Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Contract

I have been working on the cell phone contract for Big E. This is what I have so far. For anyone out there with teens and cell phones, is there anything I am missing? Something that has come up along the way with you and your kids that needed to be addressed that I can put in here? I don't mind adding or changing the "rules" at a later date, but I would like to have as much in here as I can.

I realize there are people out there who think this is too much, too strict, too "big brother" or whatever. Frankly, I don't care.

I find it a little amusing that I am writing this contract, because in all honesty, my husband and I are pretty laid back. We do give our kids a lot of flexibility, chances to show they are responsible and at times, I feel like I let them get away with way too much. We don't typically enforce huge punishments when they mess up, especially if it's the first time. Thankfully, they are still young enough that they haven't done anything to warrant major disciplinary action. Yet. We do stick to our guns, though, when we do lay down the law and I have no doubt that Big E knows when we say we are going to do something, we mean it.

I do believe this contract will show Big E how serious we are about the rules we have in place for having this phone. It is a privilege, not a right, and I want him to understand we can, and will, eliminate that privilege if he chooses not to handle it responsibly and/or to not follow the rules. Since we have not ever done anything like this before, he understands we mean business. He keeps asking when the contract will be ready for him to sign!

Contract for Cell Phone

  1. I will not send any inappropriate text messages. This includes texts with profanity or sexual comments.
  2. If I receive the above type of text messages, I will show the inappropriate text messages to my parents.
  3. I will not use my phone from the hours of 9pm-7am or during the school day. The only exception to this is if I need to call my parents or if I need to call an adult for an emergency.
  4. If my phone needs to be replaced because I, or someone around me, has mishandled it or lost it, I will have to pay the replacement cost.
  5. I will not give my phone to others.
  6. I will not give my phone number to anyone I do not know or to anyone I do not trust.
  7. The phone will remain in the kitchen during the night hours.
  8. My parents have access to my phone messages, text messages and call log at all times and will likely review this information on a regular/daily basis. I will not delete messages so they can not see/hear them.
  9. My parents can add to or change these rules at any time.
  10. If I do not follow these rules, I will lose my cell phone privileges for a set period of time or possibly permanently.


  1. brilliant- I am printing and giving it to my son when he gets out of school- thanks!

  2. Wow - how old is Big E?

    How do you pull-off #8?

    We use Verizon, we can access the phone log online but not the details of the call or text messages;

    Make sure you have text messaging plan b/c you don't want to be surprised with a gigantic bill$$$;

    Make sure there's no web-internet access (that you can block);

    and Good for you! (We are big on contracts, too)

  3. This is a great idea! I hadn't even thought of this as I was contemplating the idea that we need to get a cell phone for my oldest son soon. We have sat down recently and talked about the rules for using IM (he wants to set up his own account) but it never crossed my mind about a cell phone. Will definitely be taking some cues from this in the near future!

  4. OH! That's a good contract. I can't think of anything else to add at this time.. If I think of anything I will come back

  5. 11 - I will pay for any overage charges by working in the garden/kitchen/church for $5 an hour.

    12 - I will not use my phone when I am with my friends. They made the effort to come see me, so I will give my undivided attention to them.

    13 - I will not Twitter, ever.

  6. My daughter basically has the same rules although no contract was drawn up.

    I am on Sprint and I know if they receive picture mail they are charged for data usage if you don't have it on you plan. You will incur extra charges if you send and receive pictures and don't have a data plan. Just a FYI

  7. I need to keep this in mind for my sons when it comes time for them to have cell phones. I like the idea of them having one for emergencies but it kind of worries me a bit. Great contract!

  8. Is this a picture of his phone? He will have more features on his phone than I have....or ever WILL have! Confession: I have never sent a text message.....and if I have, I didn't know it. Maybe when G-Man has a phone I will enter the world of texting....maybe...

  9. What do kids need cell phones for anyway? ;-) This is a great contract. Good job.

  10. Great list! I agree with Advizor. When you are with friends or at the table--no phone!

    Plus, I just got a $125 overage charge b/c my son likes to use his phone to get the news from CNN. He knew about texting charges, but thought he could read CNN for free. He's going to be in my kitchen a long time--I think I should teach him how to cook while he's there!

  11. I like it! Is it too trusting (or just the right amount for Big E) to leave the phone in the kitchen at night...maybe needs to be in your room?

    This is not necessary, but I've been told sometimes it seems less limiting if the contract is drawn up detailing what the child CAN do as opposed to what they CANNOT...even though it says the same thing. For instance:

    I will send only appropriate text messages, this means only messages without profanity or sexual references.

    I will put my phone away during school hours and between 9PM-7AM except to call my parents or call another adult in an emergency.

    I will keep my phone in my own possession instead of allowing others to use it.

    I will only give my phone number to people I know and trust.

    Just a thought! Worth about as much as it cost you to get it :)

  12. I don't have anything to add except that if his phone is internet enabled - you should add something about not visiting inappropriate websites.

    Other than that, I'm copying this contract and saving it for the next 10 years to use with the French Fries! Merci!!

  13. LOL at #8. Unless you have put the Fear of God into him and he's convinced you can track things he's deleted, he'll be getting rid of stuff right and left. He's a teenager!!! The rest of it sounds good though....

  14. try this one. . . I will not call my boy/girlfriend on his/her landline and run my cell phone bill up to $759 in just one month!