Tuesday, December 19, 2017

A Phone Contract For My Kid.

I'm between tours and my 11-year old son got his first phone (it's a flip phone) for Chanukah. I wrote him out this contract. Feel free to use if for your kiddo.

Phone FUN, Benefits and...Expectations

As you know, Jascha, we thought a lot about you having your own phone and as you also know we think you are ready! You are a responsible young man and we are proud to see you take even more responsibility for your actions as you grow older. Now that you've had the phone for a couple of days and have gotten used to how it works we wanted to provide you with a list of do's and dont's that are not as much about the how-to of a phone, but more about the rights and responsibilities. Please read this, sign it, and of course let us know if you have any questions!
  • A cell phone is a great way to stay in touch with friends and family. DO have fun with it during the day but night-time (after 9PM) is a No-Phone-Time-Zone, so no calls or texts after 9 PM and the phone must be kept out of your bedroom. This is a great time to charge it (in the living room).
  • DO take the phone to school. We want to be able to reach you if there is an emergency and vice-versa, HOWEVER follow the school rules around phone use.
  • DO enjoy the camera feature, however DO NOT take photos that are offensive or of private parts (yours or anyone else's). If you send a photo like that and someone puts it on the internet then it stays online FOREVER! Do you want your private parts online forever? I didn't think so.
    Also (and I know that you are a kind-hearted person and wouldn't do this), photos can be used to bully people. :(
  • Phones are great ways to stay in touch or have a conversation. THEY NEVER REPLACE REAL-TIME CONVERSATION. So practice good phone etiquette. No phones at meals. When you're with people check it if you need to, but in general don't check OUT. I find it useful sometimes for myself when we have guests over to keep the phone somewhere far away in the house where I'm not tempted to look at it. In general pick being with people in real-time, over messaging or talking on the phone.
  • A phone is not private. You DO get to have a journal that we promise to never look at, but the phone is something we pay a monthly rate for and from time-to-time we may check your messages. We want you to always be safe and we want to know that you are having text or phone conversations that are SAFE AND RESPECTFUL.
  • Be careful about giving out your phone number. Your number is a DIRECT LINE to you and really consider that before you give your number out. Unfortunately, if the wrong person has your number they can bug you, harass you, bully you, etc. From time-to-time your mom and I may check your contacts and ask you about anybody whose name we don't recognize. DEFINTITELY DO NOT GIVE YOUR PHONE NUMBER TO A STRANGER, and check with us before giving it to an adult or a teenager.
  • When you're away from home ENJOY your time with friends but please keep your phone charged and check it every now and then. We may need to reach you for some reason or another and it's important that you are reach-able.
If you have read this far and don't have any questions and are ready to sign this document then, CONGRATULATIONS, you are a proud cell-phone owner and continue to be a responsible member of this family. Thank you for all that you do to contribute to this household.

I Jascha Stern Agree to this contract. Also I am awesome. _____________ ______
                                                                                             (signature here) (date here)


  1. This is wonderful. I can't think of thing to add or change. Just be prepared for a learning curve--it may not be smooth sailing immediately.

  2. "Also, I am awesome."
    Pretty sure it's an inherited trait.

  3. this makes me smile - it's such a great idea and executed so well! And I appreciate Donna E's insight that this will be a process. You and Jill and Jascha can evolve your agreement as time goes on. Great job!