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I Made My Kids Sign a Mobile Phone Code of Conduct Contract

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

I make a living out of social media and spend my life glued to my phone. This makes me very aware of the good, the bad and the ugly, the pitfalls of an online world and how you can get totally lost in it. At the same time, I LOVE this online world. And I want my kids to enjoy it too. But there are limits. They are young, they are still learning. I don't want them to make silly or not-so-silly mistakes, or even worse, put themselves in harm's way.


While my mother heart will always be worried one way or the other, to me it was important to put some behavioural rules in place when it comes to the use of a mobile phone. It's probably a good thing mobile phones didn't exist when I was young. I'd hate to think what could have been captured on screen, to last for eternity.


Conversation Starter

I used this contract 4 years ago already with my son. And while no one is perfect, I must say we haven't had any major mobile phone-related dramas. I am hoping to achieve the same with my teenage daughter, who happily 'signed' her contract today. If anything, it made us discuss all the points that are in it, and it was a good conversation starter.


At the time, many people asked me for a copy of my 'contract' so here you go, I am sharing it with you. Feel free to do with it as you please; I too got my inspiration elsewhere.


If it helps prevent even one incident, I'll be so pleased. Good luck fellow parents!


Mobile Phone Code of Conduct Contract for Teens


Dear Teen


You are now the proud caretaker of an iPhone with a data subscription. You are a good and responsible 11-year-old girl and you deserve this gift. But with the acceptance of this present comes rules and regulations. Please read through the following contract. I hope that you understand it is our job to raise you into a well-rounded, healthy young woman that can function in the world and coexist with technology, not be ruled by it. Failure to comply with the following list will result in the termination of your iPhone ownership.


We love you lots and look forward to sharing several million text messages with you in the days to come.

  1. It is our phone. We bought it. We pay for it. We are loaning it to you. You acknowledge that if the phone is broken or lost, you are to replace it or fix it at your own cost. We have taken the responsibility to provide you with a screen protector and a cover. If this protection is removed and the phone is broken you are to replace the entire phone. If it falls into the toilet, smashes on the ground, or vanishes into thin air, you are responsible for the replacement costs or repairs. It could happen, you should be prepared.

  2. You will have plenty of data and minutes each month. Any time you go over these limits it is at your own cost. Try and use WiFi as much as possible.

  3. We will always know the passwords and account names, accessible at all times, regardless if you think differently. For your safety, we will always be able to track your location. If you change any passwords and we don’t know about it – you will lose your phone. If you delete and purposely hide things on your phone, social media or emails, you’ll lose your accounts.

  4. If your phone rings, answer it. It is a phone. Say hello, and use your manners. Do not ever ignore a phone call if the screen reads "Mum" or "Dad." Not ever. Respond to our WhatsApp messages as soon as you can. It is your responsibility your phone is always charged.

  5. Hand the phone to one of us when you go to bed. No messaging people before 7.30 AM, some people actually sleep in. Follow the school rules and policies for mobile phones.

  6. Do not use this technology to lie, fool, or deceive another human being. Do not involve yourself in conversations that are hurtful to others. Be a good friend first or stay the hell out of the crossfire.

  7. Do not text, email, or say anything through this device you would not say in person.

  8. Do not text, email, or say anything to someone that you would not say out loud with their parents in the room. Censor yourself.

  9. Share messages with us that upset you. We are here to protect and help you.

  10. Do NOT take photos or movies of people who aren’t aware. This includes strangers. Do NOT upload anything on social media that you wouldn’t like being uploaded about yourself or your family. Or you wouldn’t want your mother or grandmother to see. You will not create social media profiles until the legal age of 13. We will have access to all your accounts and be a ‘friend’. Any app download requires our permission.

  11. Search the web for information you would openly share with us. If you have a question about anything, ask us.

  12. 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. You are not a rude person; do not allow the iPhone to change that.

  13. Do not send or receive pictures of your private parts or anyone else's private parts. Don't laugh. Someday you will be tempted to do this despite your high intelligence. It is risky and could ruin your teenage/college/adult life. It is always a bad idea. Cyberspace is vast and more powerful than you. And it is hard to make anything of this magnitude disappear, including a bad reputation.

  14. Keep your eyes up. See the world happening around you. Stare out a window. Listen to the birds. Take a walk. Talk to a stranger. Wonder without googling.

  15. Mess up anything in bold, and you will lose your phone. For everything else three strikes and you’re out.

  16. You will mess up. We will take away your phone. We will sit down and talk about it. We will start over again. You and us, we are always learning. We are on your team. We are in this together.

It is our hope that you can agree to these terms. Most of the lessons listed here do not just apply to the iPhone, but to life. You are growing up in a fast and ever-changing world. It is exciting and enticing. Keep it simple every chance you get. Trust your powerful mind and giant heart above any machine. We love you. We hope you enjoy your awesome iPhone.


Date:

Signed by:



Good luck and may all be safe

Hopefully, this post, albeit a little different from my usual posts, is of use to you and perhaps facilitates some of the more difficult conversations with your kids. Mine responded very well, and I couldn't be prouder of how they handle themselves in this sometimes crazy world.




2 comments

2件のコメント


Mojirola Adepetu
Mojirola Adepetu
2023年5月02日

This is amazing! Thank you so much for sharing

いいね!
Marieke
Marieke
1月13日
返信先

You're most welcome!

いいね!
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