Rules For Your Kids & Their Smartphone

Do you have rules and reg­u­la­tions for your kids and their smart­phones?  One mom gave her 13 year old an iPhone for Christ­mas, and it came with the fol­low­ing letter.

What do you think of her par­ent­ing style and what rules do you have for your kids in regards to technology?

Dear Gre­gory

Merry Christ­mas! You are now the proud owner of an iPhone. You are a good & respon­si­ble 13 year old boy and you deserve this gift. But with the accep­tance of this present comes rules and reg­u­la­tions. Please read through the fol­low­ing con­tract. I hope that you under­stand it is my job to raise you into a well rounded, healthy young man that can func­tion in the world and coex­ist with tech­nol­ogy, not be ruled by it. Fail­ure to com­ply with the fol­low­ing list will result in ter­mi­na­tion of your iPhone ownership.

I love you madly & look for­ward to shar­ing sev­eral mil­lion text mes­sages with you in the days to come.

1. It is my phone. I bought it. I pay for it. I am loan­ing it to you. Aren’t I the greatest?

2. I will always know the password.

3. 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”. Not ever.

4. Hand the phone to one of your par­ents promptly at 7:30pm every school night & every week­end night at 9:00pm. It will be shut off for the night and turned on again at 7:30am. If you would not make a call to someone’s land line, wherein their par­ents may answer first, then do not call or text. Lis­ten to those instincts and respect other fam­i­lies like we would like to be respected.

5. It does not go to school with you. Have a con­ver­sa­tion with the peo­ple you text in per­son. It’s a life skill. *Half days, field trips and after school activ­i­ties will require spe­cial consideration.

6. If it falls into the toi­let, smashes on the ground, or van­ishes into thin air, you are respon­si­ble for the replace­ment costs or repairs. Mow a lawn, babysit, stash some birth­day money. It will hap­pen, you should be prepared.

7. 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.

8. Do not text, email, or say any­thing through this device you would not say in person.

9. Do not text, email, or say any­thing to some­one that you would not say out loud with their par­ents in the room. Cen­sor yourself.

10. No porn. Search the web for infor­ma­tion you would openly share with me. If you have a ques­tion about any­thing, ask a per­son ? prefer­ably me or your father.

11. Turn it off, silence it, put it away in pub­lic. Espe­cially in a restau­rant, at the movies, or while speak­ing with another human being. You are not a rude per­son; do not allow the iPhone to change that.

12. Do not send or receive pic­tures of your pri­vate parts or any­one else’s pri­vate parts. Don’t laugh. Some­day you will be tempted to do this despite your high intel­li­gence. It is risky and could ruin your teenage/college/adult life. It is always a bad idea. Cyber­space is vast and more pow­er­ful than you. And it is hard to make any­thing of this mag­ni­tude dis­ap­pear — includ­ing a bad reputation.

13. Don’t take a zil­lion pic­tures and videos. There is no need to doc­u­ment every­thing. Live your expe­ri­ences. They will be stored in your mem­ory for eternity.

14. 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. Be big­ger and more pow­er­ful than FOMO — fear of miss­ing out.

15. Down­load music that is new or clas­sic or 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.

16. Play a game with words or puz­zles or brain teasers every now and then.

17. Keep your eyes up. See the world hap­pen­ing around you. Stare out a win­dow. Lis­ten to the birds. Take a walk. Talk to a stranger. Won­der with­out googling.

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

It is my hope that you can agree to these terms. Most of the lessons listed here do not just apply to the iPhone, but to life. You are grow­ing up in a fast and ever chang­ing world. It is excit­ing and entic­ing. Keep it sim­ple every chance you get. Trust your pow­er­ful mind and giant heart above any machine. I love you. I hope you enjoy your awe­some new iPhone. Merry Christmas!





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