Cell phones and cell phones technology have been both a blessing and a curse. We spend more time on our phones than ever before. For a lot of parents, being able to use their cell phones for work and scheduling means they can spend more time at home, and are better able to stay on top of their busy lives. When our kids reach a certain age, many of them ask for or start using their own phone. It gives them a way to stay connected to their friends, classmates, and families. It also helps parents keep tabs on their kids, checking in regularly on their location or social media use.
But giving a tween a phone can also open up a big can of worms.
We want to make sure that our kids are using that technology responsibly, and not putting themselves or others at risk. If you're thinking of getting your tweens and teens a cell phone, it's a good idea to have a cell phone contract in place. This contract can set some very specific ground rules, along with clear-cut consequences when those rules are broken.
VeryWell Family came up with a really great sample cell phone contract to use when that time comes. It covers a lot of basics, like usage, appropriate behavior, and responsibilities. It also lays out punishments and consequences for the holder, should they violate any of the contract rules.
Some of the things it covers are things like promises to not use the cell phone to bully others, which is very important. Another point to add is when and where to be allowed to use the phone -- like not at the dinner table or while in class. Promises to not go over the allotted data or phone plan, or rack up extra charges.
If you're ready for your tween to have a cell phone, and feel as though they're ready to take on that big responsibility, consider putting a cell phone contract in place. It can help keep their usage and behavior in line, and give you an easy course for repercussions should they fail to uphold their end of the bargain.