A mother from Australia has made a 17-rule contract for her 12-year-old son before letting him use a mobile phone.
Sharing the agreement to her website The Modern Mumma, Mel Watts said the contract lets her monitor what her son, Alden, is up to.
Her rules include handing over the phone before going to bed, paying for any costs if the phone is lost or broken, and not messaging before 7:30 am.
She told FEMAIL that her son has “taken the phone contract with full responsibility” and has had his phone taken from him in the past.
Signed by all parties, the contract has 17 rules that must be followed or the device will be taken away.
The contract states: “By agreeing to these terms and conditions, you understand at any point, you can and will have this phone removed from your hands and reassessment may be done regarding the rules and conditions.”
Rules also include fixing or replacing the device at your own cost, should it be lost or broken. Calls from parents should always be answered. If they can’t, he should send a text message.
The phone must also be handed over before going to bed. Videos and photos taken of other people are only to be done if the person permitted it. In case of changing the password, parents must be notified or the device will be taken from him.
The 17-rule contract can be amended when Ayden turns 15.
“He knows this is the only way he is able to have a phone at this stage,” Mel said. “He obviously wanted to alter things [on the contract] and we did talk to him about it all in full depth.”
“I’ve had some backlash about it invading his privacy, but to me at his age, he doesn’t require any social media privacy,” she added.
“We give our children these massive responsibilities such as having a phone with zero instructions on what’s required, what’s expected and how to use it properly.
“Privacy for such things is earned, so is trust. A child having the world at their fingertips is scary,’ Mel added. ‘The things they see and hear can’t be stopped unless you put boundaries in place. Sure he’s not a little kid, but he’s also not an adult.”
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