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Teen finds Apple iPhone 5 under the tree, along with rules and conditions from his mom

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Teen finds Apple iPhone 5 under the tree, along with rules and conditions from his mom
All year 13 year-old Greg Hoffman told his mom what he wanted for Christmas. And on Christmas morning he received the one gift he wanted more than anything else, an Apple iPhone 5. At first, there was incredible joy and excitement for the teen. But the happiness quickly disappeared when he spotted the 18 point set of terms and conditions that his mother had him agree to before allowing him to have the phone. Janet Hoffman, Greg's mom, said,  "What I wanted to do and show him how you could be a responsible user of technology without abusing it, without becoming addicted," while Greg's reaction was, "Oh my God. My first reaction was, why? Why did she really have to do this?"

The Apple iPhone 5

The Apple iPhone 5

The list contains many conditions that you would expect such as a ban on porn and sexting. Several rules are based on good manners. Greg cannot use the phone during meals or at the movies or when talking to another person. He cannot take it to school and must turn it over to one of his parents at 7:30pm each weekday and 9:00pm on weekends. He gets the phone back 7:30am each morning. Calls from his mom or dad cannot be ignored and he cannot text something to his friends that he couldn't tell them in person with their parents in the room.

Some of the rules are designed to prevent Greg's new Apple iPhone from taking over his life. For example, one rule tells him not to take "a zillion pictures or videos" as not everything needs to be documented. On the other hand, the teen is advised to download as much music as he can as long as it is a different style than what his peers listen to, and he should play a puzzle game or a brain teaser every now and then. If the iPhone is broken or damaged, young Greg is on the hook to replace it using his own money.

Ironically, Janet Hoffman herself is a blogger which might make her more knowledgeable about the pitfalls of always being connected than the average parent. And while the kids might not like the rules so much, teen behavior expert Josh Shipp says that rules are a must for teen use of an Apple iPhone. Shipp, who hosts Lifetime's  Teen Trouble  said, "You wouldn't' give your kid a car without making sure they had insurance. And so giving them a cell phone or a computer without teaching them how to use it responsibly is irresponsible on the part of the parent."

So what do you think? Is this a great idea that will teach  a teen how to responsibly use a cell phone, or is it a ticket to humiliation from his peers?

Dear Gregory

Merry Christmas! You are now the proud owner of an iPhone. Hot Damn! You are a good & responsible 13 year old boy and you deserve this gift. But with the acceptance of this present comes 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 & look forward to sharing several million text messages with you in the days to come.

1. It is my phone. I bought it. I pay for it. I am loaning it to you. Aren't I the greatest?

2. I will always know the password.

3. If it rings, answer it. It is a phone. Say hello, use your manners. Do not ever ignore a phone call if the screen reads "Mom" or "Dad". Not ever.

4. Hand the phone to one of your parents promptly at 7:30pm every school night & every weekend night at 9:00pm. It will be shut off for the night and turned on again at 7:30am. If you would not make a call to someone's land line, wherein their parents may answer first, then do not call or text. Listen to those instincts and respect other families like we would like to be respected.

5. It does not go to school with you. Have a conversation with the people you text in person. It's a life skill. *Half days, field trips and after school activities will require special consideration.

6. If it falls into the toilet, smashes on the ground, or vanishes into thin air, you are responsible for the replacement costs or repairs. Mow a lawn, babysit, stash some birthday money. It will happen, you should be prepared.

7. Do not use this technology to lie, fool, or deceive another human being. Do not involve yourself in conversations that are hurtful to others. Be a good friend first or stay the hell out of the crossfire.

8. Do not text, email, or say anything through this device you would not say in person.

9. Do not text, email, or say anything to someone that you would not say out loud with their parents in the room. Censor yourself.

10. No porn. Search the web for information you would openly share with me. If you have a question about anything, ask a person ? preferably me or your father.

11. Turn it off, silence it, put it away in public. Especially in a restaurant, at the movies, or while speaking with another human being. You are not a rude person; do not allow the iPhone to change that.

12. Do not send or receive pictures of your private parts or anyone else's private parts. Don't laugh. Someday you will be tempted to do this despite your high intelligence. It is risky and could ruin your teenage/college/adult life. It is always a bad idea. Cyberspace is vast and more powerful than you. And it is hard to make anything of this magnitude disappear -- including a bad reputation.

13. Don't take a zillion pictures and videos. There is no need to document everything. Live your experiences. They will be stored in your memory for eternity.

14. Leave your phone home sometimes and feel safe and secure in that decision. It is not alive or an extension of you. Learn to live without it. Be bigger and more powerful than FOMO -- fear of missing out.

15. Download music that is new or classic or different than the millions of your peers that listen to the same exact stuff. Your generation has access to music like never before in history. Take advantage of that gift. Expand your horizons.

16. Play a game with words or puzzles or brain teasers every now and then.

17. Keep your eyes up. See the world happening around you. Stare out a window. Listen to the birds. Take a walk. Talk to a stranger. Wonder without googling.

18. You will mess up. I will take away your phone. We will sit down and talk about it. We will start over again. You & I, we are always learning. I am on your team. We are in this together.

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!



source: GoodMorningAmerica

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posted on 31 Dec 2012, 13:17 34

1. nwright94 (unregistered)

Smart parent. Any teenager (including myself) can/will be stupid with their phones and its good shes trying to prevent that. I will be the one to say this though: why does a 13 year old need a smartphone? Wouldn't a flip/keyboard phone be smarter for someone his age? Most 13 year olds I know are very irresponsible with their stuff.

posted on 31 Dec 2012, 14:40 9

42. Syksyd (Posts: 58; Member since: 16 Apr 2010)

This parent is retarded...why give your son one of the hottest cell devices on the planet, and give him these stupid rules....this is a social media world and it is not gonna change any time, we live on our phones, thats what the world is now, tech rules,... i mean monitor what he does, but those rules are ridiculous....let him enjoy the thing

posted on 31 Dec 2012, 17:59 10

81. wendygarett (unregistered)

Maybe his mom is afraid her son brainwashed...

every parents want their children has a bright future, not lining up at the Apple store three tim

posted on 31 Dec 2012, 23:12

114. Nadr1212 (Posts: 741; Member since: 22 Sep 2012)

I thought Talking strangers was irresponsible
what do you have to say 4 ur selves, PARENTS!!!!!????

posted on 01 Jan 2013, 09:27

124. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 4319; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)

If talking to strangers is irresponsible, then social gatherings are meaningless. Not all strangers are negative and not all of them are positive. Some will become your good friend, some will become your best!
I will never advise anyone against talking to strangers...but what one needs to be is be-careful.
And these rules are quite good i would say, Greg's got a good mother.

posted on 31 Dec 2012, 19:27 2

87. zazori08 (Posts: 113; Member since: 21 Dec 2011)

well she's just concerned about her sons well-being. maybe your mother is not like that.

posted on 01 Jan 2013, 00:05 4

116. bayusuputra (Posts: 963; Member since: 12 Feb 2012)

these are not stupid rules, she's trying not to make him like most teenagers who are glued to their phones.. yes, it is a social media world now, but does that mean that you should text or "wall"ed someone instead of telling it in person? And at least points 6-12 teaching that kid to be a responsible person. it is one of the hottest devices on the planet, but does that mean that the parents should just let the kid do whatever the kid wants to? That's called irresponsible parents. I think they are wonderful parents, i would do this to my kids one day.

And what a sad life you are in, to be living in your phone. I'm still living on planet earth, outside my phone, it's beautiful, try to get out of your phone one day, it'll be worth it.

posted on 01 Jan 2013, 10:14

126. garz_pa (Posts: 154; Member since: 03 Nov 2011)

I wouldn't call the parent retarded. Only you rich people has access to this modern lifestyle. You lose all your money, you'll see how much life got taken away from you. Twitter, Facebook, 4saquare, and many others aren't one of them.

posted on 01 Jan 2013, 23:29

134. bluescreen (Posts: 154; Member since: 22 Nov 2012)

with all the rules and guidelines she laid out for using this phone she has effectively turned this phone into a really expensive paperweight.....not that i would choose an iphone in the 1st place but there were alot of other cheaper internet capable phones she could have chosen....i see the kid powering the phone on then right when the screen loads mom says its time to give me ur phone!

posted on 01 Jan 2013, 14:33

128. user312 (Posts: 68; Member since: 21 Aug 2012)

The best part is when somebody decides to try and steal it like what happens countless times in the world today

posted on 01 Jan 2013, 20:33

132. whysoserious (Posts: 318; Member since: 20 Jul 2012)

The likes of you are the reason why this current generation is full of young retards. Would you mind helping me give myself a triple facepalm? I only have two hands...

posted on 31 Dec 2012, 14:42 2

43. downphoenix (Posts: 3165; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)

I agree. Other than the whole getting him an iphone at the age of 13, I agree they are good parents. I guess he really wanted the iphone specifically though, parents sometimes have a hard time resisting their kids demands, but at least it seems they are making their own demands in return so that's good.

posted on 31 Dec 2012, 17:05 14

75. sarb009 (Posts: 316; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)

& Rule no.19- Don't use your iPhone to post stupid comments on phonearena as many teens are doing here in this article.

posted on 31 Dec 2012, 18:00

82. wendygarett (unregistered)

You mean me? Lol :)

posted on 31 Dec 2012, 19:48 3

93. nwright94 (unregistered)

Any phone can be used for stupid comments lol

posted on 31 Dec 2012, 18:29 3

84. Tsoliades (Posts: 228; Member since: 22 Dec 2012)

I happen to be thirteen years old. I'm very responsible with my possessions. My Galaxy S2 barely even has a scratch on it and I have never had a case. This shows that if your child is responsible enough, they would be a perfect smartphone candidate.

Even so, the majority of these rules are ridiculous. If I was a parent, I wouldn't water down the experience of a phone for him or her by doing this. Honestly, if this were me, it would completely ruin it for me. It's embarassing! What else can I say?

An overprotective, crazy suburban mother is the bane of every child's existence. There are some things that I got into using the internet that I somewhat wish I hadn't, but the social experience and general life experience is great. If I didn't have a full, uncensored technology experience, my life would be drastically different right now for the worse.

One more thing. I like what Zero0 said. I totally agree with everything said, but one thing stands out- "A smartphone IS smart. We can use them to improve everyday life. Why limit that power to just adults because some kids would misuse it?"

posted on 31 Dec 2012, 21:01 3

106. NexusKoolaid (Posts: 493; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)

A phone not having a scratch or dent is by no means evidence that someone is or isn't a perfect smartphone candidate. Being a perfect smartphone candidate has more to do with what you do with your phone, not how well you take care of it. And that's the point of the majority of the points listed above, wouldn't you say?

While one of the rules seems to me a bit goofy and about four of the others a little overboard, the rest are hardly ridiculous. And I'm sure they're not set in stone either, both parent and teen will adapt over time. She just doesn't want her some to become someone who comes to believe that an uncensored technology experience is key to a better life.

posted on 31 Dec 2012, 20:11

96. rickywinataa (Posts: 262; Member since: 05 Apr 2012)

well, if bill gates' parents are like you, billions of people won't be using their desktops with windows inside of them. Bill Gates used all the computer period for a whole year in several weeks when he was in middle and high school, that's irresponsible, he dropped out from harvard to concentrate on building microsoft, that's irresponsible and his parents were really shocked.

now look where do they bring us and him to ? he is one of the richest people in the world and we use microsoft's products everyday.

people should be able to have their freedom and try to do things on their own. if people don't try to do what people think crazy and irresponsible, the world wouldn't become like today.

posted on 31 Dec 2012, 20:42 1

102. downphoenix (Posts: 3165; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)

well for every bill gates there's a 1000 wasted geniuses out there leaching off welfare or working a crappy job.

posted on 01 Jan 2013, 05:03 2

119. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 3117; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)

Buying a child a smartphone and having such strict rules is like buying the kid a xbox 360 or ps3 and telling them they can only play e rated games. If you're going to be that strict buy them a flip phone until hes old enough to buy his own damn iphone on his own plan.

posted on 01 Jan 2013, 08:30 1

122. Nikolas.Oliver (banned) (Posts: 1574; Member since: 01 Jul 2012)

In my country a seven years old child has a bold 9900, how's that?

posted on 31 Dec 2012, 13:19 17

2. 1ceTr0n (Posts: 549; Member since: 20 May 2012)

When I was 13, *1992* pagers were just starting to reach the general public and needless to say, my parents felt I didn't need one and thus, I was forced to actually have a face to face *social* life

posted on 05 Jan 2013, 10:16

141. dmckay12 (Posts: 243; Member since: 25 Feb 2012)

I was thirteen a short six years ago (this Friday) and have been toting a smartphone for about 3 years (had a phone for 8). My parents had similar rules from the start. Rules # 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 10, 12, 18 were explicitly stated or were obviously expected. My first phones were the cheapest phones possible and the plans were limited (reasonably...ex. If I needed more text messages, I got them, but if it ever was a problem, my parents would have stopped me). My parents almost never took my phone because the purpose was to give me a means of communication because i went to schools in bad neighborhoods (in my city, all schools are in unsafe places). When it was time to upgrade, starting at around 15, I got whatever phone I wanted. It was contingent on my good behavior and months of complements leading up to the upgrade availability dates. My parents also paid for any cases, screen protectors, or games also contingent on behavior or used as rewards until I could buy them myself myself. They instilled the knowledge that I only had this through their good graces. My parents guided me in proper usage...ex. "not at the table", "these kids don't realize that what they put on the internet will come back and haunt them", "that music sucks". They gently guided me in the right direction and I turned out fine.

posted on 31 Dec 2012, 13:20 6

3. EspHack (Posts: 70; Member since: 04 Sep 2012)

and what he said? i would reject it to be honest

posted on 31 Dec 2012, 14:24 4

34. jacobspeeds (Posts: 40; Member since: 26 Feb 2012)

me too!! i hate it anyway! but wat lame rules!

posted on 31 Dec 2012, 14:52 16

46. BiN4RY (Posts: 83; Member since: 22 Jun 2012)

And you two are the epitome of spoiled brats of the modern day

posted on 01 Jan 2013, 00:40 1

117. jacobspeeds (Posts: 40; Member since: 26 Feb 2012)

yea right...as if you're not! i got my first phone when i was in 12th grade...so u can shut up! i bet ur a brat

posted on 01 Jan 2013, 15:03 2

129. BiN4RY (Posts: 83; Member since: 22 Jun 2012)

I doubt you're even in the 12th grade judging on the amount of maturity and senseless logic in your post.

posted on 02 Jan 2013, 20:38 1

139. dragonstkdgirl (Posts: 144; Member since: 07 Apr 2012)

Not to mention his complete lack of capitalization or proper grammar/spelling. Ugh that was painful to read.

posted on 31 Dec 2012, 17:03 5

74. Ravail (Posts: 182; Member since: 14 Oct 2011)

Lol that would be a contract that I wouldn't sign.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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