Cell Phone Contract With Your Kids

I am not one to address cell phone etiquette. As an adult and parent these are areas of your responsibility where I am not an expert. What I can offer advice on are security concerns as a parent and as a security professional and that is what I’ve done in the companion article to this one.

I have read quite a few articles online and I am using information from many of those articles also. I am providing links to those articles at the end of this article so you can review each of their perspectives and offerings on the information as well as giving them credit for their contribution to the general online discussion and presentation of this material.

While I’m one for trying to be thorough, I would think twenty-one terms with as much wording as I’ve included below would be a bit much for most kids.  It isn’t that they can’t live by the principals, but as an adult, look at it like the contract you signed to purchase your house.  It’s difficult for most to understand every single item because of volume alone.  So my suggestion would be to distill the information down to what you think is necessary for your child and try to get it to about seven rules that you can state in a sentence each.  Again, you are the parent and should best be able to determine which rules work (or are needed) for your child and how you can best present them.

    1. You can only provide your phone number to those whom Mom and Dad have given explicit permission to.
    2. Do not answer any calls or reply to any texts unless you know who it is (approved by Mom and Dad from above).
    3. Keep cell phone on when out with friends so Mom or Dad can reach you if needed and always answer when we call.
    4. You can only call or text those who are on your contact list. Any additions to your contact list must be approved by Mom or Dad.
    5. No downloads (apps, ring tones, etc) or using the internet without permission ahead of time — this costs extra.  Perhaps a prescribed number of apps or ring tones as incentives?
    6. Phone MUST be turned off by 9pm each evening and left in the kitchen for charging. It stays off till the next morning after you’re ready for school and/or chores are done.
    7. The phone may be used after homework and chores are completed.
    8. No cell phone till your homework is done after school and during family times (dinner, family night, etc).
    9. The phone is to be turned off when visiting with relatives or friends, or at other inappropriate times (movies, museums, etc.)
    10. When at home, use the regular phone instead of cell phone to make calls.
    11. When asked to turn off phone, it must be done immediately. If a second request is needed, phone will be taken away for a day.
    12. Sending pictures to anyone requires permission by Mom or Dad at first. Once judgement is demonstrated additional privileges can be granted.  If you send or receive any pictures that may be inappropriate or even questionable, please inform Mom and Dad immediately.
    13. If gossip, bad language, or immodest pictures are taken, phone may be taken away for a specific time period or permanently.
    14. Phone must be on “silent mode” during school hours and left in your backpack (unless you are leaving the school for a field trip or something similar — then keep it with you). The phone cannot be used at school during school hours unless you have your teacher’s approval first. Know your school’s rules for cell phones and follow them.
    15. If grades go down, and are not corrected quickly, cell phone privileges will be lost until grades are back up.
    16. Mom & Dad have the right to inspect your phone at any time.
    17. There is a 2 hour (or some prescribed) limit for your cell phone use for the month. If you go over that time you must pay for the overage.
    18. Mom and Dad may ask you to be responsible for a portion of the monthly bill or to pay for the additional services (text, Internet, etc) if you wish to have them. You may have privileges suspended at any time you are behind in payment terms.  (This is probably only appropriate for older children and helps teach financial responsibility along with the use.)
    19. Determine if you will allow texting. Kids can rapidly run up a large phone bill with texting.
    20. Web surfing is disabled.  If not disabled (e.g. an iPhone where it’s necessary) then surfing is restricted and monitored.
    21. If any rules are broken, Mom or Dad may put your phone on “time-out” for as long as we feel it is necessary.

This is a one-month trial period, if all rules are followed for thirty days, Mom and Dad will increase hours on weekends.

This contract will be reevaluated every six months to possibly receive more texts, web surfing or extra money for ring tones etc.

We agree to the above by signing our signatures here: _______ ________

Thanks to many online resources for the aggregate of this information.  Please see many specifically referenced here for more info:


6 thoughts on “Cell Phone Contract With Your Kids

  1. Kev, I think this is a fantastic article, especially for parents who are just contemplating allowing their child access to a phone. I wish I had thought of it, though we have been really lucky.
    I think the rule about having the phone off during family times is essential. You see so many kids pretending to spend time with their families when they are just texting away. I do think we will discuss no phone usage when we are having a family get together or dinner. Great point, thanks.

  2. Some good ground rules but some may be difficult to enforce, like who they give their number too. Obviously they are going to give them out to friends at school etc.


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