13-Year-Old’s Christmas iPhone Comes with 18-Point Contract from Mom

“Merry Christmas! You are now the proud owner of an iPhone.” Who wouldn’t want to find a message like that next to their Christmas gift, right? Only in the case of 13-year-old Greg Hoffman, from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, this was only the beginning of an elaborate 18-point contract he had to abide by in order to keep using his brand new Apple iPhone.

Greg Hoffman had been begging his parents for an iPhone for a whole year, so when he finally fond it under the Christmas Tree, he was the happiest 13-year-old in the world. Only his joy was short-lived, for with the popular smartphone came a contract put together by his mom, Janell, which conditioned the use of the gadget. The first of 18 points in the contract made things very clear for Greg. It read: “It is my phone. I bought it. I pay for it. I am loaning it to you. Aren’t I the greatest?” His first reaction was “Why? Why did she really have to do this?”, but his mother revealed her motives on ABC’s God Morning America: “What I wanted to do and show him [is] how you could be a responsible user of technology without abusing it, without becoming addicted”. Although she ultimately admitted the 18-point “document” was created partly in jest, Janell Hoffman wanted to help her son avoid many of the pitfalls that both smart phone using teens and adults fall prey to, and teen behavior expert Josh Shipp agrees with her. “You wouldn’t’ give your kid a car without making sure they had insurance,” he says. “And so giving them a cell phone or a computer without teaching them how to use it responsibly is irresponsible on the part of the parent.”

Here’s the whole contract that came with Greg’s iPhone, for Christmas:

1. It is my phone. I bought it. I pay for it. I am loaning it to you. Aren’t I the greatest?

2. I will always know the password.

3. If it rings, answer it. It is a phone. Say hello, use your manners. Do not ever ignore a phone call if the screen reads “Mom” or “Dad”. Not ever.

4. Hand the phone to one of your parents promptly at 7:30pm every school night & every weekend night at 9:00pm. It will be shut off for the night and turned on again at 7:30am. If you would not make a call to someone’s land line, wherein their parents may answer first, then do not call or text. Listen to those instincts and respect other families like we would like to be respected.

5. It does not go to school with you. Have a conversation with the people you text in person. It’s a life skill. *Half days, field trips and after school activities will require special consideration.

6. If it falls into the toilet, smashes on the ground, or vanishes into thin air, you are responsible for the replacement costs or repairs. Mow a lawn, babysit, stash some birthday money. It will happen, you should be prepared.

7. Do not use this technology to lie, fool, or deceive another human being. Do not involve yourself in conversations that are hurtful to others. Be a good friend first or stay the hell out of the crossfire.

8. Do not text, email, or say anything through this device you would not say in person.

9. Do not text, email, or say anything to someone that you would not say out loud with their parents in the room. Censor yourself.

10. No porn. Search the web for information you would openly share with me. If you have a question about anything, ask a person ? preferably me or your father.

11. Turn it off, silence it, put it away in public. Especially in a restaurant, at the movies, or while speaking with another human being. You are not a rude person; do not allow the iPhone to change that.

12. Do not send or receive pictures of your private parts or anyone else’s private parts. Don’t laugh. Someday you will be tempted to do this despite your high intelligence. It is risky and could ruin your teenage/college/adult life. It is always a bad idea. Cyberspace is vast and more powerful than you. And it is hard to make anything of this magnitude disappear — including a bad reputation.

13. Don’t take a zillion pictures and videos. There is no need to document everything. Live your experiences. They will be stored in your memory for eternity.

14. Leave your phone home sometimes and feel safe and secure in that decision. It is not alive or an extension of you. Learn to live without it. Be bigger and more powerful than FOMO — fear of missing out.

15. Download music that is new or classic or different than the millions of your peers that listen to the same exact stuff. Your generation has access to music like never before in history. Take advantage of that gift. Expand your horizons.

16. Play a game with words or puzzles or brain teasers every now and then.

17. Keep your eyes up. See the world happening around you. Stare out a window. Listen to the birds. Take a walk. Talk to a stranger. Wonder without googling.

18. You will mess up. I will take away your phone. We will sit down and talk about it. We will start over again. You & I, we are always learning. I am on your team. We are in this together.

It is my hope that you can agree to these terms. Most of the lessons listed here do not just apply to the iPhone, but to life. You are growing up in a fast and ever changing world. It is exciting and enticing. Keep it simple every chance you get. Trust your powerful mind and giant heart above any machine. I love you. I hope you enjoy your awesome new iPhone. Merry Christmas!

xoxoxo

Mom

 

Source: ABC News


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Feedback (9 Comments)

  • Anonymous Posted on January 3, 2013

    Lol @ no porn. He’s 13.

  • KK Posted on January 3, 2013

    Just say “No”, that’s how we do it. No iPhone, no text features. A cell phone shared by two teens when they leave the house and need to contact us. That’s all, that’s it, nothing to worry about.

  • Kyle Posted on January 4, 2013

    This is, by far, the most incredulous this I have ever read. Sure there were a few good points but the rest of the shit was so forced, so heavy handed that if I were the kid I’d just forget about the whole thing and get a Nokia.

    1. It is my phone. I bought it. I pay for it. I am loaning it to you. Aren’t I the greatest?

    – not really. Iphones are can be pretty cheap now with a contract.

    2. I will always know the password.

    – far enough

    3. If it rings, answer it. It is a phone. Say hello, use your manners. Do not ever ignore a phone call if the screen reads “Mom” or “Dad”. Not ever.

    – not really possible. Given some of the other rules, the kid will not have it tethered too him, but I like the idea.

    4. Hand the phone to one of your parents promptly at 7:30pm every school night & every weekend night at 9:00pm. It will be shut off for the night and turned on again at 7:30am. If you would not make a call to someone’s land line, wherein their parents may answer first, then do not call or text. Listen to those instincts and respect other families like we would like to be respected.

    – I get the surrendering the phone, but how many of you stayed up all hours of the night on a land line talking to your friends or GF?

    5. It does not go to school with you. Have a conversation with the people you text in person. It’s a life skill. *Half days, field trips and after school activities will require special consideration.

    – So what is the point of having a phone to contact people for emergence’s, if for half the day I don’t have access to the Phone. Idiot.

    6. If it falls into the toilet, smashes on the ground, or vanishes into thin air, you are responsible for the replacement costs or repairs. Mow a lawn, babysit, stash some birthday money. It will happen, you should be prepared.

    – Fair enough

    7. Do not use this technology to lie, fool, or deceive another human being. Do not involve yourself in conversations that are hurtful to others. Be a good friend first or stay the hell out of the crossfire.

    Stay out of the crossfire? WTF does that mean. mom is trying way too hard.

    8. Do not text, email, or say anything through this device you would not say in person.

    – Ok

    9. Do not text, email, or say anything to someone that you would not say out loud with their parents in the room. Censor yourself.

    – He’s a teenager, that is what teenagers do.

    10. No porn. Search the web for information you would openly share with me. If you have a question about anything, ask a person ? preferably me or your father.

    – Fuck that. Even by saying that he shouldn’t means that he will.

    11. Turn it off, silence it, put it away in public. Especially in a restaurant, at the movies, or while speaking with another human being. You are not a rude person; do not allow the iPhone to change that.

    – see 3

    12. Do not send or receive pictures of your private parts or anyone else’s private parts. Don’t laugh. Someday you will be tempted to do this despite your high intelligence. It is risky and could ruin your teenage/college/adult life. It is always a bad idea. Cyberspace is vast and more powerful than you. And it is hard to make anything of this magnitude disappear — including a bad reputation.

    – A little heavy handed. if you raised your kid right he will not send pictures of his shit anyways. He can’t really help it if someone sends him theirs. Also, she is blowing the idea that naked pictures on the web ruin your life.

    13. Don’t take a zillion pictures and videos. There is no need to document everything. Live your experiences. They will be stored in your memory for eternity.

    – Live you experiences? who are you Dr Seues. It’s a phone…

    14. Leave your phone home sometimes and feel safe and secure in that decision. It is not alive or an extension of you. Learn to live without it. Be bigger and more powerful than FOMO — fear of missing out.

    – see 5.

    15. Download music that is new or classic or different than the millions of your peers that listen to the same exact stuff. Your generation has access to music like never before in history. Take advantage of that gift. Expand your horizons.

    – this is almost the worst point. If you have chosen to use a stupid iPhone contract to open the world of music to your kid you are a failure. He’s 13, probably should already know that the Beatles are a great band.

    16. Play a game with words or puzzles or brain teasers every now and then.

    – Most games are brain teasers, only dumb people think that unless a game explicitly expresses that it is educational that there is inherently no value. Fuck you.

    17. Keep your eyes up. See the world happening around you. Stare out a window. Listen to the birds. Take a walk. Talk to a stranger. Wonder without googling.

    – Uh, so lame. Listen to the birds? WTF?

    18. You will mess up. I will take away your phone. We will sit down and talk about it. We will start over again. You & I, we are always learning. I am on your team. We are in this together.

    – Except for the fact that I am making you sigh a contract that limits pretty well everything good a bout the phone.

    It is my hope that you can agree to these terms. Most of the lessons listed here do not just apply to the iPhone, but to life. You are growing up in a fast and ever changing world. It is exciting and enticing. Keep it simple every chance you get. Trust your powerful mind and giant heart above any machine. I love you. I hope you enjoy your awesome new iPhone. Merry Christmas!

    xoxoxo

    Mom

    – Thanks Mom, now that this story is a nation deal, all my friends will be texting their dicks to my phone…

  • Another Kid Posted on January 4, 2013

    His mom sounds like an overbearing control-freak. Instead of teaching her son responsibility, she’s teaching him to resent her and the “gift”. The resentment will stay hidden as long as he’s dependent on her, but once he’s free, good luck mom. The relationship is already damaged.

  • Concerned Posted on January 5, 2013

    What would his friends think after that Video??? SERIOUSLY MUM THANX ALOT!!! NOW EVERYONE’S GONNA THINK THAT IMMA POOR BASTARD WITH A GOOD PHONE AND A STUPID MUM WHO’S LIMITING IT’S GOOD’NESS. god…btw guys you should play League of Legends…good game really…way better than “brain teasers”… ONCE AGAIN..THANKS ALOT MUM XD I LOVE YOU TOO

  • Concerned Posted on January 5, 2013

    oh an Kyle: I LOVE THE WAY YOU THINK XD

  • WowMomReally Posted on January 5, 2013

    Epic Fail. Why don’t you not give him an iPhone at all? Points that he can’t take it to school and then needs to give it in at 7:30pm on a school night and then it will be turned on at 7:30am. So from 7:30am to whenever he leaves the house he can use his phone ALTHOUGH he has to get ready for school so I don’t see that happening and the from 4:00-7:30pm he has a phone… Then she says leave at him sometimes. That kid will be all OVER that phone because of the conditions listed above and, this is the start of the teenage-mother relationship downfall.. LOL I see many arguments over just having the phone in his hands not including all the porn, sexting, and gaming before for homework this boy is going to have. She has her heart and mind at the right place BUT most of these things she’s preaching should have been taught before the iPhone appeared under the Xmas tree. So, I hope she did her job as a parent instead of starting it now with a paper and a phone. Too late!

  • fo realz Posted on January 8, 2013

    Draconian.

  • DrKraze Posted on January 10, 2013

    There should’ve been one more rule: “if you mess up after your phone taken away, you lose your life like a prick you (and all teens) are”.