Would You Be Cool With Your Parents Telling You How To Use Your Phone?


Do your parents watch your every phone move? | Source: Shutterstock.com

Dealing with smartphone contracts through your cell phone provider can already be a hassle. But what if you had to sign another iPhone contract – one that your parents wrote for you?

Well, that’s the story for one 13-year-old boy, who got a smartphone for Christmas along with an iPhone contract of 18 rules that were written by his mom. The story has generated some debate, and I want to know what you guys think.

I feel like if my parents handed me this particular contract when they gave me a phone, I would just be like “OKAY, YEAH, WHATEVER, I SIGN, LET ME PLAY ANGRY BIRDS NOW!” Then later when I actually read through the rules, I know that to a few of them, teen me would have said “WTF?” (in my head of course, as my mom would not be happy with that language).

According to a few of the rules, her son can’t bring it to school, shouldn’t have it out in public and he also should be cool with leaving it at home a lot of the time. For that last one, the mom tells her son not be worried about having FOMO (props to this mom for knowing what that is!) if he doesn’t have his phone. I think teenager Meg would be more worried about having FONGMAP or “fear of nobody getting me after practice,” and I’m actually pretty sure that is the only reason my parents even bought me a cell phone as a teen.

If my parents tried to lay out when and where I could use my iPhone, regardless of their good intentions, I think the first message I’d take away is “You don’t trust me to be responsible.” The mom who wrote the contract has said that she hasn’t gotten that response from her son, but she has from other people commenting on her rules.

Also, it feels like a couple of the contract points aren’t necessarily safety or time-sensitive things, but veer a little more into “how to live your life” territory, such as the points to download a variety of music and still appreciate the outdoors. I mean, most kids will be doing all of those things anyway without their parents including it in a written contract. I could totally see how teens could feel micromanaged by rules that seem a bit overboard.

Still, in the grand scheme of the contract, I do think this mom here offers talking points on some important topics that maybe aren’t at the front of every teen’s mind. Things like the consequences of taking naked pictures or not walking around with your eyes glued to your phone (which can be really dangerous).

As much as I could see my teen self being totally offended by my mom handing me this iPhone contract, I totally feel for this mom. If you’ve ever babysat, you know the kind of panic there is when you realize all of the things that could go wrong. I imagine for parents it is like that every single day and you just want to keep your kids safe and also well-rounded. Different things work for different families, and if this iPhone contract works well for them, then awesome.

Personally, I know I’m going to be a totally overprotective mom. It’s just my personality. I pledge now though to keep in mind that when future mom Meg is writing up a list of phone rules (or by that point, who knows what technology we will have), I will take a second to consider how teen Meg would have felt about the whole thing and proceed from there so everyone in my family is happy.

Do you agree with some of the rules in this iPhone contract? Did your parents make you sign some kind of contract before getting your smartphone? If your parents gave you these rules about how to use your iPhone, what would you say? Tell us in the comments!


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  • Katie

    Wow this is messed up 1m 17 n if my parents told me i would hav to follow this id die i dont have a iphone but i hav an ipod touch but u r crazy

  • Mal

    I think to start off that the mom should trust that her son is going to use the phone responsibly. Then if she finds out that he is using the phone too frequently or if he is using it for bullying, porn, etc. then that’s when the phone should be temporarily taken away and/or rules should be enforced.

  • Tayy

    I don’t think most of them are totally unreasonable. I mean when the 5 came out, guess how many got stolen in my school 5…in one week. So I think he should be allowed to take it to school but it has to be in his locker. He should not take it out in public ie train, bus, walking etcc.. unless necessary. The no naked pics is great for his age, censor yourself is a good one too, as well as don’t deceive people with the technology.. That phone curfew of 730 is a bit early should be 9 on weekdays, and weekends 11, children like to talk too. No porn is good too but unrealistic for a 13year old boy. You break it you buy it is good.. but the parents should cover the first one. Any of the rest of them are how to live your life rules.

  • bakerychaz

    Those iPhone rules are cruel. Clearly the boy’s mother is completely overreacting
    The things she’s telling him not to do is the things that a phone’s for!

  • basschick

    if you did not buy it, then your rights are limited. period. he should have to wait to get a job and save up for one. he would appreciate it more.

  • Sierra

    Honestly? He’s 13. I wasn’t allowed a phone until high school, and they took it away when my grades started to slip that year. As I never got them back up by the end of the year, I just don’t get it back (I’m a junior in high school, taking only college classes, and on the Dean’s List, by the way). Parents have rules, and some more than others. I don’t see how it’s anyone’s business or even (in this case) that big of a deal.