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

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 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?

source: GoodMorningAmerica

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Related phones

iPhone 5
  • Display 4.0 inches
    1136 x 640 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP (Single camera)
    1.2 MP front
  • Hardware Apple A6, 1GB RAM
  • Storage 64GB, not expandable
  • Battery 1440 mAh
  • OS iOS 10.x



143. beastmode82

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 01, 2014

This parent is very retarted by giving him these gay rules you got him a one way tiket to loser ville

142. esmith89

Posts: 1; Member since: Feb 24, 2013

She's banning him from doing all the things teen's do! She is afraid of him being brain-washed; she is brain-washing him into being perfect and un-human like. Why buy him an iPhone and then ban him from doing most of the things on it. The car and insurance thing is totally different. Cars can kill you, iPhones can't. Also, "Talk to a stranger"! Ok, strangers aren't all bad but you don't know what this person is like, it would be better for him to meet new people online that way they can't grab him and take him away or harm him. It's pretty odd, banning him from porn, having a phone is school, prank calling but she want's him to talk to strangers?

137. dragonstkdgirl

Posts: 144; Member since: Apr 07, 2012

There are a couple rules in this list that might be a little much, but as a whole, I applaud this mom's set of rules. I was 15 years old before I got a phone. It was the free flip phone, no camera, no extra features, and I had to have a B+ average in order to keep it. If I got into any trouble, school or otherwise, it was gone. I didn't get a smartphone until I was TWENTY YEARS OLD. And I worked for a cell phone store, for chrissakes. I paid my own bill, and used it mostly for work or personal email. I'll tell you what - this kid may piss and moan about how the rules are unfair, but he's probably going to turn out to be a more functional and mature adult than anyone else in his class. A week or so ago, I'm sitting in my kiosk watching three girls ages 9-12 looking at the cell phones we have on display. We are next to a Claire's accessory/jewelry store, and the girls start throwing a fit to their father for not buying them some $8 pair of earrings or something. All THREE of these kids had iPhone, the older two had $300 Coach purses, and the older two were entirely outfitted in A&F kids clothing. My coworker and I watched this go down with stunned looks on our faces. Listen up, kiddos. I started working at age 14 for pocket money to buy the things I wanted. I paid for texting, paid for the clothes I wanted that were "brand name" or expensive for my parent's budget. I wasn't given a car for my 16th birthday, and for graduation, I got $150 and dishes. I earned my car, paid it off, paid for repairs, paid for every cell phone that wasn't free with the plan, wore clothes from Styles for Less instead of Hollister, etc. And now as a 23 year old woman, I am APPALLED at the behavior of the average teenager. Occasionally we get teens at my kiosk that aren't self entitled little a$$es, but they are the exception, and are always the ones whose parents tell them NO. Kids don't stop to think how expensive it is for their parents to pay their way until they are 18. Food, clothing, dental work, braces, health care, school fees, that $349 "donation" for their middle school cheer camp or football uniform. And then you add on the iPhones, the insurance deductible when it's lost or broken or some other teen steals it from your backpack. The summer camp, the laptops, the shoes, allowance, and handing you 20 bucks every other week for the movies, bowling, etc. Not to mention how much food the average 15 year old boy eats. I weep for the future of humanity when spoiled rotten little 12 year old brats throw tantrums like they're 5 years old and the parents give in or "ground" them instead of spanking them and sending them to their room. Nowadays it's politically incorrect to spank your kids, it might be considered "abuse". Screw that. The kids from today who are treated with kid gloves, given everything they want, and never told no are the future adult self entitled a$$holes. People like this mom are doing just fine.

136. jsdechavez

Posts: 818; Member since: Jul 20, 2012

Nice. I very much agree to Rule# 15.

135. nodnarb

Posts: 35; Member since: Apr 27, 2012

these rules are good and all, but it is a waste of a smartphone (which I'm sure most of us on phonearena hate to see that happen). she should've gotten her son an ipod touch and some keyboard feature phone.

131. dorianb

Posts: 617; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

Actually it is a good idea. I just think she spoiled it by giving him the contract on Xmas. She could of waited till the next. Rule 1 totally ruined it being a "gift." It's a Xmas loan in her words. Who gives a loan? He should be allowed to take the phone to school. Newtown...IJS

130. Obdabeast

Posts: 41; Member since: Jan 01, 2012

you know... just like kids with strict parents... once they get a chance or are given the chance to do otherwise.. they will.

123. kingpet13

Posts: 139; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

Honestly, and a lot of people might think this makes me crazy, but as a 15 year old would almost consider following these rules. I never study enough and part of this is probably because I allow myself to become distracted. If my Gpa is to low for my first semester of my freshmen year, this would be one of the solutions I would consider.

121. cosmoVoid

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 01, 2013

Parents of Gregory, I know you are doing everything to avoid technology to geopardize your son's well being and social relations to others in person but what you are doing is a waste of money. I understand what you want to happen. Why not give your son an iPhone 4 or 4S instead? They are almost the same and traditional rows and columns of apps. Do not give him exactly what he want if you have terms and conditions. I won't buy a smartphone if my parents were like that. A Blackberry Curve would suffice the rules of the parents so no money would be wasted.

120. Mfa901

Posts: 291; Member since: Jul 14, 2012

It is the complete insult of that 13 year old. it shows his mother did not trust him at all. may he do not know about porn or any bad thing but by this conditions her mother is making him interested in those things. and why would he want an iphone. if her mother only wanted him receive phone call than a feature phone is enough for him.... its like the kid is served a delicious dish and his mother putting the conditions that he must not see and touch the food but he can eat

118. nlbates66

Posts: 328; Member since: Aug 15, 2012

too young for a smartphone.

111. hypermagz

Posts: 18; Member since: Dec 31, 2012

A lot of ppl are saying that the mom.is ruthless or crazy, well give them the freedom until they burn the bill down to a few thousands then we'll really see a crazy mom.

100. bluescreen

Posts: 154; Member since: Nov 22, 2012

i glanced through the first page of comments and not the 2nd but i noticed alot of people saying he should just save up some money and get his own phone....sure he could do that but then he would need to turn to his mom or dad and have them get it activated cause last i checked u had to be 18 in order to activate a cell phone....

99. rickywinataa

Posts: 262; Member since: Apr 05, 2012

oh the irony of some adults, could you guys just imagine that your father or mother forbid you to do things on your own when actually you can or you want to try ? when they don't believe in you when you know you earn the responsibility ? give everybody a chance first, apply the rules if they are irresponsible. yes there are kids who are irresponsible these days, but not all of them of course. so don't stereotypes every teenager. there are parents who could be much less irresponsible than their children anyway

98. ChafedBanana

Posts: 409; Member since: Sep 20, 2011

This parent is whack. My 6 year old daughter has a Droid Incredible.

103. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

Oh yea? My 4 year old son has a Note 2!

127. InspectorGadget80 unregistered


138. dragonstkdgirl

Posts: 144; Member since: Apr 07, 2012

And you're even more of a "whack" parent for buying your six year old a phone, let alone a smartphone. What does she need data for, running a business? When is she going out on her own? Or somewhere that one of her parents isn't going with her? Just wow....

88. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

God rules, but smartphones should really be for college and up. Android and other media players perform the same functions over WiFi, so the phone can be a phone, and the you can be a toy.

92. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Good^ rules

83. stuyjcp

Posts: 32; Member since: Apr 29, 2012

A lot of wisdom in this agreement. However, a lot of comments here do not surprise me. Adults are often quite detached from their childhoods, and thus can no longer relate to the child's point of view. I received my first phone at age 11 (a basic phone), and my first smartphone at age 16. I don't even use Instagram or Twitter at all. I use Facebook selectively (I never post anything pointless or stupid). I use my phone to check things on the go when I don't want to wait (sports scores are a good example). Also, In case anyone was curious, I'm 18 years old. TLDR: Adults need to give kids a chance. No matter how unruly they might be now, many of them will in fact be leaders in the future.

78. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

1st why the hell is this news? 2nd 13yr olds or younger TEENS don't NEED A SMART phone they don't have enough responsibilities. 3rd. just buy this kid a Ipod touch 5 Gen same features excluded the calling feature. 4th Their wasting their time and money and I don't think he will go with the rules cause he will WINE and cries bout not having his crappy iPhone all day long. Some people are either ignorant or just plan dumb giving their kids iPhones when they don't even need one. just buy them a feature phone or a QWERTY phone it's for kids or at least a pre paid phone.

76. parkwaydr

Posts: 572; Member since: Sep 07, 2011

This just shows how technology has changed things, when I was thirteen all I cared about was riding my dyno. Playing football and hanging out with my friends. House phones were sufficient enough

73. dreddserious

Posts: 5; Member since: Nov 26, 2012

Just don't get him one in the first place, and don't tell someone how to use their own phone. Stupid set of rules, glad she's not my mom, though I bought my own first phone when I was 19

77. billybuttpounder

Posts: 105; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

It is NOT "his" phone. His mother bought it and pays the bill, which is clearly stated in the contract.

97. SavageLucy42

Posts: 211; Member since: Mar 24, 2011

Well she starts off saying "You are the proud owner of an iPhone!" before going into how it's actually her phone.

91. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

I got my own phone at 17, but I alone paid for it, so I made my own rules (and it was prepaid before "unlimited" was easily attainable, back in the days of 200 minutes and texts for like $20/mo. This kid is 13, and it isn't a phone he bought, pays for, or could sustain independently. This is a completely generous arrangement.

71. Deaconclgi

Posts: 405; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Soooooooooo she curses in the letter to her 13 year old child....and before anyone asks, I'm a father of 2, ages 16 and 19 and responsibility extends to the parents as well.

69. ibap

Posts: 873; Member since: Sep 09, 2009

And to all those who can't write a comment that doesn't require multiple asterisks - you don't belong in this conversation.

67. ibap

Posts: 873; Member since: Sep 09, 2009

One part of me says think of this as an iPod Touch with a phone in it. But as the parent of an 18-year-old freshman chemical engineering student who has repeatedly turned down a smartphone as too distracting, I'd say buy him a phone, but not the phone you bought him. If he wanted a car, would you buy him one? And what is the point of a phone that he can't take to school at all? The primary reason our daughter got one in eighth grade was that she was involved in so much stuff at school, it was a convenience for her to be able to call when she needed to stay after, and I could text her knowing she'd see the message at the end of the day. Our school had rules and enforced them, regarding cell phones. Children learn by watching their parents. What kind of smartphone manners have you demonstrated for him? "Hot Damn!" - in a document for a 13-year-old? No wonder you're worried about his behavior around the families of those he might communicate with.

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

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