“Can you believe that KIDS have their own cell phones now-a-days?! I was {insert college-age here} when I received MY first cell phone!”

(totally telling my age by that statement!)

I’m guilty. I admit it. All three of my kids {ages 16, 14, and 12} have their own phone.

It didn’t start out as a normal thing. It actually began when my oldest was 10, and my husband and I were going through a separation. I needed a way to communicate with them (or at least that’s what we told the kids, to give them a peace of mind about talking to mom or dad any time they needed).

But now, doesn’t it seem like it’s become the norm that our children need a cell phone? They walk around the mall with their cell phone tucked in their back pocket, or sit around a table snapping a photo of their food, then sending it off to their friends to like and share.

In their defense, ya… Phones have music. Phones have useful apps. Phones have cameras. And, they are becoming more and more affordable within a family plan. However, handing over a mini-computer to these not-always-responsible humans will send most parents into a mini panic attack. Will they break it? Will they make wrong choices when texting? Will they search the internet for inappropriate content?

Left to their own free will, the answer to all of the above questions is YES. Yes, they will make poor choices, unless we give them boundaries.

Make your kids sign a cell phone contract!

Kids, like athletes need to sign a contract! Kids need boundaries. They need rules. They need consequences if they break those rules! To help you out, here’s a {PRINTABLE} cell phone contract.

It includes rules like:

I understand :

  • that having a cell phone is a privilege, and that if I fail to adhere to this contract, my cell phone privilege may be revoked.
  • that my cell phone may be taken away if I talk back to my parents, I fail to do my chores, or I fail to keep my grades up.
  • that I am responsible for knowing where my phone is.
  • if the phone is damaged, it is my responsibility to fix it.

The device :

  • I will charge my phone every night
  • I will keep track of my phone charger
  • I will use a screen protector at all times
  • I will keep a protective phone case on at all times

Texting rules :

  • I will not send threatening or mean texts to others
  • I will not text or place phone calls after ____ p.m.
  • I will not delete any messages or photos

Photos :

  • I will not send embarrassing photos of my family or friends to others. In addition, I will not use my phone’s camera to take embarrassing photos of others
  • I will keep my private parts private. I will not send photos of my body to anyone
  • I will not ask for another person to send photos of their body

Other general rules :

  • I will give all passwords and login information to my parents
  • I will willingly hand over phone at any time for parents to monitor my activity
  • I will not bring my cell phone to the family dinner table
  • I will ask permission before downloading apps
  • I will not go over our plan’s monthly minutes or text message limits. If I do, I understand that I may be responsible for paying any additional charges or that I may lose my cell phone privileges
  • I will make sure my phone is turned off when I am in church, in restaurants, or quiet settings
  • I will obey any rules my school has regarding cell phones, such as turning them off during class, or keeping them on vibrate while riding the school bus
  • I promise I will alert my parents when I receive suspicious or alarming phone calls or text messages from people I don’t know

We’ve also added some apps that are a non-negotiable. 

  1. Life360. This location-based service is designed primarily to allow friends or family members to share location with each other. We are also able to keep track of how fast they are driving, and where they are at all times.
  2. FaceTime is another feature we are able to use, since we all have iPhones. This gives us the opportunity to call and see their lovely faces 🙂
  3. We currently don’t have spyware installed, but we could! In the past (when one of our kids was caught in a lie) we installed a program that gave timestamps and all of the words typed. Thankfully we are past that time period, but it was very helpful when we needed it.

So what do you think? Maybe you have a toddler and you haven’t even begun to imagine the day when your child would have their own phone. Or maybe you’re like me… in the thick of it. Either way, it’s our responsibility to give our kids rules, no matter how much they (don’t) like it.

Best of luck!

FREE printable Cell Phone Contract!

Updated 3/22/2023


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