Cell Phone Contracts: Josh Shipp's Strength & Relationship-Based Cell Phone Contract by Bri Montoya

Cell Phone Contracts: Josh Shipp's Strength & Relationship-Based Cell Phone Contract

When we decided it was time for our son to have a cellphone, we wanted to provide the right amount of guidance and boundaries while still letting him know we trusted him. After a lot of research and talking to other parents, we decided that having a cellphone contract would be the best approach for our family. 

Since we didn’t have time to create a contract ourselves, we hoped to find a pre-made one online. Unfortunately, we found many of them to be too punitive or too negative. Then, we came across an article by Josh Shipp, “Teen Cell Phone Contact – Healthy Boundaries for Teen Cell Phone Use.” Available for download at the bottom of the article was a cellphone contract.

Josh’s approach centers on empowering youth to make positive decisions and maintain healthy boundaries while using their technology. The contract was relationship and strength based and it provided a place to begin having open and honest conversations about his cellphone. As parents, we felt more confident about handing this responsibility over and our son felt like we were treating him as a young adult.

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Mike Prochaska
So at what age do you give your kids a cell phone?
Bri Montoya
Mike Prochaska The question that I'm not sure has a good answer... Honestly, I think it is so dependent upon each family and each kid. For us, it was primarily out of necessity - we are both working parents and as he entered middle school it meant riding the bus home, being home alone for a few hours, and being more and more involved in extracurricular activities away from us. We also looked at maturity level, self regulation level, responsibility level, etc. Another thing to look at is one's ability as a parent to stay involved, even with a cell phone contract and our kid being pretty responsible, it's a lot of work for us as parents to monitor, guide, enforce rules, etc.
Elisa A. Schmitz 30Seconds
This is genius, Bri Montoya ! Thanks for sharing with us. Mike Prochaska , I agree with all of Bri’s reasoning in terms of when to get one. For us, the timing worked out to be my kids’ eighth grade graduation.
Bri Montoya
Elisa All Schmitz 30Seconds , it's so hard to know when the time is truly right, which is why I really appreciated this cell phone contract - we've found it so helpful!

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