kids

"The 17-rule contract I made my teenage son sign before giving him a mobile phone."

Before I gave my 12-year-old son Ayden his mobile phone, we wrote up an agreement that was to be signed by him, as well as three parents (that’s divorce for you).

This piece of paper pretty much gave us the ability to put down some ground rules and also monitor his behaviour. To be honest, I don’t think we should be giving our younger teenagers mobile phones with social media, however, I didn’t want to be that parent who wouldn’t allow it. I grew up with parents who didn’t allow me to have a phone and I felt isolated and left out – it wasn’t a nice feeling.

Listen to Mamamia’s parenting podcast, This Glorious Mess. Post continues after audio. 

Having to trust that your child is doing the right thing is nerve-wracking. It’s a big step and a scary one for some parents.

Some tips from me and what I’ve learnt in these last couple of months:

  1. Trust your gut. If you feel something is off search the phone. Children (yes – even as teenagers – that’s what they are) hide things from their parents, usually because they’re scared they’ll get in trouble.
  2. DO NOT allow them to hide you from their social media. If you’re being hidden they’re doing something they shouldn’t – trust me.
  3. Kids are smarter in this area, it sucks I know but they are. Be strong and stand your ground. If they’re being protective of the phone take it and search. If they change their password, the phone gets confiscated.

So here is the contract I wrote up for Ayden, and I hope you’re able to get some use out of it too.

parenting tips for teenagers
Image: Supplied.
ADVERTISEMENT
parenting tips for teenagers
Image: Supplied.

This story originally appeared on Mel Watts' blog The Modern Mumma and has been republished here with full permission. 

You can follow Mel Watts on Instagram, Facebook and Youtube

Light blue and pink butterfly illustration. You click, we help. Shooting star illustration.

Mamamia is funding 100 girls in school, every day.

So just by spending time with Mamamia, you’re helping educate girls, which is the best tool to lift them out of poverty.

Thanks for helping!

Light blue and pink butterfly illustration. Girl with pigtails sitting at desk writing in notebook. Row of four books.
Three hands holding books
00:00 / ???