There’s a whole internet out there filled with parenting stories and advice. Some of it’s so obvious it’s a waste of my time, some so unrealistic it makes me wonder if the writer ever actually had kids.
But every once in a while I read something that resonates. If you haven’t already seen the interview with blogger Janell Hoffman of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, do yourself a favor and read the article here.
Janell’s 13-year-old son –much like my oldest son– wanted an iPhone for Christmas. Janell thought long and hard and decided to give him one….but with a contract attached.
This wasn’t your standard AT&T group minutes deal. This was an 18-point agreement that her son, Greg, had to accept in order to use the coveted smart phone.
The contract is so brilliant, I wish I had written it myself. It’s the perfect combination of smart and tough, supportive and loving. This savvy mom wants to reward her son for being a good kid. But with privilege comes responsibility.
Her rules are reasonable. They let Greg know that sending pictures of himself and friends on Instagram is something you do once in a while because it’s fun. You don’t send inappropriate photos that will live on the internet forever, and you don’t post every 15 minutes in place of living life.
The contract is also infused with humor and sweetness that makes her message sing. Despite some of her strict boundaries on usage, Janell explains why her points are important and opens the lines of communication.
Just read it. It’s that good.
I may not have written it, but I will be sharing it with my kids when I finally cave and get them a smart phone.
Hats off to you Janell Hoffman. Greg, you’re lucky to have a thoughtful and loving mom. Live up to her standards. Make her proud. And don’t lose that phone!