am their sole caretaker. Just as a boss has the right to "raid" an employee's desk if suspicions arise, I have the right to "access" my children's stuff as well. Does that mean I am always in their stuff? No, but be assure they know that it is possible.

Holy Craft said...

Well said Dana! Thank you! My thoughts exactly.

Camille said...

This contract is such a great tool and adaptable to each individual kid. I will certainly be using one when my children reach the appropriate age. On a side note, my drivers ed teacher (many years ago) assigned each of his students to write a driving contract with our parents. The contract had to include rules and consequences for the new driver to follow.
As I have read the comments posted here, I have thought a lot about the different perspectives represented. As a school counselor I have had the opportunity to work with kids and parents of all ages and backgrounds. I have witnessed the extremely strict as well as the Laissez-faire (or hands off) type of parents. That said, I do not believe this is too strict. Nor do I believe that a parent who enforces such a contract will damage their relationship with their child. In an age when bullying is out of control, fueled by raging text messages and social media, parental involvement is crucial. I wish more parents would bravely set and enforce rules with their children. This doesn't mean dictating to them, although at times that is necessary. Have a conversation with them. Explain why this is the way it is. Child psychologists will tell you over and over again that children need boundaries. They provide a secure environment for children to learn. Children who are secure and have clear expectations can perform to their optimal levels. Children without boundaries are constantly pushing, trying to find that edge..."how far can I go?" A child with boundaries and consequences that are enforced already knows how far they can push as well as what will happen if they cross that line.
I applaud this contract. I will use a similar one with my own children. And I may use it as a resource professionally. Thank you so much for posting.

violin teacher12 said...

Very well written, thank you!

Paige, come talk to us in 30 years when you're the one with the child. Sheesh.

Jocasta said...

I like the contract idea and most things in it. I do think #16 needs to be gone though. From everything I've learned about psychology and such, you need to have the punishment fit the crime or else they won't learn that they did something wrong, just that they did something you didn't approve of which is different.

Pamela said...

I think this is a fantastic idea. I'm not really surprised by the passionate response some teens have posted, they just don't have experience with parenting yet, and don't understand trust is earned and privacy is not a right until a person has matured. Until a child has developed an adult level of judgement, self-restraint and responsibility, their parents need to exercise good judgement and restraint on behalf of their child. Some children mature faster and wouldn't need a contract like this, other children need a little more guidance and can't be trusted with the level of privacy that would allow them to do something that could harm themselves or others.

Thanks again for the idea!

FitCarey said...

I really like this contract, but I think one thing missing is rewarding responsible behavior. Can extended appropriate use earn an upgrade? Can honor roll earn more minutes? Can your son use his own money to buy more minutes/text/etc.?
As a teacher, wouldn't this be a great teaching tool for contract negotiating? Did you include your son in the development of the contract? Can he negotiate on any of the points?
As a behaviorist, I see a lot of these items as negative and punishing. It is important to think about how you want to promote your child doing these things. As the 15 year old passionately pointed out, you have set rules that many teens will want to break.
As I read through it, I also thought about the adults following these rules as well. Do you ALWAYS follow these guidelines without fail?
Overall, a great jumping off point that parents could adapt!

Darlene said...

This is useful. I agree with both having permission to go through texts, and not doing it without having been given reason. I'd never go behind his back- but if there was an issue we'd do it together. The other point I've made to them is that yes, they might know that sharing risqué pictures is wrong, but when you frame it in terms of "possession of child pornography" it takes it to a new level.

sandra stephenson said...

I'm totally with Paige. Phones are used for communication .. And fun!! Geez he's 14... He will lean from your example. I tell my daughter (who is a brown belt in karate .. Rep soccer player ... Volunteer .. Musician and A student) use his phone in a responsible way.. I trust you. If you don't , we'll have I talk. I kinda felt sorry you didnt have enough faith in him.

sandra stephenson said...

And sorry about the spelling .. It wouldn't let me
Correct..

bb2ca056-0b23-11e2-a20d-000bcdcb5194 said...

I am now a 21 year old college student and actually come from THIS generation you are being so restrictive that the cell phone is pointless and in all reality you are going to regret it when you have a rebellious teen on your hands because he never felt he could tell you anything it seems to me you bought the phone just as another means of control I know you think what you are doing is right but when you start finding things out about him from other people both good things and bad it will be because you didn't have any faith in him and he doesnt care enough to share these things with you and im speaking from experience i have friends with parent like this and there relationships are strained im not saying let your child run wild but hes 14 loosen the leash a little.

Heidi said...

I absolutely love this! My son is only one but I think this is a great idea! So many adults should read this and take a hint also!

Hannah Alexander said...

This is ridiculous... Do you even trust your child?
I have a friend that makes her kids sign contracts about everything from their cell phones, to house chores, to rules about their car. It has ruined her relationship with all three of them.

Although i'm not saying these are all bad rules to have, (I agree with most of them), they don't need to be forced into a "contract". There is absolutely NO trust there.
If you really want your kid to turn out alright, and to TRUST you, you wouldn't do this to them.

Capturing Joy with Kristen Duke Photography said...

LOVE this!!! Have to be vigilant, and you've covered all the basis. Love the not so obvious one about being respectful to friends and not pulling it out when in converstaion, etc.

JessieMomma said...

I have to say, #12 is less about trust and more about peer pressure and teenage spontinaity. My niece has a phone, she uses it almost exclusively to text her friends. Recently, her friend introduced her to a boy she met online, the two began texting. He began texting things about love and dating, sex etc.. She knew her parents would freak, so instead of getting everyone in trouble, she deleted the texts. This caused her quote a bit of trouble when her parents found out- all in the name of loyalty to friends. I think Rachel and her husband are right on the money with this contract. The only thing I would add is a stipulation that any and all overages to the plan due to the child's overuse, will be paid for by the child before he is allowed to have the cell phone again. Just my 2 cents. Great job Rachel- found via Pinterest.

JessieMomma said...

You are exactly right! Rules are for protection, for ourselves as well as for others. There is no such thing as privacy in my home - except in cases of modesty and hygiene. My children are required to keep their doors open when friends are over, for safety of all in the home. They know their rooms are subject to an inspection by mom if the need arises. They don't sneak or hide things from me, they have no need. It is very much the same with a cellphone. Open, upfront rules from the get go are how we raise responsible adults. You wouldn't wait for a one year old to touch the hot stove before telling them it is dangerous, you warn and place rules first, then reiterate as the need arises. Thanks again Rachel for such a thorough contract, I will be keeping ahold of this until my children are old enough for cell phones.

Heather said...

I'd add something about purchases through the phone. If your child has a smart phone (say an iphone with access to the itunes store), music, game and app purchases can add up quickly. Also I haven't seen them in a while, but there used to be tv commercials where you texted to get a ringtone and it started a monthly fee! I'd just make sure you're clear on expectations for phone-originating purchases.

Jenny Johansen said...

As an adult from "this technology era", I think the contract is right on the money. When I was younger I always thought my parents were strict. But as I grew up I realized WHY they did & did not allow things. My dates (not boyfriends, those weren't allowed) even had to sign contracts.
The matter of the fact is this is what worked best for her child & their family. So I wouldn't recommend giving her crap about not trusting him. If that was the case, I highly doubt a phone would even be issued. All in all, in showing she trusts him to HAVE a phone & use at his choosing, they are also reminding him in the contract when & how it is appropriate to use it. So in this manner she is TEACHING him how to be a young adult since at 14 that still makes him a teen.
Finally to the 15 year old. Yes I understand, how HORRIBLE it must be to have parents who want you to ne respectful of not just others but of yourself. The problem today is that more parents DON'T restrict their children. Take that into consideration.

wendi said...

This isn't realistic. Teens don't use their phones in the way adults do. They are their lifelines. He will delete things cuz they are none of your business, not because he's doing anything wrong. Teens need privacy. You are having a hard time relinquishing control. He's 14 and you're scared. Let him grow up mom. He seems to be a great kid. Don't push him away by embarrassing him in front of his friends and being so controlling.
Notice how all the people who like this idea re saving it for "future" use? Cuz they don't have teens. I speak from experience. You can not control cell phone usage to this extend. Think about it. You take the phone away, you can't get ahold of him either. Not a good idea in a year from now. Loosen up. Let him grow.You can't win this one.

Katrina Goodman said...

I love this! I have a 7 month old and I am saving this for future use!

This is definitely realistic (@Wendi). I am 26 and teach 7th graders. The phone is provided by the parents. He does have privacy--with his thoughts, maybe a journal, or conversations with his friends. The parents pay for the phone it is their property.

As a teacher, I cannot believe some parents let their kids keep their phones when they are failing my class (kids tell me). @Wendi-if they are in after school activities/church activities with adults there is always a phone if it got taken away!

I think this is a great idea!

wendi said...

Again- you guys are thinking of young teens. When he is older, driving etc, he won't be around adults. The cell phone is NOT a priveldge. It is a necessity for safety. Take his phone away and then send him off in his car to go somewhere. See what happens. You will wish to GOD that he had his phone. He won't be 14 forever. Plus, taking it away won't keep him from texting or communicating. He'll get on FB, video chat, use a friends phone etc. I'm just saying, SOME of this contract isn't realistic and I'm not referring to 7th graders. There's a HUGE difference between a 16 year old and a 12 year old. Just wait. His parents will NEED him to have his phone for their own sanity if not for his safety. I'm not trying to be "right", I'm just giving a heads up. Things will change. If only there really were "always adults around". Not gonna happen when he's older. He will need that phone in case he has an accident, gets into a situation he'not comfortable with etc. My son went to a well respected family frineds to spend the night, parents got into an argument and he secretly called me at 1 am to come pick him up cuz he was uncomfortable there. You just never know. Communication is key. He should be able to feel that that phone is his lifeline, cuz it may be.

Jennifer said...

As a mom of four children, my oldest is 17, I think this is great! I think that adding something in there about downloading apps or other things is a good idea as well as Facebook access too. Depending on the phone you can set those restrictions in the settings.

As far as the many comments about restricting your child or invading his privacy. Here is my opinion; having a cell phone is a privilege. Privileges are earned. You do not have to provide your child with a cell phone. Most things come with rules and/or a contract. Think about it, when you sign up for a Facebook account, does it not have terms that you have to agree to before you can have that account? When you get your driver’s license, are there not rules/laws that you have to comply with, to get your license? When you start a job, are there rules that you have to abide by? Download an app, buy a cell phone, rent a car, go to a theme park, play sports, etc… Practically everything has rules and contracts that you have to comply with. When your child goes to school, do they not have a student compact or code of conduct that they have to agree to and sign stating that they have read the rules and will abide by them? When they have friends over to hang out, do they have rules? If they go to the movies, are there not rules there too? When your child gets his license, do you just hand him the keys and say, “have fun!”? No. He has rules. Cell phone privileges are no different. So giving your child rules or boundaries is a good thing. They have to know what their limits are. Writing it out on paper so that it is in black and white eliminates any possibility for misunderstandings and also makes them responsible for their actions.

Privacy goes right along with it. If you are doing what you are supposed to then there isn’t a problem. It doesn’t say that you will read every text message; it just says that you have the right to read them. You pay for the phone and he is your child which gives you the right. Just the same as your employer has a right to read your emails that you send and receive at your job. Some places of employment emails are public record, so anyone can read them. I think it is just training them for life experiences and holding them accountable.

As for punishment, yes, you should always try to fit the punishment to the “crime.” However, there are those children, like my 9 year old, who are strong willed and nothing seems to faze them. In that case, you have to find what makes them tick. If reading books is what affects them most, than it may be necessary to take them away for a time. You aren’t discouraging them from reading. My 9 year old saved his money for a long time and bought himself an iPad, because I refused to buy one for him. Right now that is his motivation for everything. Even though he bought it himself, using it is a privilege. He has rules as to when he can play it and for how long. He has to earn that time by choosing the right and doing what is required of him. (chores, homework, being obedient, etc.)

One thing we need to remember is that life is too short. We never know what tomorrow will bring. When something happens in my house, I try to think of two things. Is this a teaching moment? Will it really matter in five years? (or even tomorrow, next week or in a month) If so, then do something about it. If not, then don’t stress yourself over it.

In the end, every child is different, so are their parents and the way we each choose to raise our children. All four of my children are very different. What works for one doesn’t always work for the next. Each situation is unique. This sweet mom chose to share this contract with everyone in case there was someone else out there looking for something similar. She didn’t say, this is what is right and you have to use it. It’s your choice. If it works for you and your family, great! If not, go on to the next page.

wendi said...

I also have 4 kids, 3 of them are adults.I've been through the cell phone thing a few times.

courtneymilleson said...

What about downloads to the phone (games, music, Netflix)? That seems to be the area that we're the most cautious about with letting our oldest have a phone. There's lots of 'stuff' on YouTube, Amazon, etc. that aren't kid friendly.

7f1e1f96-10f9-11e2-8452-000bcdcb471e said...

I'm pretty surprised to see people railing against this as a lack of trust. Trust does not mean giving your child a cell phone and telling them "Don't do anything silly!" with a wink and a nudge.

*Trust is earned*. Trust is earned by acting in accordance to the principles your parents have set out. If you get a job that requires security clearances for the government, they will interview everyone you've lived with or worked for, they'll polygraph you, they'll have a psychological evaluation done, and they'll probably dig into your financial records. Some people balk at this, saying that the government should trust you, if they're planning to trust you with sensitive information. But would you give access to your most secret, sensitive information to a stranger who had a good job interview? No. You don't know them. You have to get to know them--they have to earn that trust.

I wish my parents had set out their rules and expectations more clearly when I was a teenager. I was the oldest and I don't think they were ready for some of the challenges of parenting a teen. Teenagers are especially sensitive to the injustices of their lives and it wasn't the set-out-in-advance, well-known rules that caused friction between my parents and me. It was the rules imposed after the fact, and the capricious consequences that caused real resentment. It caused a lot of hurt feelings and maybe an increase in the likelihood of disobedience because I felt like my life and my parents were so unjust.

Trust in parent/child relationships goes two ways. By making your expectations VERY clear, getting your son's feedback beforehand and making sure he explicitly consents to the rules, I think you are definitely giving him the opportunity to earn trust, and for you to show it in return.

Again, trust is not giving your child a cell phone and telling them "Don't do anything silly!" with a wink and a nudge, while silently sighing to yourself that they'll make bad choices no matter what you do, so it's better no to have rules anyway. With my own children, time again, if I expect disobedience and disappointment, my children meet my expectations. If I set the standard higher, again, my children meet my expectations, or exceed them. In so many ways, parenting is a self-fulfilling prophecy. You get what you expect.

Jennifer said...

I think this is very, very good, and very useful. I agree with those parents that have said laying out clear rules means your kids know what the expecatations are and they don't have to second guess their choices.

I don't have an issue with the stipulation that parents can read the texts or access the phone at any time for any reason. Even if your child is the most trustworthy, responsible child ever, even if you trust them implicitly, sometimes the best kids made not so good choices simply because they don't have the life experience to know what consequences may come of something they thought was a joke. There are so many things that can be nipped in the bud by the occasional check in by the parent. Also, knowing that their parents MIGHT read their texts or look at their pictures might make a teenager think twice about texting something stupid or embarrassing.

15 year old Paige sounds like quite a handful, perhaps a bit big for her britches. I know it's normal for teenagers to question the authority of adults, but my 15 year old wouldn't like the consequences of her demanding to read my texts. Last I checked, the parent is the grown up in the situation and doesn't have to answer to their child. If all that freedom works out for her situation, good for them. But I think Paige will learn when she grows up herself that if more parents paid more attention to what their kids were up to, we'd have a whole lot fewer problems with drinking, drugs, teen pregnancy, etc.

Katrina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michelle said...

I actually think that parents should listen more to kids like Paige. While I can't agree with everything she says, I do see her point. Besides, looking at things from a teenagers point of view would actually help most parents UNDERSTAND their own teenager better. As for the writer of the blog...if your son is fine with the contract then it should be fine. I would sit down and discuss the entire thing with him and add or subtract things that would actually make this work. It IS a good idea as long as this works for your family. As you said, people can change things around to fit their own family. Paige...I am a mother..and a school bus driver..I deal with teenagers all the time..and I have a degree in psychology...I believe you have a good head on your shoulders and you also have a really good mother. Don't ever take her for granted. Any parent who is willing to be there for you is one worth listening to. While I don't agree that you should be out drinking, I believe that the fact that she is there for you is a very good thing. I hope you will always use your head the way you sound like you do. Don't let others get you down, not everyone understands the importance of what you said.

Kase said...

Thank you for the contract!! We were the parents on the block who did not let our daughter have a cell phone until she turned 17 in March. We knew her maturity level and responsibility was far below a "normal" teen (based on issues from her younger years with her birth mom). I wish I had this from the beginning, as nearly all the rules you have here she has "broken", and we really never thought of them before it happened. I especially agree with the turning in your phone at night, which she does without question, and taking the phone away as means of reprimand for doing things inappropriately. The only thing that seems to make her think twice about what she did, is when we take the phone. I don't think it is seeking absolute compliance, but it is proving how important the issue is. We don't take it away for frivolous things, and reserve it for things such as lying, poor grades, and getting into trouble at school. Since she just got into a situation at school last week, and we have the phone for a month, I will be providing this to her upon return of the phone!!! :). Be strong parents (and steppers like me)! Stand your ground and don't give in on providing a phone too early. I don't regret it for a minute..... although our 10 year old is already wanting one!! Haha

xX.becca-boo.Xx said...

Poor kid! You've made a contract for what he can and cannot do? My parents just trusted me not to be silly with it..and I was 11! I think #12 is particularly harsh..what if he's just telling his friend someone he fancies and doesn't want you to know!? He has absolutely no privacy! I wouldn't want a phone under those conditions.

Melissa Pugh said...

You took away his books as punishment?!

Leah said...

#12 is a bit extreme. Is your son not allowed any privacy?? While I am not with the people who think the whole contract demonstrates a lack of trust - I do think this particular clause does.

Also, I would change #7 to include not texting, calling, or receiving a call while driving. Hands-free attachments are great but I think beginner drivers shouldn't be taking calls even with a hands-free attachment. But DEFINITELY not without a hands-free. In Australia (and some European countries I believe) it is illegal to be handling your phone while driving. So that includes texting, calling, answering a call, whatever. It is shown that people who do this have a reaction time on par with someone over the legal blood alcohol content - sometimes even worse.

I agree with Wendi on some aspects. When your son is old enough to be driving, while I don't agree a mobile phone is a necessity for safety (I did not get a phone til I was 18, my sister did not get one til she was about 20, my brother and other sister didn't get one til they were 18 either), I do agree that it is probably less of a privilege and a bit more of a right, especially if he is paying for it with his own money. And at that age I think many of the other clauses in your contract will be unnecessary and quite extreme. It's like some of your clauses are aimed at a 14 year old and some are aimed at a 17 year old.

Paige if all your friends are doing drugs, getting drunk and having sex and you're only 15 I think that says something about your taste in friends rather than their parents. I am 24 and by the time I graduated from highschool, only one of my friends had had sex, none of them had done drugs, and none of them had been drunk. Some of their parents were the strict types, some were average, some were quite lenient. By the way, the lenient parents were the ones whose daughter had had sex, because they did the whole "I won't tell you not to have sex, just come and talk to me first so I can take you to get birth control", and she got Implanon. And she ended up having sex. The rest of us, we knew our parents didn't want us having sex, and we knew they were good reasons, so we didn't.

Being strict is fine as long as you do it well. There's good-strict and bad-strict. Good-strict is telling your kids you don't want them to have sex and WHY. Bad-strict is telling them not to have sex and leaving it at that. Good-strict is setting reasonable boundaries on your 14-year-old's cell phone use, bad-strict is setting boundaries you probably wouldn't implement in other areas of life yet for some reason you think they're ok when it comes to a cell phone. This contract, I feel, is mainly good-strict but I do see some bad-strict in there too.

Would you read your kid's personal journal? Would you read their mail? I would hope not... so why the need to read their text messages? It might not be their personal problems, it might be a friend's personal problems that you are not entitled to know about.

Unknown said...

This is wonderful! My oldest is 10 and already thinks he needs a cell phone (we homeschool, so he is with me or dad most of the time.) I don't think this is too restrictive, the lines are clear and there is no room for "but I didn't know..." my neice just turned 16 and has had her own phone for 2 or 3 years now with very similar rules. Her texts can be read at any time by her parents or my husband or me (for added accountability), and I can honestly say that I have never asked for her phone...however there have been times she hasasked if I would go through her texts so she can delete them.
It is important to remember that teenagers are still children--they are not adults yet! You don't stop training them and setting rules and boundaries just because they are close to adulthood.

Unknown said...

This is wonderful! My oldest is 10 and already thinks he needs a cell phone (we homeschool, so he is with me or dad most of the time.) I don't think this is too restrictive, the lines are clear and there is no room for "but I didn't know..." my neice just turned 16 and has had her own phone for 2 or 3 years now with very similar rules. Her texts can be read at any time by her parents or my husband or me (for added accountability), and I can honestly say that I have never asked for her phone...however there have been times she hasasked if I would go through her texts so she can delete them.
It is important to remember that teenagers are still children--they are not adults yet! You don't stop training them and setting rules and boundaries just because they are close to adulthood.

Unknown said...

This is wonderful! My oldest is 10 and already thinks he needs a cell phone (we homeschool, so he is with me or dad most of the time.) I don't think this is too restrictive, the lines are clear and there is no room for "but I didn't know..." my neice just turned 16 and has had her own phone for 2 or 3 years now with very similar rules. Her texts can be read at any time by her parents or my husband or me (for added accountability), and I can honestly say that I have never asked for her phone...however there have been times she hasasked if I would go through her texts so she can delete them.
It is important to remember that teenagers are still children--they are not adults yet! You don't stop training them and setting rules and boundaries just because they are close to adulthood.

Unknown said...

This is wonderful! My oldest is 10 and already thinks he needs a cell phone (we homeschool, so he is with me or dad most of the time.) I don't think this is too restrictive, the lines are clear and there is no room for "but I didn't know..." my neice just turned 16 and has had her own phone for 2 or 3 years now with very similar rules. Her texts can be read at any time by her parents or my husband or me (for added accountability), and I can honestly say that I have never asked for her phone...however there have been times she hasasked if I would go through her texts so she can delete them.
It is important to remember that teenagers are still children--they are not adults yet! You don't stop training them and setting rules and boundaries just because they are close to adulthood.

Kels said...

Your poor children. While boundaries are comforting to children, the more strictly rules are enforced and the tighter the iron fist applied with parenting, the larger the disconnect between the child and the desire for closeness or obedience grows. Our culture does a fantastic job of prolonging adolescence. The sooner you allow your children to be treated like adults the better, both for their stability, and for their mental health. I have witnessed first hand the ramifications of over controlling parents, and I would not wish that on any family. Carefully consider what is best for your relationship with the child, and whether your are building walls or bridges.

midniGhtshaDow said...

@Paige. I agree with you %100. I am older than you, an adult for that matter, we wont go with age but I can for sure agree with everything that you have stated in your comment. I think this contract is a great idea for the most part but it is true. You push a child to be the best they will get annoyed and WILL rebel. I have been there, and I know plenty of others who have been there. If you give your child freedom, they will experiment and let you know what is going on, but they are going to hide it from you if you don't. It may be hard but if all of your children's friends are out doing this stuff anyways, they will hide it from you the best they can, even if that means putting their own lives in danger. When I was 16 I was so intoxicated that I should have been dead, still to this day cannot remember events that took place that night and you think I wanted my strict parents to know? NEVER ! I almost died, but beats getting in trouble and losing my phone. If a child knows that no matter what you will love and forgive them, they will act more responsible knowing you are actually trusting them.

juliebarron said...

I don't think it's too strict at all. My parents had similar rules for when I had my first computer with internet connection. It had to be in the family room. I was not allowed to keep my passwords from them nor did I have my own email address until I was 16-17. Even after having control of my accounts, if they requested it, I had to log in and let them skim through my contacts (was only allowed to email people I knew face to face) but they never did. I'm sure that if I had a cell phone back then, they would have made very similar rules.

Parenting is not a popularity contest, and I can tell you that I hated my parents when I was a kid. But now that I'm an adult, I understand why and am so glad they had a thought for my safety.

Stormie Anderson said...

This is FANTASTIC! Thank you SO MUCH for this idea. You're a GENIUS!!!

John said...

Way overwhelming. Narrow this down to the top five and your kid might actually remember them. Right now you're drowning them in information.

K8 said...

I think this is a great idea. I hope this works out great for the original author’s son. In their family, they can set up their own rules. Like most of you know, there is no "rule book" for what is right or wrong, you just do the best you can with your own family experiences to guide you. The more or less rules you have can never guarantee a stress or problem free life. Therefore, you make your choices and live with the good or bad consequences, which follow.
That being said, this has been a great discussion starter if nothing else. One thing I have been mulling over through reading the responses is. As a change of action. Why not have the teen sit and make up their own contract. Parents could set a few guidelines beforehand like topics, which will need to be covered, or they can just let the kid do it all and have a revision process until both sides can agree.
When I was a young teen I can remember SEVERAL times using the line, "I forgot" when my parents asked me why I did not do something (like call them when I got somewhere, which was a rule at our house). When the teen sets up their own rules then that excuse is practically void and one thing I thought as I read the above contract is that these are fantastic but I would think the teen would have to print it out and take it with them to remember many of them. (Now I know most of them are common sense, but I feel they are so specific that a teen might feel choked by them)In reality, every person should live these things by not just teens. By them making the contract you are 1) proving that you trust them to make smart decisions from the beginning 2) allowing them to come up with their own consequences, positive or negative 3) teaching them to make rules for themselves that THEY think are important and when that happens teens start thinking for themselves and peer pressure becomes less effective when they decide their own fate.
When I was a teen, I was a good kid. I did not do drugs, alcohol, or anything most parents might stay up worrying about. I did have fun though and did still make stupid decisions. My friends and I would still stay out late and sometimes do crazy things but mostly we just hang around and talked. (I know this is not the norm, but it was the norm for me) There was one time senior year I stayed out so late honestly just talking at a friend’s house that I came home around 3 or 4 am. My parents and I had previously set up a rule that I needed to call them and tell them where I was but by that time my curfew was midnight(= school grade) or almost nonexistent because by that time I had proven to them that I didn't need one. When this particular situation happened, I met my dad at the door as he was leaving for work. He said he noticed I was not home when he got up and that he was worried BUT he did not get mad or over react. Therefore, WE decided that from now on if I was not going to be home by midnight I was to call and tell them my plans so they knew not to wait up and at any time after midnight, they could call if they wanted to check up on me. It worked for us and was a great transition to making adult decisions. This form of parent child interactions revolutionized our relationship. Cont…

K8 said...

Few other thoughts,
I feel different gradients of rules would be appropriate for different ages. Moreover, that the contract could be amended at any time by either side if things are not working out and mutually agreed upon.
Along with this I think certain types of phones are more appropriate for older kids.IE When you first get a phone you start with the basic, can only call and txt kind and maybe a set up privilege would be that after a year of appropriate use of the phone/or good behavior THEN you get to upgrade or whatever.
Phones are for both privilege and emergency. A consequence maybe for misbehavior with the phone you only get the phone to and from school then the phone has to go in "time out" for a week or something, when home (when being consumed by it or not having appropriate etiquette, sometimes we all need a break from technology to refocus). If they do not come up with good enough consequences then maybe steer them, "What happens if you go over minuets?” etc.
As for reading your child's texts, this is a serious communication issue. A parent should feel comfortable enough and respect their child and ask them what’s going on if they feel they have reason to read their texts, journal, etc. That being said, I know I did not have good communication with my parents in grade 9 and 10 but I did know that my parents owned the things they paid for, not me. At the time, AIM was the big thing and I knew they had access to read it all and it didn't bother me and even saved me from a few inappropriate exchanges, I now recognize looking back. And IMHO the boundary between parent and child is not the same as boss and employee nor should children be able to read parents email. Kids have rights as they earn them If you give your parents reason to question your morals then they will question your morals, if your teen doesn't give you any reason to question them then don't until they do.
Although I wouldn't recommend a teen becoming involved with a robbery,(as mentioned above) I do think that common sense needs to be used and taught with the phone, if they witness something they feel they need to document to show authorities then this might be a reason to photograph inappropriate behavior. This brings me to my final point.
One most important thing to make clear is that like the internet, once it is there, it is there FOREVER! Same with phone texts and other things you do with your smart phone. To make kids understand this from an early age can help them learn to make appropriate decisions. Same with making appropriate friendships , etc.

imagoodbug said...

Jeepers! The lady tries to share knowledge and be helpful and everybody puts down her parenting?Didn't your parents teach you that if you can't say anything nice, to shut your trap?
Also, something that many of you aren't taking into account is how volatile adolescence can be. Even the most well-adjusted kids can go through dark times. I wonder how many parents only WISH that they had "invaded" their teenager's privacy after their child first started up with an eating disorder, first started experimenting with drugs, ended up with an STI, or tried to commit suicide.
And guess what, people. It's a contract. If her kid, (or your kid,) thinks it's too strict, they have a choice: Don't get a cell phone. Teaching your child helplessness is doing them an injustice.

Brittany said...

Great job! I love the idea!

The worst part of the post was some of the comments. It saddens me to see how many parents are afraid to be parents anymore. Although seeing those comments might hurt a little, it'll all be worth it when you have a productive member of society on your hands. I remember the teens in school that had no boundaries. I was jealous of them at the time, but looking at them now, as an adult, I'm so thankful that my parents weren't afraid to be parents!

Wendy said...

I love this. Seems like most kids today think they are entitled to a cellphone. This is so awesome. The only thing that I personally would change is the texting while driving one. I would make it more strict to say something like while I am driving I my phone will be off, or maybe even on silent in the glove box or something away from where its easy to get to. Really though, there is no need for a phone to be on while driving, for anyone. Then I would go on to say, I will never text while driving and I will never talk on the phone while driving. I will pull over if I need to use the phone to call. I also like the part about I will not ride in a car with someone who does (text and drive) that is so dangerous.

Wendy said...

I love this. Seems like most kids today think they are entitled to a cellphone. This is so awesome. The only thing that I personally would change is the texting while driving one. I would make it more strict to say something like while I am driving I my phone will be off, or maybe even on silent in the glove box or something away from where its easy to get to. Really though, there is no need for a phone to be on while driving, for anyone. Then I would go on to say, I will never text while driving and I will never talk on the phone while driving. I will pull over if I need to use the phone to call. I also like the part about I will not ride in a car with someone who does (text and drive) that is so dangerous.

Katie Barter said...

I like this contract. I'm 22 with no kids. Number 12 is a toughy. My cell is like my diary and some teens may be like that too. I didn't get a cell til I was 17 and my mom never went through it but I did tell her if somethin wrong was said.

Laura Neilson said...

My son, at 15, was also the last child on the planet to get a cell phone. :) He got one for his birthday and it came with a contract as well. I haven't heard of any other parents doing that.
We included much of what you did. Also, after writing our first copy we showed it to him and asked for his input. He asked that we change the wording on a few of the rules but what he asked for made sense and he took the whole idea of the contract better because we let him have input.
My favorite rule on our contract: "If your phone goes off in church I will publicly embarrass you" (My husband is a pastor). So far the phone has never gone off in church!

Thanks for being brave enough to protect your kids!

BethK said...

I like this contract as well. It makes kids think about things they might not have, like the fact it is rude to talk on your phone at a restaurant, etc. So many people do it in today's society, that many kids do not view it this way. Smart phones are very expensive, so children/teens need to be aware of this as well and the expenses we incur for them to have them. My children have cell phones because we unfortunately have to drop them off at some of their after school activities so that we can drop off a sibling elsewhere, etc. There are not public phones any longer in most venues. I never want my child to have to ask an adult for a phone, as sometimes the adult will ask too many questions, etc. that my child may not feel comfortable conveying to that adult, thus would not make the phone call they wanted/needed to make to me. Also, if an event is cancelled or ends earlier than expected, since they do not drive, I want them to be able to call me to let me know if I'm not present. As many have stated, it is a security issue for us. We definitely do trust our children, but we do not trust all adults in this world to do the right thing towards them. Everyone parents differently, and I do not feel it is ever our place to judge another parent unless that parent is abusing a child and needs help. There are so many ways to parent and others like to think they know how someone will turn out based on their experiences, but every experience is different with different variables that produce different results. Thank you for sharing this with us. For me, I think it will definitely be of value to our family & would love to have my daughters read it & agree to it in written form. (we already have verbally told them many of these, but having it in writing is wonderful! And all the other ideas you thought of! :)

Kim said...

Love the post. Thank you. I find it hard to believe so many people find it acceptable to criticize a blogger opening up in a way to help other like-minded parents. If you don't like it, don't use it. I personally will pin this, tweak it a little and thankfully use it. Thank you.

Lisa said...

I love this!!! We are considering getting my daughter a cell phone for Christmas and this is perfect!!! Thanks!

Chau said...

I think this is a wonderful contract and wish more parents would be more proactive with their kids regarding technology. My husband and I are Web Managers so we are very well versed on current technology.

All the teenagers and parents who spoke strongly against this contract just show me how disrepectful you are and I can see how you do not wantthese rules enforced.

Erin M. said...

We have the same rules for our girls! Great idea to put it on paper as a contract!

Katherine McWilliams said...

I think that most of these rules are totally sensible. That said, #12 I find a little uncomfortable While children do need protecting and sometimes this means encroaching on their private space, I also think that as they move into teenage years it is important to demonstrate that you trust them and their judgment. That doesn't mean there won't ever be a time when Mom and Dad pull rank on something like the cell phone, but personally I think it should be exercised with great restraint.

Carly said...

This is something my husband and I always talked about. I am saving this and will definitely use it for my kids.
While I was a typical "good kid", my sister was NOT, and I learned a lot about consequences from her exploits and the way my parents handled them. Recently, on a girl's weekend (I'm now 30, sister 33) with our mom, Mom said she felt bad about how hard they came down on my sister for her bad decisions, but my sister said, "No... You probably saved my life. I was pushing and pushing, and if you hadn't stopped me, who knows where I'd be now?"
And it's true. Love isn't being your kid's best friend (or worst enemy, of course) but the most important guiding principle is LOVE. And it doesn't always make you popular in the short-term, but it certainly pays off in the long run.
I think the biggest thing is that, yes, you say your son is a good kid. And, with his input, this contract fits your specific situation. He's fine with it, you're fine with it. A lot can be solved when everyone knows where they stand. I really agreed with what one poster (Jennifer) mentioned about how there are rules in life EVERYWHERE. It's so true. And about how kids nowadays think so many things are "rights" like privacy, cell phones, etc.
It's just not true. Kids need to understand that it's not that parents get a malicious thrill from denying their children total and complete privacy... it's that they are still KIDS or TEENAGERS. Parents are responsible for their offspring. In a lot of cases, LEGALLY. I don't get the feeling that your son found any of these restrictions overly irksome.
I guess everything I wanted to say has already been said in the comments; Thank you for sharing this, I'm sorry for the negativity that is in some of these comments when you only meant to share useful information for parents looking for something like this, and Right on for being parents who love and THINK.

lizziekitty1985 said...

There is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON a 14 year old child should have a cell phone, much less RULES for one. Why do parents think they need to give in to their children? Teach them what real communication is. They don't need a cell phone if you're paying attention to your child

momski said...

I love this. Thanks for sharing. My child does not have a cell phone but does have an ipod touch with a texting app. I plan on using this, edited a bit for our purposes, and also letting her have input. My job is to protect her -- she can have some privacy but that comes 2nd to my duty to protect.

Christina Barnard said...

Kara, what is the app called? I've been searching and have not found it. I have an iPhone. Thanks!

Kat said...

I totally agree with everything Paige says, I'm the same age as her. Adults need to get this preconceived image of our generation out of their head. My parents totally trust me, because they've raised me the right way... By Trusting me. We need to have a cell phone for transportation, homework and if there was an emergency. I know a lot of adults think that we don't understand anything about this, but have any of you remembered when you were a teenager? And the only thing you wanted was a little bit of freedom, I mean your trusting us to drive, but not use a cell phone? Also kids with superstructure parents or parents with really high expectations, a lot of times will sneak around behind their parents. And even if you don't consider if an invasion of privacy because its your kid, it still is. Some things are just personal, like texts with a friend, or someone you like. Your parents shouldn't have to check your phone to find things out about you. There are things that parents don't need to know, that you only tell your friends

Callie said...

My parents tried something like this with me when i was a teenager starting high school. At first I was like "fine yea all that sounds great" while really I was just excited to be getting a phone like everybody else in my grade. It soon became obvious to me that even when I did break the rules (usually my grades weren't up to snuff) it wasn't a big deal. I don't think most parents realize just how easy it is to gain access to another phone when yours has been confiscated or if you want to send something you don't want to risk your parents seeing. My friends and i did everything from trading phones during school hours to switching the sim card from our phones into an old phone of a friends, to even my boyfriend buying me one of those walmart phones with the $30/month card things when my parents would take mine away for extended periods of time.

While i fully support the idea of wanting to monitor your kids (lets be honest the world is not as kind a place as it once was)I think it is important to realize that if a kid wants to go around the rules they will find a way. While some of the rules in this contract i did not agree with, overall i think it is a good idea to firmly layout your expectations for your child in regards to a new responsibility.

I am not entirely sure what the reasoning for sharing my anecdotes about my teenage phone shenanigans is, but perhaps it will help one of the parents on here realize that there are some things you cannot control in your childs life as they grow up, and as sad as that is, it is a part of life and all that can be done is to lay down the law and trust that you raised them well enough to abide by it.

Tammy said...

LOVE THIS!
It's amazing how varied the comments are on this blog post. It shows how varied our parenting styles and values are. I whole-heartedlly agree with what you've put together. We did a verbal contract with our kids when they received a cell phone and have not regretted it.
Now with kids 15 and 17, I know how vital these boundaries are. Their ability to make decisions is not in balance with the responsibilities given them with this type of technology. It's a scientific fact. Their frontal lobes (the reasoning area) are not fully developed yet. I completely believe that the responsibilities that come with technology must be monitored by parents. It's our job.
We've had some inappropriate things come to my kids via cell phones and had we not had these rules in place - we may have not known about them and been able to address the corresponding consequences that came with them.
Good for you for sticking to your guns! We went even further after a problem arose and made certain that no texts were deleted by counting the texts before WE deleted them and keeping a tally on the calendar. At the end of the month, when the bill arrived, the number of texts we deleted HAD TO MATCH those on the bill. Otherwise - no phone. This gave us an opportunity to monitor some behaviors and help our son understand the consequences of some of the things that were happening. It helped us understand that he was in a very unhealthy relationship with a girl that needed professional help, and allowed us to notify her parents of her dangerous behavior.
I can not stress enough ---- just because they are teens, does NOT mean they are ready for adult responsibilities. WEAN them in... Now, we don't monitor our 17 year old as much because he has proven himself. BUT at any given moment, we'll ask for his phone and he can proudly turn it over. He has learned through our guidance and monitoring what is ok and what is not. WAY TO GO MOM!

Haley McNett said...

This is stupuid. I can see if they are 13 or younger but once you start highschool its a bit extreme. Don't treat them like they are 5.

Haley McNett said...

This is stupuid. I can see if they are 13 or younger but once you start highschool its a bit extreme. Don't treat them like they are 5.

Rebecca Bryan said...

I was the good kid in high school and I got my first cell phone freshman year for the same reasons as your kid. My cell phone was my mom's dream come true, I liked my phone and she liked the laundry put up it made life easy. I knew I was expected to use it appropriately and she and my dad trusted me. My parents were strict but there was trust. I had good grades and was very involved in outside activities. I do not think you give your son enough credit. With the pay as you go he runs out of minutes he learns to budget his time better. Better yet go through straight talk with unlimited and avoid a high bill. Cell phones are a great way to teach responsibility. If he loses or breaks it he is responsible for finding or paying for it (been there, done that). But don't make him afraid to use his phone. He is going to make mistakes and do stress not texting and driving and stress to him about being careful with his text messages amd pictures because it can hurt him later. I think your rules are valid but ease up and as for manners model how you want him to use it and it will have a longer and stronger impact.

The Longmores said...

Good post. Interesting discussions on parenting. I'm 28 and when I was in high school, very few adults had cell phones let alone teens. Parents gave their children quarters so they could call from a pay phone if needed. And some how we survived :) But back then, there was similar debates about cars. My parents allowed me to drive one of their cars to and from school and after school activities on similar conditions, although I never signed an official contract. I broke the rules and I rode the bus or mom drove me. I knew my parents trusted me because they were allowing me to drive their car in the first place. Too strict? No. Their car, their rules. They were teaching responsibility. Did I still feel I could go to my parents about anything? Absolutely! Giving appropriate boundaries is healthy for relationships and teens need it! We need more parents like this mother who are trying to raise teens to be responsible adults. There are enough people in the world with a sense of entitlement. Let's not teach it to our youth!

Jen said...

Wow, people are harsh. Rachel, I admire your willingness to put your parenting on the judgmental chopping block. I think your idea of a contract is a wonderful teaching tool.

Maybe some people have different ideas of what should be in the contract but I'm so happy to see that you are teaching your kids something. Just handing a kid a cell phone is not teaching them anything. It doesn't say you trust them or you don't. It just says, "hey kid, go figure this thing out on your own and when you mess up, we'll talk." However a contract says, "Hey kid, I want you to know how we expect you to use a cell phone in our family, I care about you learning proper phone etiquette."

It bothers me quite a bit that some commenters here think they know what your son needs more than you do. We do not all agree on how we should raise kids but luckily we only have to raise our own. I commend you and thank you for sharing. I wish others could show a little more respect. Maybe it was because no one was around to teach them what is appropriate.

Anyway, thanks for sharing! I think your awesome.

Bell said...

I am in love with this idea! I worry about what affect technology will have on my kids one day. I didn’t have a cell phone until my second year of university and I did just fine.
My only suggestion would be to change #13. Although I don't think your kids should hide things from you, I do believe they deserve their privacy. I know I am very polite and respectful with the way I use my cell phone, however, I still wouldn’t want my mother going through my phone. If you see a change in your child’s behaviour and believe the cell phone is responsible then at that time maybe looking into it would be appropriate. However, random cell phone checks seems as though you don’t trust your children and trust is so important.
Other than that this is great :) Thanks so much, re-pinning this for a later date!

Bell said...

Oops sorry, that was #12, not #13 :)

nicole L said...

What makes you think he won't delete texts he doesn't want you to see? Especially on a pre paid phone, you won't know what hes deleted. If he doesn't want you to see it he can make sure you don't know about it. I do agree with most of your rules. But I do know much my parents didn't know otherwise I'd have been locked up in my house for the majority of my teenage years.

Morgan King said...

I got my first cell phone when I was 11, but I only had calling on it. No texting no nothing. It was a Nokia flip phone on my parents plan. I'm like some of these people, if I had to go by this contract I wouldn't want a phone. Yes, my parents trust me and yes I'm a good person and my parents did put rules on having a phone, but nothing like this. I think this is a little too extreme. I don't agree with having to ask when he can delete text messages. But, hey maybe it will work for you and your family for a while. Everything comes to an end though and I do agree that having really strict parents create sneaker children. I haven't done anything outrages but, I have made mistakes and I think giving a 14 year a 17 rule contract is a bit too much, but everybody raises their kids

Crystal said...

this is wonderful! thank you for all your hard work and sharing it!
I'm going to need this in a few years, my oldest is 10 and we are starting to hear little bits about friends who have phones.

Basketball01566 said...

I Think having set rules and guidelines is very good for a teenager. I know in my high school years knowing what my parents expected of me was good. My friends didn't always make the best decisions growing up and I saved myself a lot of trouble by always being able to say oh I can't do that my mom has ways of finding these things out. My parents set down rules and boundaries but they allowed me to have the freedom that I wanted while allowing them to have the peace of mind they wanted. I agree that some if the rules are a bit strict. I am glad my parents were strict but knew how to give me the trust and the ability to learn from my mistakes. With the areas of strictness that my parents did give me I found I would be more likely to sneak around. But don't get me wrong I am glad that my parents were like they were because they saved me from a lot. But I think children should be allowed to go and experience things (to an extent) to allow them to gain life experience and to know what the world is like and to be able to handle situations better when they are out on their own. To the parents of this boy I like the contract but something's on it are a bit harsh in my opinion.

Amy said...

This is fantastic! Our oldest is 9 and a couple of his classmates already have phones. The agreed upon age between him and us is when he enters High School. I know the time between now and then will fly! This contract is perfect. Thank you so much!!!

Em said...

While my parents did not have a written form, these are pretty much the same rules they had except it was for 'emergency' use only (calling for a ride after school or directions) and no texting. When my siblings were old enough to need to use a cell phone we shared. I did not like it at first, but I learned.
Glad to hear about parents enforcing rules and teaching their children the proper use of cell phones. Wish you the best of luck.

Bella said...

I completely agree with the post from Paige a while back... I'm 18 years old and my parents try to pull stuff like this on me all the time and to be completely honest all it does is make me want to rebel and get out of the house as soon as possible. And most times it makes me hate them. I believe a person is a person no matter their age so they have their right to privacy. I don't text disrespectful things or send inappropriate pictures, I just don't want my parents knowing every single detail of my life. Also, I'm the one that most of my friends come to if they have an emergency or a problem... so my parents dont need to know their private information just because they're snoops. For example: my parents take my phone when they go to bed, which often times is around 8 pm and as stated earlier I'm 18... I dont go to bed at 8. Anyways, I'll give them my phone shut OFF and I'll go upstairs five minutes later to find my dad sitting in his bed looking through my phone and reading my messages like it's a flipping book. I lose so much respect for him every time this happens. And in case you're wondering, I'm not some crazed, 18 year old party animal who hates her parents. No, I'm a straight A student who is going to college next year on a full ride academic scholarship. I've never been to a party nor do I want to. I've never drank, never had sex and never done drugs. I'm smart and logical and able to think for myself without the need of a ridiculous 'cellphone contract' So you're telling your child that trust needs to be earned, correct? Well not only for him, but for you as well.

Cory Shuel said...

I think #12 should be edited to be only with their knowledge. They dont need to know when you will look at them but they should have a right to know. Teaching your kids about privacy is important. Asking them to respect your privacy at times as well as others privacy is important. But they will only understand this concept if you respect their privacy. That doeant mean i think you should be able to look at your childs phone. I just think the child should know and should be present. If my parents took my phone without me knowing i would feel like my personal property and conversations have been violated. I know this is a hard boundary to find for parents but consider it. How much could it really change things if you came to your kid and said I think now is a good time for you to share how you have been using your cell phone? It wouldnt change what is on the phone. Only how your child feels about it.

alovelyday said...

I think as your son grows older, you'll tweak and edit the rules as you see fit. I tell my kids if they look back later in life and say My parents were strict, they can decide to appreciate that or parent differently. There is nothing wrong with children ( and yes! At 15, you are still a child), knowing what their parents expect of them and the consequences for broken rules. Good job!

MollyBethYoung said...

It really frustrates me when I see people put a general comment about kids being too young for a cell phone. Trust me - I get it - there's a lot said for that. However, what I have come to realize, is that there are multiple situations where a younger child needs a cell phone.

Like in my case, my step-daughter is 9. She has had a cell phone since she was 8. My son will probably be getting one when he is 5 or 6 if he can handle the responsibility and therefore his sister will probably have to as well as long as she is responsible when she become the same age.

We are in a blended family. If my step-daughter didn't have a cell phone there would be no way to reach her other than through her mom which at best would be 50/50 of her relaying a message as well as like pulling teeth for her to get her moms cell phone to call her dad to tell him good night when she has him.

My son who also spends some time with his dad is only 7 months old but by the time he is 5 or 6 if he can handle the responsibility I will gladly give him a cell phone so I can tell him goodnight or if he needs/wants to talk to me, he can at anytime.

My daughter will have both of her parents at home however, it may be difficult to tell her she can't have a phone until 8 years after her brohter has had one. So, we will probably get her one too.

Christina said...

I love the contract!
I am young(ish), and I think a contract like that is great. My dad used to say when I was a teenager, I didn't have any privacy. If they were paying for something, they can make all the rules they want. My sister's (now ex) boyfriend sent her some inappropriate texts, with pictures, he was lucky my sister was a good person and didn't post them online. These rules aren't just to be mean, but to protect him as well.
Trust is earned, and although he's a good kid, the cell phone is a priviledge, not a right.
To those who are saying they shouldn't take it away as punishment, again, if they are paying for it, they can take it away if they want. And I'm sure once he starts driving, they won't send him off in a car without his cell.

Barbara said...

I haven't read all of the comments, but I'm sorry to see that some of them are negative. I'm relatively young (just graduated college) and cell phones weren't a big thing until I was about a senior in high school. We had them taken away if we even had them in the classroom (even if we weren't using them). I sub now, and the kids are all allowed to have them out and many teachers let them use them if they finish their work. Such a cultural change.

My parents didn't write out their rules, but they were basically the same. Same thing with the computer, if we were on it and talking to our friends online, they were allowed to read it if they asked, and we weren't allowed to quickly minimize a window and hide it when they were around. I never talked to strangers online and knowing that my parents could (and sometimes did) check up on us probably kept me from joining in on some of the mean gossip my friends were saying.

I applaud you for setting boundaries for your children, as so many parents today are too afraid to do so. Good luck!!

shannonfabulous said...

LOVE this list... as an owner of a quick serve restaurant, I would add one...

18. I will not be on the phone while in line to order and pay for something nor will I be on the phone in any drive-thru line.

That drives us crazy. While we WANT to give good customer service and believe that the customer is always right, sometimes we wish we could tell the customer to HANG UP THE PHONE!!! :) It's courteous to everyone around you, for sure!

Jaime Lyn said...

Wonderful wonderful post! I love the idea of the contract! I will have to tuck this away for someday when babies come and then turn into teens! So cute and smart! Thank you for sharing at Happy Hour, I am sharing this on our Happy Hour Link Party Pinterst Board!
Jaime from Crafty Scrappy Happy

Sumer Lamers said...

This is such a great idea. I agree that #8 could be expanded to say something like 'except for the purpose of documenting it for reporting to proper authority. Or something of the sort

Sumer Lamers said...

This is such a great idea. I agree that #8 could be expanded to say something like 'except for the purpose of documenting it for reporting to proper authority. Or something of the sort

Sabrina C. said...

I love the contract idea! My daugher is 14 and we do not have a contract, but I have never felt like I needed one with her but this does make me think twice about that. As for the comments from other parents about #12 and having respect for your childs privacy....I do not think a parent should read their childs texts all the time. They should do a spot check every now and then to make sure every thing is okay. What will you parents think if you read your childs texts after they have attempted suicide or have overdosed (depression, bullying,ect. could be the cause for things like this to happen). What about you parents who do not know that your daughter is texting and talking with a quy who is an older man (pediphile)she may think he really cares for her and she may not know that he is a grown man until she agrees to meet him and is raped. Parents get a grip...it is not that we are snooping on our kids to know all about what they are texting it is to keep tabs on them to make sure they are safe. Parents who do read your childrens texted, do not go to them about every thing you read that you may not like, they will then start deleting texts and you will not know when there is a real problem. As for the teenagers 18, 19 yr olds that have posted...if you do not want your parents reading your texts then go out an pay for your own phone plan and you can text anything you want to.

Madison Walls said...

Ok...I am a kid(the oldest too). I think that number one is a little over the top. Every morning i would wake up late if i didnt have my cellphone alarm because my sisters are babies and my brother just doesnt go to bed because he wants to be smart so he stays up until 3(or when ever my mom is done with the babies)so every light in my house is one. I also think that and the other rules are ok. Texting to much could whined up getting you in trouble. My friends all have boyfriend that half of them dont even know and its because they have gotting the boys number from another friend.However I dont have a boyfriend and only text the boys my parents approve of. I do text this boy that likes my and I like him but my mom always makes sure that our text are clean and we arent texting anything bad to each other. That could be another rule! Lol.
-Madison

Lenetta Carnes said...

 Hi, great post. I found you through the blog hop. Please stop  by and say hi when you get a chance.  .Be sure and check out my new Blog Hop that started. It's Weekly Goals Link Up. It's a great way to stay on track. Have a great day. :) Now following you.  Here's the link for it if you would like to check it out.
http://lenettacarnes.blogspot.com/2013/01/weekly-goals-linkup-1.html Lenetta

Mackenzie Reber said...

I just found this on Pinterest and thought I could add my 2 cents! Ive read most of the comments on here so here's my opinion. I am only 21 and I am married but have no kids of my own yet, so I am just sharing my experience. So many kids I knew in high school would drink before they were 21, smoke before 18, have sex before they are ready or even educated about it and etc, and they expect their parents to respect their privacy and treat them like an adult and trust them? When the kid can't even follow some simple rules? I don't think so. My parents would take my phone away, car , ipod, being able to hangout with friends, play on computer and etc and honestly I do not blame them.. They were only doing their job as parents, I would do the same thing. They paid for most of my stuff all I had to pay for was my own clothes and what not. But the truth is , is that parents most of the time pay for the phone, monthly bills, car payments, and etc so they have the right to go through the childrens things. The kids live in their home, if you want privacy then get a job, get your own phone plan, and move out at 18 if you dont want your parents to do their job. Parents will do anything to protect their children and try to make them happy, I am pretty sure that parents do not plan out how they are going to ruin your life and make you hate them.. Parents were once young and were teenagers, they know what you go through, they were in your shoes at one time and learned from their mistakes and do not want you to make the same mistake they did. I think if you are so concerned about your parents reading messages, and going through your things and dont even want your parents to go in your room.. then you are hiding something. If you don't want your parents to find out, then dont do it. Don't step over the line and talk about bad things on your phone or send bad pictures, use bad language, bully and etc. Because if they werent hiding anything, then there would be no problem. Phones are privilages, not rights. I loved your post and I will be using this one day, I feel it is better to lay down the consequences at the beginning so you and your children are all on the same page instead of the consequences being a surprise. Thank you for posting and i'm sure so many other people are glad too and I am glad you have found something that works for you and your family!

Samantha said...

I know there's already like 5 billion comments on this post but I just wanted to say thank you for instilling the idea that when you are hanging out face to face it is not the time to be texting on your phone. My friends do this and it's so rude! I'll only answer the phone if it's my parents or employer. I hope more people learn this and teach this.

nannyjo24 said...

I agree with this contract 100 percent. Although I do not have a written contract for my son these are the rules we go by. As long as I pay the cell phone bill I will check the text messages and such because it is my responsibility as a parent to make sure that he is doing and saying the right things. As for taking his phone away for not doing what is expected of him, that is the way I do it too. Having a cell phone is a privaledge not a right. If he wants to keep it then he needs to do what is expected of him.

Mark Poulsen said...

This is borderline Psychotic. You shouldn't let him have a phone at all. This list is insane.

Michaelynn said...

I LOVE this contract and I am stunned at the number of critical comments here. If you don't like this contract, don't use it. Make your own. Sheesh. Also, kids...seriously? I just rolled my eyes reading your responses. I was a teenager once and I remember feeling like I knew everything. I will be using this same contract with my son because although he is wonderful, I want him to understand our expectations. And as far as taking books away....well, I've sent my kids to bed without dinner! How terrible! They're alive and thriving. Every kid has currency, as you said. And everyone is different. You're great parents and I'm so very grateful that you shared this contract so that I can use it myself! Thanks again!

christa said...

Love this contract. My stepkids have had cell phone for years, and although we do not have a contract with them, they are very respectful of the rules and abide by them.

As for all of the teenagers on here complaining about it. When you grow up and have kids of your own, you will think differently. I had friends whose parents wanted to be their friends and it did not work. Kids want parents - not friends. And trust must be earned.

And being grounded from reading... my parents did it to me because I loved reading so much that I would not study what I needed to be studying. I read for pleasure (and still do) not to study. Each situation is different and you should not judge parents for this. My parents did the right thing.

Maria Geisler said...

Totally agree..Awesome contract! Wish I would've seen this sooner..even at the age of 14 they are still irresponsible! Been there..

Maria Geisler said...

Totally agree..Awesome contract! Wish I would've seen this sooner..even at the age of 14 they are still irresponsible! Been there..

sleepless chill said...

most appreciative that you did the work! of course all good things organically change to fit the family, but you were extraordinarily thorough and i truly appreciate. when i pinned 8 months ago, i thought i'd have more time, but middle school is upon us and i am in your boat now....so thank you for the tool to open the discussions about all things cellular. my grandmother is probably turning over and over in her grave that people even have this breach of etiquette at their disposal- but alas, it is the way of the world. THANK YOU!

San bran said...

You are entitled to your opinion but these parents have put boundaries in place to keep their son safe and their family United. Boundaries are what kids in this society need as its help yourself to anything and everything and no one tells you what to do anymore.
Kids need to push boundaries just to make sure they don't move and then they feel secure.
As for respecting that he's becoming a young adult they are teaching him responsibility with technology and this is crucial to being an adult

Lenore said...

Thankyou!!! Appreciate all the hard work you have done! I am adapting this for my 10 year olds iPad usage! (And am pinning this for when we inevitably have to let them have phones!) :-)
Thankyou again!

Cristine Korowajczuk said...

Great idea! Cell phone operators should have adults signing this contract...

Nanosonde said...

Hey! Great job!
I didn´t read all of the comments - so I hope, my idea is not too redundant...
I think it´s great for the kids/young adults to know that they are responsible for something real, something relevant to them.
But I also think that before giving this to your kid it is really important to look at your own way of using your cell phone/tablet...! Your way to handle things is most likely to to influence the way your kids will handle things...