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

    |    | 

Related phones

iPhone 5
  • Display 4.0" 640 x 1136 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A6, Dual-core, 1300 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 1440 mAh(8h 3G talk time)



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.

42. Syksyd

Posts: 63; Member since: Apr 16, 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

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

114. Nadr1212

Posts: 741; Member since: Sep 22, 2012

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

124. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 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.

87. zazori08

Posts: 113; Member since: Dec 21, 2011

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

116. bayusuputra

Posts: 963; Member since: Feb 12, 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.

126. garz_pa

Posts: 154; Member since: Nov 03, 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.

134. bluescreen

Posts: 154; Member since: Nov 22, 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!

128. user312

Posts: 68; Member since: Aug 21, 2012

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

132. whysoserious

Posts: 318; Member since: Jul 20, 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...

43. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 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.

75. sarb009

Posts: 322; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

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

82. wendygarett unregistered

You mean me? Lol :)

93. nwright94 unregistered

Any phone can be used for stupid comments lol

84. Tsoliades

Posts: 228; Member since: Dec 22, 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?"

106. NexusKoolaid

Posts: 493; Member since: Oct 24, 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.

96. rickywinataa

Posts: 262; Member since: Apr 05, 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.

102. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

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


Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 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.

122. Nikolas.Oliver

Posts: 1574; Member since: Jul 01, 2012

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

2. 1ceTr0n

Posts: 549; Member since: May 20, 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

141. dmckay12

Posts: 243; Member since: Feb 25, 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.

3. EspHack

Posts: 70; Member since: Sep 04, 2012

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

34. jacobspeeds

Posts: 40; Member since: Feb 26, 2012

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

46. BiN4RY

Posts: 83; Member since: Jun 22, 2012

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

117. jacobspeeds

Posts: 40; Member since: Feb 26, 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

129. BiN4RY

Posts: 83; Member since: Jun 22, 2012

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

139. dragonstkdgirl

Posts: 144; Member since: Apr 07, 2012

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

74. Ravail

Posts: 182; Member since: Oct 14, 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.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.