A cell phone can be a great tool or a dangerous weapon. When entering the world of cell phone usage for kids, we want to teach them to make wise choices. This cell phone contract for kids or teens can be used to usher you and your kids into this next phase of their growing up experience. This can be a scary time, but I want to help you move forward with confidence so that you feel like you are equipped to be proactive on your journey. I want to let you know that Verizon Premium Retailer, Cellular Sales has great ways to help too.
Some of you may be asking the question, “What is the right age to hand a child a cell phone?” I would challenge you to think about it a tad differently. I believe a good question to ask is, “Is my child responsible enough to have use of a cell phone? Have they established trust?” The answer to these questions will vary by child. We want to help avoid an entitled attitude. If you set an age limit, the child will simply wait until that birthday and then believe a phone is something they deserve. When your children starts asking for a cell phone (my 8 year old already has, and I assure you we aren’t even close to a yes there), you can respond with a comment like, “When we feel like you are old enough AND have demonstrated responsibility and maturity, we will move forward with that decision.” If you cannot trust your child, it is not the time to give them the privilege of having the use of their own phone.
If you do determine it’s time for your child to dive into the cell phone world, Verizon Premium Retailer, Cellular Sales can help. As Verizon’s #1 Authorized Retailer of Cell Phones, Cellular Sales can book an appointment to help you find a cell phone that fits the growing needs of your family. It’s a very personalized experience. You do not need to wait in long lines during the holiday season. Simply call 1-866-967-8028 to book your appointment now. You can also look to find a location near you. Further, if you want more tips and tricks for navigating cell phone usage with your children, follow Cellular Sales on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. If you are considering a cell phone as a Christmas gift, there are some great holiday specials available here.
That said, children are going to make mistakes as they are given more freedom. They are testing the waters and often need to learn from their own choices. Therefore, we can’t say, “I trust my child” and step away from teaching discipline and self-control. We must keep parental boundaries. We should move forward in faith when they have established responsibility and yet monitor things close enough to keep them in a healthy and safe spot.
If you have determined that it is time for your child to have their own cell phone or the use of one that you provide, it will be time to make some important decisions. I would encourage you to sit down with your spouse and make choices together about what this phone usage will look like in your home. Here are some important questions to ask:
- Will our child use a smart phone or a simple flip phone that has call-only capabilities?
- What kind of usage plan will we have for our growing cellular needs? How will minutes and data usage be impacted by another person being added?
- Will we pay for our child’s phone and cellular plan or will they need to contribute to the financial responsibilities?
- Will there be a usage time limit we enforce? Will there be hours of use established?
- Will we use a program that allows us to monitor all activity on the phone (location of phone, texts, Instagram, call log, etc.) or will we operate on trust?
Beyond those questions, you will want to create a list of guidelines that work for your family. I am proposing you draw up a contract for you kids to sign. Breaking the contract will lead to immediate removal of the cell phone for an amount of time determined by you, the parents. I would base the amount of time on the severity of the misuse.
For your convince I have provide a free printable with a proposed cellular phone contract. The first page is a letter to your child setting in place the reasons for the contract and some encouragement about their character. The second page provides healthy guidelines that become part of the contract. This page is the part of the contract the kids initial to establish their agreement to the principles set forth. I wrote this portion of the contract with “I will…” type of statements rather than “I won’t…” I like equipping kids with the kind of behaviors we want to see. The final page is a blank contract in case you want to add to what I have put together or write your own.
Parenting is no easy task. In creating a cellular phone contract for you kids, you are doing two things. You are establishing that you are still the parents and there will be limits and guidelines in your home. The other thing you are teaching them is that they are growing up and are earning more freedom as they make wise choices. We pray that they continue in good character choices so that we can continue to give them increased independence that builds their confidence (and ours) as we release them out into this world.