It’s becoming more and more common for kids and tweens to be deemed responsible enough to have cell phones. The question of ‘when?’ depends on the level of maturity of your child. There’s no right or wrong age to allow your child to have their own phone; it all depends on your gut feeling.

A cell phone contract between you and your kids is a great way to lay down the ground rules of being in charge of a phone and being safe when using it.

This contract is not only a great introduction to the adult world, it’s also a fantastic medium to educate your kids about bullying, online safety, etiquette, ownership and usage limits.

Here are a few sample rules for kids that could be outlined in your contract:

  1. I will not send mean or angry texts to others. I will also not send embarrassing information about others through text messages.
  2. I will not use my cell phone during lunch at school or at the dinner table.
  3. I will not send more than _____ texts each day.
  4. I will keep my phone charged at all times and in good working condition.
  5. I will not interact with people online that I don’t know personally, or that my parents don’t approve of.

Don’t forget your rules as the parent! Make your kids feel like this responsibility involves you as well. Here are some sample terms for parents:

  1. I will make myself available to answer any calls from (child’s name) at any time throughout the day. If I don’t answer a call immediately, I will respond to text messages within 10 minutes.
  2. I will give (child’s name) ___ warnings prior to taking phone away.

You and your child should sign the contract to make it feel more official.

Need more ideas?

Texas blogger, Molly provides a great sample cell phone contract on her digitalmomblog, which is available for free download.

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