Simone and I decided that for Christmas, this past year, we were going to get our two oldest daughters iPods. This was a decision that was not taken lightly and not made without a lot of considerations.

It was just after we had given the gifts to our daughters that we came across a mother who gave her son an iPhone with an 18 point contract. We read the contract and thought it was good so we borrowed it and modified it for our situation. You can see our version below:

 

Our iPod Contract:

Dear,

We love you madly & look forward to sharing several million text messages with you in the days to come.

1. It is our iPod. We bought it. We are loaning it to you. Aren’t we the greatest?

2. We will always know the password.

3. If we text, answer us. Do not ever ignore a text 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 8:00pm. It will be shut off for the night and turned on again at after your homework is done and your room is tidy.

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 gossip, 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 out of other people’s business.

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 who you would not say out loud with their parents in the room. Censor yourself.

10. 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 iPod to change that.

12. Do not send or receive pictures that you wouldn’t send to your parents or grandparents. Someday you might 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 iPod at 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 from 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. We will take away your iPod. We will sit down and talk about it. We will start over again. All 3 of us, we are always learning. We are on your team. We are in this together.

It is our hope that you can agree to these terms. Most of the lessons listed here do not just apply to the iPod, 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. We love you. We hope you enjoy your awesome new iPod.

Merry Christmas!
Love,
Mom and Dad
xoxoxo