A contract is like a deal with a teenage girl: “You (the teen) do it (act well on social media) and we (the parents) will do it (keep paying for your phone).” The chords seemed to work when they were younger (“Eat your green beans and you can have your dessert”), but this phase is over. They are the parents; You don`t do business with your tweens and teenagers. Instead, lead them with trust, love, and reason. Don`t think that agreements also work for other parents. According to the emails that fill my inbox, parents who do “phone business” wave a white flag on failed contracts. Handing over a phone and sending your child without this information only leads to overruns and abuse of data plans, out of sheer ignorance. This is where there are logical consequences – if a child exceeds the limits of their monthly data plan, then you don`t pay for more data. Our daughter`s phone doesn`t have a data rate. Remember the “why.” We bought this phone for security reasons. Yes, it can connect on a free Wi-Fi site, but that`s it.
After taking a look at a series of mobile phone contracts that can be found online, I noticed a few topics I didn`t feel comfortable with. If you`re still convinced that your smartphone contract will work, let`s talk about that task board from years ago. How did it go? If you`re like many families, this well-made task board sits under a magnet on the fridge behind the pizza takeaway menu – at least it`s ours. It was used for almost a week, then lost all its strength. This will also happen with your mobile phone contract. You can`t expect your kids to follow a phone contract if they can`t consistently follow simple instructions for pulling out their teeth, unloading the dishwasher, or emptying cats` toilets without your constant request. Consistency around life skills works well as an indicator of smartphone availability. Yes, I know that hundreds of recently developed apps now allow parents to monitor a child`s mobile usage – these apps can report how often they check their phone or whether they`re looking at their phone when they`re behind the wheel; You can send yourself all the texts she receives (or only those that have a list of offensive words) and any website she surfs on. But managing these monitoring apps or software programs consumes hours of a parenting day not counting the time you spend with your child for offenses. It`s like taking on another exhausting job.
Spending more time face-to-face with our teens or doing a family activity is a much better choice in the limited time we have with them outside of school periods. I understand that there is an agreement between my parents and me before the Lord. I know that in every area of life, temptations can only be overcome with the help of the Holy Spirit. So I will rely on Christ, and I will remember that with the help of the Holy Spirit, NO temptation is too strong to resist. (1 Corinthians 10,13; 2 Timothy 1:7) And when I sin, I will remember that my sin is not equal to the wonderful grace of my loving and merciful God.