May 2013
31

Cell Phone Contract for Tweens and Teens

As I mentioned yesterday, the kid is more and more online. This is highly due to the fact that we went ahead and gave him a phone. {Insert sigh.} It was a bit earlier than expected, but in some ways, it was the best time. We were able to be a bit more strict since he is fairly young for a phone, and then ease his way into it.

I was talking with my friend Amy recently, and she used a “cell phone contract” with her boys to lay out expectations – and she found a great one that had been passed around online. Turns out it was more than passed around, it had gone viral.

I used parts of that one, and many others online to make our own for Dex. Feel free to break this apart and use for yourself. {Shuddering at the days ahead.}

Cell Phone Contract for Teens

 Cell Phone Contract for Teens

  • I understand this is my parent’s phone. They bought it and pay for the cell service. They can take it away at any time. I acknowledge that having a cell phone is a privilege and I will not take it for granted.
  • My parents will always know the passwords on my phone. I understand that they have the right to look at my text messages, my apps and my phone history at any time they ask. I will be completely open in terms of how I am using the phone, what I am communicating and what others are communicating to me.
  • I will always answer calls from my parents. If I miss a call from them, I will call them back immediately. I will not lie about where I have been or how I am using the phone.
  • I will protect my privacy and will not give my cell phone number to anyone with whom I or my parents are not familiar.
  • I will not bring my cell phone to school if it is prohibited. Or if it is allowed at school, I will keep it in my backpack and turned off until school is dismissed.
  • I will not use my cell phone after 8pm on a school night or after 9pm on a non-school night, unless given permission by my parents.
  • I will not send inappropriate, hurtful or threatening text messages. I will not use this technology to lie, fool, or deceive another human being. I will not involve myself in conversations that are hurtful to others.
  • I will not say or text anything that I wouldn’t say in person with my parents listening.
  • I will not allow my friends to use my phone for anything other than to call their parents.
  • I will not be disruptive in my cell phone use and will end a call or stop texting immediately when asked.
  • I will make an effort to learn phone and internet etiquette. I understand this is an extension of normal manners. I will turn it off, silence it, and put it away in public. Especially in a restaurant, at the movies, or while speaking with another human being. I am not a rude person; I will not allow the phone to change that.
  • I understand that I am responsible for knowing where my phone is, and for keeping it in good condition. If it falls into the toilet, smashes on the ground, or vanishes into thin air, I am responsible for the replacement costs or repairs.
  • No porn.
  • I will not send or receive pictures of my private parts or anyone else’s private parts, ever. I will not take, send or post any pictures or videos of anyone without my parents’ and the person’s permission.
  • I understand that my behavior on my phone can affect my future reputation.
  • I promise I will alert my parents when I receive suspicious or alarming phone calls or text messages from people I don’t know. I will also alert my parents if I am being harassed by someone via my cell phone.
  • I will make efforts to keep in touch with people in person. I will keep my eyes up and watch the world happening around me. I will step away from technology.
  • I understand that this contract will change over time and that we will talk about cell phone use as issues come up and work through them together.

 

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18 comments

  1. A Plus girlfriend!Sounds pretty comprehensive.So, hope it’s OK if I copy and save for when the time comes to my house.

  2. I need to come up with something like this for internet usage, because OMG the porn thing. Having a boy that just turned 13 makes me want to just not allow him on the computer at all after looking at his usage history. (Even after talking to him, and putting parental controls on, and everything, he’s still a 13 year old boy that wants to see boobies.) I think he truly doesn’t (and can’t) understand how screwed up the stuff on the internet can be. I long for the days when parents just worried about boys stealing their dad’s Playboy magazines. Sigh.

  3. Felix Lee

    Love this idea of a contract. This is one way of teaching kids to be responsible and disciplined as well.

  4. Wink

    I know about 20 adults who should also agree to this contract. Sigh. Good for you for starting with an excellent teaching tool!

  5. Wink, honestly – forcing him to be good on his phone is forcing me to be better on my phone!!!

  6. Maybe it’s all part of how old your child is. As in, an old 13, or a young 13. An old 13 maybe needs more guidance through these dangerous waters. A younger 13 perhaps avoids danger on their own, only to come at it later when they are not so willing to listen to you.Advantages and disadvantages to both. My daughter was young for her age when she got a phone, and the only one of these I had to tell her was, “I will know your password.” She thought we didn’t trust her. I said, “I trust you completely. I don’t trust everyone else out there, and I want to be able to know what is going on.” She wasn’t thrilled, but we’ve never mentioned anything we see online, because none of it has been mean, even, talk about dangerous. Lucky so far.

  7. This is great. I am going to have my kids sign this asap!

  8. Oh wow, perfect! I needed some language to help me talk to me teenager about his cell phone use. Thanks!

  9. Anonymous

    This is way better than the other version. Less condescending.

  10. Anonymous

    This is great. I cannot thank you enough for sharing and allowing use without your permission. I added “text” in several places where you mentioned only calling or phoning and also made it clear she was not to use “hide browsing” feature or to have her phone automatically erase history either. In addition she is not to purchase any apps/games without our prior approval.Hers is a smart phone so we also made her aware through this contract we have strict control over number of minutes/texts allowed and times when internet browsing capability will be turned off. Our daughter is older (but has clearly hit the slippery slope of excessive use and what that does to sleep and attention to the real world around her hence our even googling “cell phone contract”) so we are going to eventually let her have it during night hours with very limited people she can text or call and we will monitor that (Verizon has an app called family base that makes all of these controls possible. We want her to be able to use her phone for mood, health (monthly period monitor), running and sleep apps and also to use it as an alarm to wake her up in the morning so having her physically turn it into us at night is only the first step.

  11. This is a great idea to have your teen in the know before they get started. I honestly thought you meant what types of contracts are good for them – I find that our clients prefer the pay as you go where there is no room for overages!

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