At 12 years old, his mother gave him a smartphone, but first she "obligated" him to sign a 17-point contract!

by Shirley Marie Bradby

March 19, 2019

At 12 years old, his mother gave him a smartphone, but first she "obligated" him to sign a 17-point contract!

For parents, giving their child a smartphone is, without a doubt, useful but at the same time, it can put their child's health and safety at risk.

In fact, through a smartphone, one can access harmful material, be exposed to malicious people, develop a distorted image of oneself or manifest personal problems regarding proper social media interaction. 

For all these reasons, a mother named Mel Watts required her 12-year-old son Ayden, to sign a contract before giving him his first smartphone, which is an idea we all can use as an example and inspiration.

Mel Watts/Instagram

Mel Watts/Instagram

Her goal was to make her son a responsible smartphone user and to set some rules to monitor the use of the device.

Here is a summary of the main points of the contract:  

  • If you are bullied, talk to mom and dad, do not hide it. 
  • Your smartphone is to be given to your parents before you go to bed.
  • Respect your school's rules and policies regarding smartphones.

  • Do not ever take photos or videos of people without their consent, especially if they ask you not to. 
  • Do not troll people on social media. 
  • Remember that what you publish on the Internet is forever. 
  • If you break or lose your smartphone you will repair or replace it at your own expense. 
  • Always answer calls, if you cannot answer, send us a message and call us back as soon as you can. If no contact is made, we will look for you. 
  • We must always know all your passwords and account names, if you change them without telling us -your smartphone is gone. 
  • Data - once you go over your data you won't get any extra till your next data top-up. Therefore, use it with care.
  • Any violence or issues that cause us to lose trust in you will result in your smartphone being taken away. 
  • Do not post anything on social media that you wouldn't want to be posted about you, the people you love, or anything you wouldn't want your family to see. 
  • If you delete and purposefully hide things on your smartphone, social media or emails, you will lose the accounts.
  • What you write may appear different from what you mean, remember this and be careful.


On the same blog where the contract was published, Mel Watts also wrote some tips for other parents: 

  • Trust your gut. When you feel that something is wrong, you should immediately check your child's smartphone. Most people hide things when they are in trouble or ashamed. 
  • Keep an eye on their social media profiles. As parents, if the social media profiles of your children suddenly become inaccessible to you, then it means that something suspicious is happening. 
  • Be tenacious and cunning. Today's children and young people are very clever but at the same time naive. To protect them, you need to learn to be at least twice as smart, if they are protecting their smartphone, you have to immediately take it and do an in-depth search.

We find that this mother's idea is wise and very useful because although giving a smartphone to kids is very useful nowadays, it is best to always instruct them first about the correct way to use it!