Horizon Children, cell phonesAt our 21st Century Community Learning Centers we help your child get ready for all of the technology he or she will need in school and later as part of the work force through hundreds of engaging learning activities specially designed to promote student desire to learn, while encouraging student learning through direct instruction. Our technology-empowered curriculum gives children practice with using computers in an academic setting. However, as a parent, you have the task of shaping the way your child uses technology and the way your does or does not relate to the world while using technological devices.

Not too long ago, TV news programs and social media were buzzing about Janell Burley Hoffman and the contract she gave to her son along with the iPhone she gave him for Christmas. The contract was published online (“To my 13-Year-Old, An iPhone Contract From Your Mom, With Love”), so other parents not only heard about it, they also had a chance to read it and see if they agreed with this mother's actions.

Hoffman has ground rules: she must know the password; her son cannot ignore calls from him parents; he is responsible for replacing it if something happens to it; and he has to hand his phone over to his parents in the evening and they will shut it off and return in the next morning.

The contract does not simply contain rules, regulations, and warnings (although they are certainly there); there are also suggestions such as point 16 where Hoffman encourages her son to "play a game with words or puzzles or brain teasers every now and then" and to be sure to keep his eyes open and not ignore the world around him because he now has an iPhone.

Whether you type up a formal contract or not, it is important to let your children know your expectations with regards to cell phone use.


Photo Credit: Yutaka Tsutano