Teen Cell Phone Contract
October 2012 (this contract has been updated and comments below due to some of the issues that have been in the news regarding inappropriate photo sharing)
After quite a bit of research with my chica’s who had all purchased cell phones for their children, then later regretted it… I put together a contract for my son who let me say, I think was willing to be shipped off to Siberia in return for a phone. That mindset of uber begging put me in a unique position of calling the shots, which as the parent, I should be in that position ALL. THE. TIME. However, re-surfacing my power, I had him AGREE to the following contract. FEEL FREE to use this, modify it and/or ditch it if you want and start over.
If you are impressed with this contract, you can thank my ladies in the comment section and please share it with your friends.
If there is any perceived repetition it is only because I was making sure there were no loopholes. Five weeks into this contract now, as of this writing, and its been pretty good. He has lost cell privileges a few times but not really related to breaking any of these rules…. oh wait, no that is incorrect, sneaking peeks and texts after 1030pm (really it was 1130pm), yes that has resulted in a 24 hr extrapolation (a few times)… and yes that is exactly what it felt like I was doing at the time: ex-trap-olating.
So here goes:
I, (my childs name) understand that this (brand) Phone does not belong to me. I understand that at any time this phone may be taken away from me.
The following are only SOME of the reasons why this may occur:
-My school grades are falling or if I use this phone inappropriately in class ie: texting while teacher is speaking, using it to cheat etc.
-I am isolating myself away from my family ie: refuse to give eye contact when spoken to, prefer to be alone texting or talking rather than participate in family activities
-It is a weeknight and I know that I must give up the cell phone during the school year sunday- thursday from 10:30pm-8am, unless there is a PA day in which case these days of the week may change
-I understand that there will be some more freedom in the summer with regards to usage however it is at my parents discretion what those new times will be without argument.
-I bully someone using this phone
-I hang up on my parents or brother or refuse to communicate with them
-I don’t complete my chores
-I am rude
-I refuse to cooperate with any member of my family
-I refuse to help out with the dog
-If I take a photo of myself ‘undressed’ or someone else ‘undressed’ or in a compromising position.
-If I text during any meal, I understand I will loose the cell phone for the rest of that day, and all information on that phone will be inaccessible to me, including friend meet ups etc.
I understand that this plan has (150) minutes of call time, and if I exceed that time and get charged extra charges I am responsible for those charges.
I understand this phone is not waterproof and will therefore cease to work if it gets wet. I understand I will be responsible for replacing this phone at my expense.
I understand that using this phone is a privilege, not a right.
I understand that none of these rules apply to my parents. They are free to do any of the above and I will not question them. I understand that my parents may modify these rules, or add to them at any time and I will not argue or I risk losing access to this phone that I do not own.
By responding to this email/contract stating I AGREE, I accept these terms which have been laid out.
Thanks for reading.
Updated May 2013:
** Eight months into this, I must say, its going pretty well. I don’t recommend call-display for a teen unless there are some serious issues with kids at the school – bullying or something already. We seem to have lost the battle with no texting after 10:30pm, but have extended it to 11:00pm (although he doesn’t know this, we just aren’t enforcing the earlier time). A few times the digital has encroached on a family movie, but a quick reminder and its packed away. This contract has been very helpful for our type of kid I must say! Good luck to you and yours!