Would you accept an iPhone from your parents if it came with these terms?

I love Christmas. For me, it’s about spending time with family that I rarely get to see anymore and eating good food. I have to say though, when I was younger, it was almost certainly more about the presents under the tree. I was never lucky enough to get a $500 smartphone, but I do remember getting some pretty awesome Transformers and Scalextrics toys.

That said, I’d think twice about accepting a top of the range gadget from my parents if it came with the lengthy 18-point terms outlined below by one teenager’s mother. He would not be allowed the device at all if he didn’t agree to the contract.

“Dear Gregory

Merry Christmas!  You are now the proud owner of an iPhone.  Hot Damn!  You are a good & responsible 13 year old boy and you deserve this gift.  But with the acceptance of this present comes rules and regulations.  Please read through the following contract.  I hope that you understand it is my job to raise you into a well rounded, healthy young man that can function in the world and coexist with technology, not be ruled by it.  Failure to comply with the following list will result in termination of your iPhone ownership.

I love you madly & look forward to sharing several million text messages with you in the days to come.

1. It is my phone.  I bought it.  I pay for it.  I am loaning it to you.  Aren’t I the greatest?

2.  I will always know the password.

3.   If it rings, answer it.  It is a phone.  Say hello, use your manners.  Do not ever ignore a phone call if the screen reads “Mom” or “Dad”.  Not ever.

4.  Hand the phone to one of your parents promptly at 7:30pm every school night & every weekend night at 9:00pm.  It will be shut off for the night and turned on again at 7:30am.  If you would not make a call to someone’s land line, wherein their parents may answer first, then do not call or text.  Listen to those instincts and respect other families like we would like to be respected.

5.  It does not go to school with you.  Have a conversation with the people you text in person.  It’s a life skill.  *Half days, field trips and after school activities will require special consideration.

6.  If it falls into the toilet, smashes on the ground, or vanishes into thin air, you are responsible for the replacement costs or repairs.  Mow a lawn, babysit, stash some birthday money.  It will happen, you should be prepared.

7.  Do not use this technology to lie, fool, or deceive another human being.  Do not involve yourself in conversations that are hurtful to others.  Be a good friend first or stay the hell out of the crossfire.

8.  Do not text, email, or say anything through this device you would not say in person.

9.  Do not text, email, or say anything to someone that you would not say out loud with their parents in the room.  Censor yourself.

10.  No porn.  Search the web for information you would openly share with me.  If you have a question about anything, ask a person – preferably me or your father.

11.  Turn it off, silence it, put it away in public.  Especially in a restaurant, at the movies, or while speaking with another human being.  You are not a rude person; do not allow the iPhone to change that.

12.  Do not send or receive pictures of your private parts or anyone else’s private parts.  Don’t laugh.  Someday you will be tempted to do this despite your high intelligence.  It is risky and could ruin your teenage/college/adult life.  It is always a bad idea.  Cyberspace is vast and more powerful than you.  And it is hard to make anything of this magnitude disappear – including a bad reputation.

13.  Don’t take a zillion pictures and videos.  There is no need to document everything.  Live your experiences.  They will be stored in your memory for eternity.

14.  Leave your phone home sometimes and feel safe and secure in that decision.  It is not alive or an extension of you.  Learn to live without it.  Be bigger and more powerful than FOMO – fear of missing out.

15.  Download music that is new or classic or different than the millions of your peers that listen to the same exact stuff.  Your generation has access to music like never before in history.  Take advantage of that gift.  Expand your horizons.

16.  Play a game with words or puzzles or brain teasers every now and then.

17.  Keep your eyes up.  See the world happening around you.  Stare out a window.  Listen to the birds.  Take a walk.  Talk to a stranger.  Wonder without googling.

18.  You will mess up.  I will take away your phone.  We will sit down and talk about it.  We will start over again.  You & I, we are always learning.  I am on your team.  We are in this together.

It is my hope that you can agree to these terms.  Most of the lessons listed here do not just apply to the iPhone, but to life.  You are growing up in a fast and ever changing world.  It is exciting and enticing. Keep it simple every chance you get.  Trust your powerful mind and giant heart above any machine.  I love you.  I hope you enjoy your awesome new iPhone.  Merry Christmas!



I myself am a parent. Thankfully, my kids are still at the stage where they’re impressed by pop-up books and candy. But, there are some very interesting points in there which raise a few questions about our culture. Do you agree with all the points on the list? Would you take a phone with these terms? Let us know your thoughts.

Via: CultofMac
Source: JanellBurleyHofmannn



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  • SquidlyMan

    Totally agree with the contract. Too many parents break these rules and think its ok to be rude. Put your phone down, silence it, or just turn it off and talk with me.

  • LyssaDanehy

    Quite honestly, I think these rules should apply to all of us. These aren’t really “rules” anyway, they are more “values” about living your life awake and with integrity. These values are just being taught with a iPhone. Good on her, Gregory is a lucky kid to have such a thoughtful parent.

  • JoaodeMatos

    And that’s how you get your son on drugs!

  • JordanF

    As much as I cringed when I read the title, I see nothing wrong with this.  The kid is 13, not 18 and frankly more parents should be this involved with their kids’ lives.

  • Matt Chroust

    Just a couple points – if Gregory’s mom wants to test her son’s responsibility, she should make him pay for the phone and experience the pain of the monthly bill. Not, as she says in #6, just stash birthday money or mow lawns in case it breaks or is lost.
    Then her son will actually be, as she originally writes, a proud new iPhone owner, not, as she later explains in #1, just borrowing his mom’s phone.
    And, #13 – don’t take a zillion pictures? #17 …Talk to a stranger?? That’s just crazy talk.

  • mleignadier

    @jossiejimenez @alexmedela @karen_chalmers buenísimo!!! Lo imprimiré #Feliz2013

  • jossiejimenez

    @mleignadier @alexmedela @karen_chalmers hay que ponerlo en un kit para todas las telefónicas!

  • alexmedela

    @mleignadier @jossiejimenez @karen_chalmers Está muy bueno!!! Abrazos, se les quiere!

  • jossiejimenez

    @alexmedela @mleignadier @karen_chalmers igual amis! Feliz 2013! Gracias por su amistad y los cocorronazos!

  • mleignadier

    @jossiejimenez @alexmedela @karen_chalmers love u all #Feliz2013

  • jrpetersjr

    This is amazing. Everything said here is very true. I don’t have a kid now, but when I do I will be doing this. As much as I love technology I will say that I use it too much. I use it as an extension of my body and my self. There are things that I miss because I’m looking at my phone or my laptop. I commend these parents for making this contract. The only thing I have a problem with is taking the phone at 9:30. I don’t know if this kid has a curfew but 9:30 is a little early. Lots of the time I wouldn’t even get home until 8:30-9 when I was 13.

  • whoknowswhereor

    I think this is great. Not all parents are mature enough to do this for their kids. Kusdos!

  • Lwidingv

    This is crazy. All the kid needs is basic rules like don’t use it during dinner or school etc, but this is excessive. Over-parenting is what makes children want to break rules, and act out… crazy parents

  • mjandron

    @techlover86 Lol, can’t bring it to school and have to hand it in at 7:30 on school nights. Fun. Might as well get an iPod.

  • PhillipRamirez

    Are you kidding me?! Most, if not all, of these rules apply to ALL smart phone users! I’m seriously re-thinking my OWN user habits!!! Thanks, Mom!

  • MaeganBabcock

    I think this is an excellent idea!

  • KEVOzWorld

    Are you kidding me?? If I was that kid, I would give that phone back in a heart beat! That is beyond sheltering you child.

  • DrewBradford

    I think this is the most ridiculous thing in the world. You have to adapt to the way people live there lives or be left behind. This poor kid will end up getting left behind if he lives his life with his parents rules. When he turns 17-18 is when NFC payment will be highly rolled out. Music will be played off your phone in your car regularly. Not much need for radio. People will video chat more and the phone will have so many uses but this sheltered child will be scared of this broad fully automated world. By 2020 they expect no car keys. Your phone is your key. So why hold him back just because you want him to see life as you did as a child? Yes I miss life when I was a kid and everything was simpler but I DO NOT want to encourage the younger generations to live that life. They need to embrace the future.

  • Tuliomesa82

    i don’t think i would go as far as checking their phone every night ._. kids have privacy and boundaries and i sure as hell wouldn’t appreciate my parents seeing everything i do