Giving kids a cell phone means giving them a lot of responsibility. Having a cell phone contract is a good way to manage some of the challenges that can come along with a phone. This is especially important for kids who are easily distracted or who struggle with impulse control.
A cell phone contract is an agreement that outlines what families will do to make sure kids take care of their cell phone and use it responsibly — like not texting while driving.
Another goal is to help kids speak up if they see or receive anything on their phone that makes them feel uncomfortable. These contracts include steps that kids promise to take. They also include steps that parents or caregivers promise to take.
A cell phone contract can also help set limits on how much kids can spend each month on apps. If time management is a problem, you can set “phone-free” hours during class or at mealtimes or bedtime. These are some of the reasons why a cell phone contract may be especially helpful for kids with ADHD.
You can use these contracts as is. Or you can use them as a guide to create a contract that meets your child’s unique needs. For example, if your child uses apps or other built-in technology to help with reading, writing, math, or organization, the contract may have to account for that.
Be sure to check in regularly with your child to review the contract. Talk about what’s working and what you could change to make the contract more helpful.
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About the author
About the author
Amanda Morin is the director of thought leadership at Understood and author of “The Everything Parent’s Guide to Special Education.” She worked as a classroom teacher and early intervention specialist for more than a decade.
Mark J. Griffin, PhD was the founding headmaster of Eagle Hill School, a school for children with specific learning disabilities.