How to Create a Cellphone Contract for Your Teen

Create a cellphone contract that will teach your teen about appropriate smartphone use.
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Although many teens claim having a cellphone is a right, it's actually a privilege. Not too long ago no one had cellphones and everyone survived the teen years without them.

It's important to teach your teen that having a smartphone is a privilege he needs to earn. If he violates the rules, take his phone away.

After all, misbehavior with a cellphone can have serious consequences. Cyberbullying could lead to problems with friends.

Sexting could lead to legal problems and a lot of embarrassment. Texting while driving could have fatal consequences.

Benefits of a Cellphone Contract

Creating a written contract will ensure that your teen knows your expectations in advance. By making the rules clear, your teen won't be able to claim he didn't know he wasn't supposed to text at midnight or talk while driving.

Signing a contract and honoring the terms can help your teen show you he can be more responsible. And the more responsible he can be, the more privileges he can earn.

Additionally, a contract can give your teen practice for the adult world. It's likely he'll need to sign employment contracts, loan contracts, and other legal documents in life. 

How to Use a Cellphone Contract

Print out your contract and have your teen sign it. Hang it in a common location, such as on the refrigerator. Review the terms and make any changes to the contract as needed.

Use the contract below as a guide. Include terms that will help keep your teen safe, limit cellphone use, and teach basic cellphone etiquette

Parents and Teens Contract: Cell Phone Use

I know that owning a cellphone is a privilege. I respect that my parents love me and want to keep me safe. My parents respect that I am becoming a young adult and want the privilege of having the use of a cellphone.

With that in mind, we agree to the following cellphone rules:

  1. I will remember what usage is allowed with our cellphone plan and I will not go over the limits of that usage. The amount of data I'm allowed to use each month is _____________________.


  2. I know that I am required to contribute to the cost of my cellphone. The amount I will pay toward my cellphone bill is ________________.


  3. My cellphone must be turned off at this time _________________ each night. I will not sleep with my cellphone in my room. It is my responsibility to be sure the cellphone is being recharged each night.


  4. I agree that if I am unable to keep up with my responsibilities, the use of my cellphone can be taken away from me. This can happen even if I have contributed to the cost of the cellphone plan.


  5. I will not use my cellphone to take pictures or videos of nudity, violence or other unlawful activity.


  6. I will not use my cellphone for malicious purposes. I won't engage in cyberbullying or any activity that is harmful to others. 


  7. I will not use my cellphone while driving. This includes text messages or talking.


  8. I will not use my cellphone when it is bad manners (like at the dinner table). I will not ignore the people in front of me in order to check social media or text with other people.


  1. I will limit the amount of time I am on the phone. These limitations are:


The consequences for not following through with these limits on my cellphone use are:


Updated by Amy Morin, LCSW.

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