Parents! Your kid is starting to struggle in school. You don’t know exactly why, but you may think it is because of their phone. Parents want the best for their kids, and your mindset of phones negatively affecting kids is not completely unfounded. The numbers are also in your favor. Teenagers send and receive an average of 67 texts per day. 71% of them text in class, and 87% of high schoolers don’t get the recommended amount of sleep because of their phones. Even a study from the London School of Economics said that test scores increased by 6.4% when schools banned mobile phones. Seeing your kid’s recent struggles and all of these statistics have made you strongly consider taking their phone away. You do it, but they badly want it back. Now, agreements must be made in order for them to get their phone back. Here are some things you and your kid can agree on before you give the phone back:

Usage

  • Try to agree with your child about how much, when, and where they can use their phone.
  • Be very specific on usage if it comes down to it, whether if it is writing an hourly or minutely limit.
  • You can even set up specific rules like no phones at the dinner table, times they can use it, and when they can use it (only after school, for example).

Privacy

  • All parents want their children to be protected from online predators.
  • You know that your kids will be on social media platforms and that their personal information may be at risk.
  • Establish clear guidelines of what your children can and can’t share online (full name, birthday, location, school, etc). Also encourage them to set their accounts on private.

Permissions

  • Your child has many passwords and login information, and their accounts may be compromised at some point.
  • You may want access to some of those accounts based off your rules of privacy and supervision.
  • Clarify what kind of apps and websites you allow them to have access to.

Data

  • If you have unlimited data, this part may not necessarily have to be discussed.
  • If your phone plan is limited, talk to your kid about this.
  • Try to come to an understanding of how much of the mobile data plan they are allowed to use per month.

Places

  • Smartphones have allowed kids access to more information than ever before.
  • Properly define what type of internet usage is okay for them.
  • This should be similar to rules you may have for tablets and computers.

Consequences

  • Even though a contract is established, there is going to come a point where someone breaks them.
  • Agree on consequences that are reasonable and fit the crime.
  • If you or your child violates any of the agreements, follow through on the predetermined set of consequences.

Phones are inevitably going to be a part of your kid’s life; it is the 21st century after all. Hopefully, this cell phone contract can provide insight of proper phone usage for you and your child.

Author's Bio: 

KidGuard's sole mission is to protect your children online. Our team spends every waking hour thinking about how to bring awareness and inspire solutions on issues of cyber bullying, online predators, teen suicide, and childhood depression in the age of technology. KidGuard employs a team of researchers and writers to educate parents on solutions to digital parenting problems and also runs a popular child cell phone monitoring software to allow parents to stay involved in their child's life online.