Over the years I have heard many ideas from parents regarding how to keep kids safe with their cell phone; and more often about how they keep the cell phone from becoming their child's teenage-invisible friend at the dinner table.
I think most agree that kids having a cell phone really helps in terms of safety, reaching their kids, and pick ups and drop offs. Below I pasted a "cell pone contract" for first time cell phone users. I thought it was a great way to get started on a conversation with kids, identify potential conflict situations, and to hopefully avoid them. Do others have ideas? Do any kids or youth have ideas about what has worked for them and their parents? Or parents with more experience please chime in.
Our Family Cell Phone Contract
My cell phone will be used with the discussed following rules:
_______ All Contacts in the Phone Book must be reviewed by Mom or Dad
_______ No calls/texts after ______ weekdays, ______ weekends (unless pre-approved)
_______ Our Plan allows ___________ text messages and ______ minutes a month.
_______ I will not download Apps or programs without permission first.
_______ No Cell Phone at any meal or during family time (unless preapproved)
_______ Web Surfing has been disabled ____ activated _______.
_______ If asked to turn off/stop playing/get off cell phone, I must do so immediately.
_______ At home, I will use ___ the land line or ___ cell phone to make calls.
_______ I will carry my cell phone and it will be turned “on” so an adult can reach me.
_______ We have an open _____ closed ____ text viewing policy for all family members
_______ I will text my parents if I need a “way out” of a risky peer situation.
_______ I will put my phone ______________________ during bedtime hours.
_______ I will not text or use the phone while operating a vehicle.
The following consequences will be implemented if the rules are broken:
______ If I go over in texts/minutes, I must pay the difference for that month.
______ If asked more than twice to turn off/put down the cell then phone privileges will be
removed for a period of __________.
______ This is a one-month trial period, if all rules are followed for thirty days, mom and dad
______ This contract will be reevaluated every six months to evaluate privileges such as: added texts,
web surfing or extra money for ring tones etc.
______ If I am caught texting/calling while driving I will ________________________.
Reprinted with permission of Savvy Parents Safe Kids