Viral 18-point iPhone contract from a mother to her son

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 15 2013 11:25 p.m. MST

The following 18-point iPhone contract from a mother to her son was created by Janell Burley Hofmann. This post originally appeared on Hofmann's blog, www.janellburleyhofmann.com and has been shared on dozens of additional sites, including The Huffington Post. It has been reposted here with the author's permission.

Dear Gregory,

Merry Christmas! You are now the proud owner of an iPhone. You are a good and responsible 13-year-old boy and you deserve this gift. But with the acceptance of this present come rules and regulations.

Please read through the following contract. I hope that you understand it is my job to raise you into a well-rounded, healthy young man that can function in the world and coexist with technology, not be ruled by it.

Failure to comply with the following list will result in termination of your iPhone ownership. I love you madly and look forward to sharing several million text messages with you in the days to come. 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!



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Salt Lake City, UT


Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

That poor kid. Let kids be kids. Parents with rules like this have kids that grow up to act like kids, not being able to integrage into a normal adult society that does normal adult things.

Arlington, TX

I do not want my kid to be a "normal adult". I want my kid to be the exception, intelligent, well mannered, capable of not succumbing to peer pressure, to know when to shut technology down and enjoy the world around her. I agree with these rules, which are meant to help the kid to grow up. Good for this mother! :-)

Mapleton, UT

Good for you, Mom! Would that more parents were "bad" enough to raise their kids to be responsible adults, and, not the ones we all too often hear of on the news. It takes parents who care to go the limit to be parents that will ultimately produce adults that will turn around and do the same for "their" kids. If we're not here to teach and guide, then, why?

Chris Degn
Salt Lake City, UT

Mom's 18 Points are right on the money! What produces a Columbine Kid is ignorance on the part of parents. Technology is a two-edged sword. It can be a great blessing or horrible curse. Accountability in the contract will prevent trouble - and responsibility through this terrific opportunity will be developed and honed.

There are too many "latch-key kids" in America who have developed a dangerous sense of entitlement. This mom does not want her son to be a digital latch-key kid. I applaud her and hope that this mom's story going viral means more moms and dads across America will truly parent their kids and reduce the risks involved with information technology.

West Valley, UT

Um... I'm failing to see how this teaches the kid anything positive about entitlement. He "deserves" an iphone? He deserves happiness and good parents, but not an iphone. It seems to me like he's being given a wireless leash that he somehow "deserves". Have the kid pay for his own phone, teach him proper principles to live by and trust him to follow them. It's really not that expensive to pay for your own cell phone and service if you do it right. I pay $50 every six months for mine, and just as good as unlimited. I think that the responsibility of paying for his own phone will teach him much more than following his mom's rules, however well written they are.

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