Parental Contracts: Good or Bad?

Photo credit: Forbes

Recently there has been a story in the media about a mom, who gave her 13year old son an iPhone 5 for Christmas. But, before he got to use the phone, he had to sign a contract written by his mother. Many people have said it was over-kill, other have said it was appropriate. See the letter here.

I first heard about this story through MultipleMayhamMama’s Facebook account. I read the letter and thought it was wrote in love and concern for a boy who is growing up faster than what maybe the mom really wants. Its a feeling I get all the time when I watch my boys.

People think girls are the only victims of online predators and undesirable activities. We have seen how predators of all types lure young men. Or how the ‘Boys will be Boys’ mentality can lead to charges of Child Pornography if someone sends them a ‘sext’ that gets forwarded. Dangers are out there for girls and boys. If we don’t teach our girls AND our boys what appropriate behavior is, their friends will.  Their friends who are just as hormone-addled as they are. We ALL know the adolescent mind doesn’t finish maturing until our 20’s.

I remember being 13. I remember my mother asking me ‘What were you THINKING?!?’ My only response was ‘I dunno’.  I remember her listening in on phone conversations I had with friends and later, boyfriends. It wasn’t continuous but I never knew when she was listening. What did that do? It made me aware of what she considered appropriate (she would tell me when I crossed the line) and it made me aware of what I would/wouldn’t say on the off chance my mom might have picked up the phone.

This has actually taught me many good lessons that I use to this day. Don’t do anything, don’t email anything, don’t say anything that I wouldn’t want displayed on the front of the paper, or worse, in front of my MOTHER. *gasp*

Some people might say this is taking the fun out of a great new gift, possibly taking the fun out of Christmas. I say life is full of teaching moments. I think this mom is taking a great and momentous occasion, recognizing her son is growing up, but telling him “Beware, I WILL be watching because I LOVE YOU”.





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