When my two teenage daughters got their cell phones (which is not something I wanted!!) I created a contract between them, myself, and their father. This particular contract is quite lengthy…probably because I have a lot of experience with contracts and need to ensure I have covered everything so we don’t have to amend the contract in the future (although, I think we did once…at some point). These particular contracts ensure that they understand that there is no right to privacy, implied or otherwise. While we don’t usually go through their phones, we do have random ‘phone checks’ where we check phone calls, text messages, pictures, etc. to ensure inappropriate language or pictures are not being sent or received. These contracts also cover usage limits, limits to when calls can be made or accepted, and the type of content that is prohibited.
I found these Parenting Teen Contracts online that you might find useful:
- Teen Chores
- Teen Dating
- Teen Driving
- Laptop Use
- Cell Phone Usage – this a watered down version of what I drafted, but it’ll work…
- Going Out With Friends Unsupervised
You can always change the wording, add to, or take away portions from the above contracts. While having written documentation of your expectations from your child / teenager is great, you must put consequences in place for a broken contract….and you must follow through with those consequences. Outlining those consequences in the contract is a good idea so that everyone is clear as what will happen. If you don’t follow through, then the contract (and all subsequent contracts) will never be taken seriously by our child / teenager again.
Have you ever signed a contract with your child / teenager? Was the contract broken? If so, did you follow through with the consequences?