A Smart Phone Contract for Children (text to copy and paste)

My Smart Phone Contract

______________________   _______________________ agrees to the following conditions: 

[First Name]                                 [Last Name] 

1.    The phone that you are using belongs to your parents. Your parents pay the monthly service. It is simply being  loaned to you. 

2.    We will always know your passwords and passcodes to the phone, email and social media accounts. If you change them, you will inform us immediately. If you post something we disapprove of, you agree to delete it withoutargument.  

3.    You want to download something? Ask permission. You want to buy something? Pay up.   

4.    If it rings, answer it. It is a phone. Say hello, use your manners. Do not ever ignore a phone call if the screen reads “Mom” or “Dad” or one of your family members.  Not ever.

5.    Shut down the phone promptly at 9 pm every school night and every weekend by 10 pm. 

·      On Saturdays, the phone can be turned on after breakfast. 

·      On Sundays, the phone can be turned on when we leave for church.  It will not be on during services! 

There may be parent-approved exceptions to these times. We are always open to reasonable discussions, so feel free to ask.

6.    Never take the phone into bed with you. Phones in bed aid phone addiction, hinders your sleep, and has other negative side effects. Social science says so. And, so does common sense.

7.    It does not come out at school unless you have been asked to use it by a teacher or if you need to call mom or dad.

8.    If it falls into the toilet, smashes on the ground, a friend breaks it or it vanishes into thin air, you are responsible for replacement costs or repairs. 

9.    Do not use this technology to lie, fool, or deceive another human being. Do not involve yourself in conversations that are hurtful to others. Be a good friend first or stay out of the crossfire. Remember, you are an Orthodox Christian.

10.  Do not text, email, or say anything through this device you would not say in person or without your parent in the room.  Censor yourself.  Remember, you are an Orthodox Christian.

11.  Search the web for information you would openly share with us. Do not search for inappropriate images or view pornography. If you have a question about anything, ask your parents, a grandparent, a godparent, a youth worker, our clergy. Remember, you are an Orthodox Christian.

12.  Turn it off, silence it, put it away in public, especially at family functions, in a restaurant, at the movies, in church services and youth groups, or while speaking with another human being. And never ever bring it to the dinner table. You are not a rude person; do not allow the phone to change that.

13.  Do not send or receive any inappropriate photos of yourself or others. Someday you may be tempted to do this. It is risky and could ruin your teenage/college/adult life. It is always a bad idea. Cyberspace is vast and powerful. It is hard to make anything of this magnitude disappear—including a bad reputation. Remember, you are an Orthodox Christian.

14.  Don’t take a zillion pictures and videos. There is no need to document everything or post it to social media. If you don’t post it, it still happened. Live your experiences. Thanks be to God, these experiences will be stored in your memory for eternity.

15.  Leave your phone home sometimes and feel safe and secure in that decision. It is not alive or an extension of you. Learn to live without it. Control it, don’t let it control you. 

16.  Download music that different than the millions of your peers that listen to the same exact stuff. Your generation has access to music like never before in history. Take advantage of that gift. Expand your horizons.

17.  Always be aware of your surroundings.  Keep your eyes up. See the world happening around you and be safe. Stare out a window. Listen to the birds. Take a walk. Talk to friends. Wonder without googling.

18.  You will mess up. We will take away your phone. We will sit down and talk about it. We will start over again. You and us, we are always learning. We are on your team. We are in this together.

19.   Download Apps that encourage your growth in Christ and that also make you a better human being.  

20.   Above all else, think and reflect on how you can glorify God in your cell phone use. From time to time ask, “How does/can this help me to love God?” and “How does/can this help me to love my neighbor?” These are the two greatest commandments. 

Read over this contract every few months or post it somewhere visible in your room to remind yourself of these things. We reserve the right to add additional rules whenever we deem it necessary.  If you violate the terms of this contract, we will immediately confiscate the phone and determine a course of action that may or may not include you earning it back.

You are loved by your family and by God.  Therefore, use this technology wisely, honoring your family, your friends, your faith, and God.  

_________________________          _________________________          _________________­

Your Signature                                          Parent’s Signature(s)                                                Date


Modified from: “To My 13-Year-Old, An iPhone Contract From Your Mom, With Love” by Janell Burley Hofmann (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/janell-burley-hofmann/iphone-contract-from-your-mom_b_2372493.html)