1. It is my phone. I bought it. I pay for it. I am loaning it to you. Aren't I the greatest?
If you were the greatest this list wouldn't exist, and since you believe the phone is always still yours and are dictating how it should be used, this hardly seems like generosity at all.
2. I will always know the password.
Ya, unless he changes it. And if he does I wouldn't blame him. God forbid your son ever want some privacy.
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.
You want him to answer it no matter what? Even if it's obviously a spam call, or someone stranger he doesn't know, or someone who's bothering/bullying/stalking him? This is the 21st century, you shouldn't necessarily answer EVERY call.
4. Hand the phone to one of your parents promptly at 7:30 p.m. every school night and every weekend night at 9:00 p.m. It will be shut off for the night and turned on again at 7:30 a.m. 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.
Dear god, you can't be serious. First of all what happens after 7:30? As long as he's not using it for anything bad I can hardly see a reason for such an early curfew. And who cares what they would or wouldn't say on a land line? Land lines are dead, do you honestly expect your son to talk the same way to his friends as he would to their parents?
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.
So I they only use the cell phone when they're at home? doesn't that defeat the entire purpose of having a cell phone? What if they need to call you for some reason like there's an emergency? Isn't this the primary benefit of giving your child a phone?
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.
So suddenly the phone that 'belongs to you' that they can only use for a couple hours a day and that they can only use in the manner you dictate is none of your responsibility? Okay fine, but if they raise the money to buy a new phone by themselves that phone should be theirs, not yours, and your rules no longer apply!
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.
In general this seems like good advice, but there are times when it's okay to lie. What if they're talking to a stranger? You've said they have to answer every phone call they recieve, no exceptions. So what if they end up talking to a strange man who starts asking them questions about themselves, you're saying they should be honest with him?
And why shouldn't they get involved in hurtful conversations? Are you saying they shouldn't stand up for they're friends when they're being bullied?
How about we let kids use their own judgement instead of setting a rigid set of rules that don't always work.
8. Do not text, email, or say anything through this device you would not say in person.
Isn't that kinda what you just said in #7
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.
Isn't that almost EXACTLY what you just said in #8. We heard you. And no kid talks the same way to their friends as they do to their friends parents, you've been a child before right?
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.
Finally a rule that actually makes some sense, I didn't think you had it in you.
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.
So basically they can't use the phone when outside the house for any reason. Since the kid is 13, almost all the reasons for them to be away from home would fit into the above category, so essentially he can only use the phone in the one place, home, where land lines are already available. You know why they invented cell-phones right?
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.
Doesn't this pretty much fall under the no porn rule you already made? Besides, they're 13, why are you even mentioning this stuff? At best you're being weird and at worst you're giving them ideas. Whatever, I guess it's good advice, just a little sad that it's necessary.
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.
No they won't. Your son doesn't have photographic memory, taking pictures is a great way to save memories that would otherwise be lost. Since when did taking pictures keep people from 'living experiences'. What are you, a technophobe?
Of the many complaints I've heard parents have with their kids "he takes too many pictures of things" has never been one of them.
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).
Your kid's been learning to live without it HIS ENTIRE LIFE up until now. If anything they should be learning how to use new devices, not learning to avoid using them. It's like you're trying to cultivate a fear of technology. And a phone is definitely an extension of yourself, as is all technology you use. You should be teaching your kids to use it to it's full potential, not inspiring fear of technological dependence.
But what does it really matter, you've already said they can't use it at school, in public, with friends or other people around, in a store or restaurant, or after 7:30. They might as well just leave it at home anyhow.
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.
Now you're telling your son what music he should listen to? Look, I get you hate all the crap that this generation sucks up, but get over it, your son can listen to whatever he wants. This almost feels like peer pressure, but you're not his peer.
16. Play a game with words or puzzles or brain teasers every now and then.
Why don't you just write a list of approved educational activities for your son to do and supervise him while he does them. It'll almost feel like he's back in day-care or pre-school, yippee.
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.
So you want him to answer calls from people he doesn't know, tell people about himself, and now spend time talking to strangers? Just how desperately do you want your son to be to be kidnapped and molested?
And what's with all this stare out a window/listen to birds bullcrap? Is that what you think he'd be doing if he didn't have a phone? Okay fine, make him go bird watching, maybe he can take some pictures of the... oh right, you don't want him taking pictures. Boy it sure is nice of you to let him have this phone.
'Wonder without googling'? So you don't want him to use the marvelous piece of technology that he's fortunate to have to seek answers to his questions and gain knowledge? You should just join an Amish community, judging by what you've said so far that seems to be your ideal lifestyle anyway.
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 and I, we are always learning. I am on your team. We are in this together.
What better way to encourage people than to start by saying "You will fail!". And with all these crazy rules I have no doubt that you're right.
And what do you mean you'll take away his phone? I thought it was your phone that you're loaning to him? So you're taking away the phone he can barely use anyway, aw what a shame.
Ya, this parent is being unrealistic and taking away all the fun and feeling of independence a phone is supposed to give you. It's almost a little sad to think what this kid's life must be like if his parent acts like this to him.
I mean, sure, some of these are good advice, but to make them into rules? Children aren't morons, treating them like such just breed animosity.
If I ever meet a guy named Gregory about 7 years younger than me who's scared of taking pictures, using google, and talks to everyone the way you talk to your friends parents I'll give him my condolences.