For many parents, one of the toughest decisions they’ll ever have to make is whether their child is ready to handle the responsibility having of a cell phone yet.  Today, children as young as first and second grade are asking for their own phone and, in some cases, they are getting it.  With the rise in school violence and mall shootings, parents seem to feel a sense of relief by giving their children a cell phone and being able to monitor their location at all times. Regardless of the reason and age you deem appropriate to give your child his or her own cell phone, it is wise to give them a cell phone contract to go with it.  By giving them a cell phone contract and having them sign on the dotted line, agreeing to all terms and conditions, you are putting the responsibility in their hands.  If rules in the contract are broken, consequences will follow, as they do in many real life situations.  Below is a general contract that I’ve created for my own daughter and have shared with many friends and family!  Use it, make changes to it and add or delete items as you see fit.

Kids and cell phones at school.

  1. I will not give my phone number to anyone that I do not personally know well and completely trust.
  2. I will have my phone with me at all times.  It will remain in my backpack while I am at school and will not come out until school lets out.
  3. While I am at church, a movie theater, the library or any other area that requires silence, my phone will be on vibrate or silenced completely.
  4. If my parents call or text me, I must answer and/or reply, regardless of where I am.
  5. If my phone is protected with a password, I must always provide my parents with it.
  6. My parents are allowed to check my phone at any time, day or night.
  7. The cell phone is not to be brought to the dinner table at home or while at a restaurant.
  8. My phone will be shut off from 9 p.m. until 7 a.m.
  9. When I return home from school, I will not use my phone until my homework and chores are completed.
  10. I will not use my cell phone to send threatening messages or any inappropriate messages of any kind.
  11. If I go over my minutes and/or text messages at any time during the month, I will give my parents the phone until the next billing cycle begins.
  12. I will not use my cell phone to take embarrassing photos of myself, my friends or anyone else.
  13. I will not use my phone to go on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media site unless I have received permission from my parents.
  14. I will not download any apps without first asking my parents for permission.
  15. I will always accept text messages from family locator services so that my parents can know where I am.
  16. If my voice mail is full, I will delete them.
  17. If I receive a message or phone call that scares me, threatens me or offends me in any way, I will talk to my parents about it and show it to them if possible.
  18. I will not let anyone else borrow or use my cell phone. If someone needs to make a phone call from your phone for emergency purposes, make sure YOU are dialing the number so YOU know that it is local and not a call that will add charges to your account.
  19. If I break the phone, drop it in water, lose it or damage it in any way, I will replace it with my own allowance and/or money earned.
  20. If I break one of the rules above, I agree to talk about it with my parents and decide how to make positive changes so it does not happen again.