Cell phones are an inevitable part of a child’s life. All of their friends are on them, and a lot of socialization with their peers happens on social media. They also need IT skills for school and life in general. However, just because they’re necessary doesn’t mean they have to take over their life or your home. An easy way to set some clear rules about phones is to write a cell phone contract with your child. A cell phone contract will spell out under what conditions they can have a phone, and having your child sign off will avoid fighting or arguing if they do get punished.

Knowing where to start with the contract can be tough, so parents and children should be prepared. Here are the things you should include:


Let your child know where, when, and how much they’re allowed to use their phone. Give them specifics, such as the number of hours or under what condition they can use their phone. For example, maybe they’re only allowed to play games for 1 hour a day, or they can’t use social media until their homework is completely finished.


Revealing too much information online is a way for predators to harm your children. You should include a section about what information they are and aren’t allowed to share online, and explain why so that they don’t break this rule. For example, they could be prohibited from sharing their birthdate or full name online.


Your child probably has tons of accounts on their phone, most of them password protected (including the phone itself)! This makes it easy for them to keep things from you. Decide what accounts you will have the password to and “permission” to access.


Gaming and streaming video’s can drain your family data plan, and your child probably doesn’t even realise. Give them a specific amount of data they are allowed to use each month, which will also help control the amount of time they spend on their phones. If it is easier for them to understand, you can put it as an amount of time or an activity. For example, they’re allowed to watch 3 hours of YouTube each week.


Children can go anywhere online, and many sites are inappropriate for them. Make a list of sites they are, or aren’t, allowed to go on. You can do the same for apps. Or, if it’s easier than compiling a list of every possible inappropriate site, they could ask you before downloading a new app and could have monitored web browsing time.


Even though your child is agreeing to these rules by signing the contract, they will probably break at least one of them at some point. Decide ahead what the consequence will be for this, and try to make the punishment fit the crime. For example, maybe going 20 minutes over their monthly Netflix limit doesn’t need a major consequence, but continually and purposefully accessing inappropriate websites deserves one.

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.