A Parent-Teen Personal Technology Contract

Now What, Mr. Smarty-Pants?

First, it's Dr. Smart-Pants.

Okay, so, you've decided that it is now time to move on from the arrangement you've had with your child under which you loan them an "extra" cell phone for specific times and purposes and you hope they are now ready for a personal cell phone they can more or less call their own.

This is also information for those of you who have already given your preschooler (sorry, snarky) a cell phone and there's been a problem. Or, could be you've given your kid a phone and now are just looking to a way to PREVENT problems. Way to go!

Why a Contract?

I've learned from my extensive work with parents that it's a really good idea to write down rules. This approach led to my widely use parent-child teen driving contract. Which, I remind you, is free. (This is why I'm not rich. I've run from money my whole life. It's another "problem" I have.)

Even if it's time to allow your child to tote around his or her own phone,, think twice about providing it without a written agreement. Why write it down? For the same reason people do written contracts of any kind. It communicates the seriousness with which you take all of this. It eliminates (or at least reduces) later disagreements about what you said and what you meant. It just plain works better.

Here's the text for a model agreement I've worked out. After you read it, you can copy and paste into your handy word processing software (I prefer the 1987 version of WordPerfect*) and make any changes you wish.

I can think of LOTS of things you could add. For example, I tend to generally focus on safety, and you might want to add items that pertain to good manners.

  • Do not use your phone or other digital device during family meals.
  • When I, as your parent, is trying to nag you about something, do not be checking text messages. Look at me when I'm lecturing you.

It's free. If you use it, please let me know by email. I just like to know when people use my stuff. Makes me feel useful. Also, please consider passing this website on to your friends and family.

I'm presenting the text below and then at the bottom of the page is a link to download it as a Word file. If you have any trouble, let me know.

You cannot use any material on this website, including the contract, for a commercial purpose. It's licensed for personal, non-commercial use. Don't even think about turning a buck on this when I don't. I'll slap a bunch of lawyers on you so fast it will make you drop your smartphone.

*just kidding