A kid getting their first cell phone is a BIG deal, and not just for them, but for their parents as well. It is a child’s first step towards independence and their parents eventually having to let them live their own life. About 40% of Americans believe that kids should be able to get a cell phone starting in Middle School, according to Panda Security. I happen to agree with this, however it’s ultimately up to each parent to make the final decision. Before parents go ahead and get their child a cell phone, it’s often advised to create and agree upon a mobile phone contract. Below are our tips for creating a cell phone contract for kids.
Create The Contract Before You Get The Cell Phone
First and foremost, make sure you create the contact prior to getting your child a cell phone. One of the biggest mistakes parents make is creating a contact or rules to follow after the fact. If this happens, your child will think you don’t trust them or that they did something wrong. By having the contact complete and signed beforehand, you and your child will have a mutual understanding of what is expected from both parties.
Include These Essential Items In Your Child’s Cell Phone Contract
When creating a cell phone contract for your child, there are many essential elements that must be included. Below, we’ve listed some of those items you need to include.
- The name of you and your child.
- The type of phone you are giving them.
- If they are responsible for paying for anything (accessories, apps, etc.)
- What parental controls and/or monitoring apps you will use on their phone.
- An agreement to not use their phone to: cyberbully, sext, contact strangers, view explicit or age-inappropriate content, and more.
- You must be aware of all passwords your child uses on their phone.
- Rules pertaining to the usage of their phone. Example: Not using their phone after 9pm or only using it 3 hours a day.
- That they understand standard phone, internet, and social media safety rules that you teach them.
- Consequences if any of the listed rules and regulations are broken.
- Agreement and Signature Section.
You Both Must Mutually Agree On The Contract and Sign It
After discussing the contract and including the necessary items, review the contract together. Make sure you both agree upon the rules and items in it. If there are any disagreements, negotiate and find a compromise. After the mobile phone contract has been reviewed, have both you and your child sign it to make it official.
Teach Them How To Use Their Phone and Safety Rules
After getting the contract signed, it’s time to get them a phone! Instead of just handing the phone over to your child, teach them how to use it and the proper safety rules they should follow. You should also teach them about dangers to avoid such as cyberbullying. Here are some basic smartphone safety rules to teach your child:
- Don’t text with or friend anyone on apps and social media that you don’t know.
- Don’t view content online and use apps you shouldn’t be.
- Don’t post or message anything you wouldn’t want your parents to see.
To get you started, we have created a cell phone contract you can use and customize to fit the needs of both you and your child.
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