Over the years, cell phones have become quite indispensable. In fact as I had written in this blog post, they have almost become our sixth sensory organ.
They have become the most coveted objects for the teenagers. The age at which they want to get their own cell phone is becoming younger.
At the same time, teens face tremendous peer pressure to posses cellphones. And we, as parents, want to give everything in the world to our children. How do we do it, and minimize the risks involved?
Janell Burley Hofmann, gave it to her son, with a code of conduct. You can read the original post here. She starts by saying
Merry Christmas! You are now the proud owner of an iPhone. Hot Damn! You are a good & responsible 13 year old boy 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 my job to raise you into a well rounded, healthy young man 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 termination of your iPhone ownership.
I love you madly & look forward to sharing several million text messages with you in the days to come.
After that, she is all business. It is a contract with 18 numbered points! 🙂
She tells Gregory in no uncertain terms that since she has paid for the phone, it belongs to her and she has only lent it to him. Some other significant points are
- Phone password must be known to her. No secrets on phone from parenrs
- All phones from the parents must be answered.
- The phone is out of bounds later in the evening, after 7.30 PM. On weekends he can use it a little longer, till 9 PM.
- Not allowed to take the phone to school
- Don’t be rude with people because of the phone.
- Start collecting money to replace the phone in case it is lost / damaged
- Not to use the phone to cheat, lie, hurt anyone else
- Not to say anything on phone that you won’t say in person
- No porn
- Not taking and sending pictures of his own or someone else’s private parts
- Leave the phone home from time to time and still feel safe & secure
- Don’t be completely engrossed in the phone. Be in the real world and be with people.
I think that’s a great way to make the child responsible.
Still I think she missed an important one. Not using the phone to listen to music with earphones while walking on the streets.
I wish I had done similar thing with my children, when I gave them the phones. We have a verbal agreement no doubt, but no written contract. I think the act of creating a written contract would have made those verbal agreements a little more binding.
What do you think? How to make sure that children use their cellphones more responsibly? Do write comments.