When does your child get their own phone? It’s a dilemma faced by millions of parents, especially when kids reach secondary school age.
One mum who knows the predicament only too well is parenting blogger Mel Watts, who compromised when it came to handing over a phone to her son Ayden – by making him sign a 17-point contract.
“A phone is a responsibility you have to earn to be able to use,” states the contract, which has been praised and in some cases adopted by other parents.
“This phone belongs to us and you’re borrowing it.”
Watts, who runs The Modern Mumma blog and has four children, shared the contract on Facebook with her 117,000 followers in December 2018, but only recently posted it on her blog for others to download.
It states that by agreeing to the terms and conditions, her son understands he can have his phone confiscated at any time if he breaks them.
Some of the points include:
:: You acknowledge that if your phone is broken or lost, you are to replace it or fix it at your own cost.
:: Always answer your parent’s calls. If you can’t answer, message us.
:: Once you go over your data you don’t get any extra until your next data top up.
:: No mobile phones in rooms – at both houses. (Ayden’s parents are divorced.)
:: Mobile phone is to be given to a parent before you go to bed.
The contract also sets out rules around Ayden’s social media use.
“Do not upload anything on social media that you wouldn’t like being uploaded about yourself or your sisters,” it reads. “Don’t troll people on social media, if you can’t say it to their face don’t write it.”
Watts also requested her son give her access to all his passwords and accounts. “You change the password and we don’t know – IT’S GONE,” she wrote. “If you delete and purposely hide things on your phone, social media or emails, you’ll lose your accounts.”
Some of the contract points carry more weight than others, and are bolded – if Watts’ son fails to stick to these rules, his phone will immediately be taken away. With the other points, it’s a three strike system.
The contract has gone down a storm with other parents. One person commented: “My 12-year-old is getting a phone and his dad thinks it’s madness to write up a contract, I think it’s madness not to. I’ll be showing him this and heavily copying.”
Another mum wrote: “This is a great idea. I think we all need this for our kids when they reach this age.”
Fancy downloading your own copy? Find the contract online here.