Mom gives son iPhone with 18-point contract

“If you finally buckled and gave your offspring a smartphone or gadget this Christmas, you may by now be wondering if they will ever return to the real world away from that shiny new screen,” Jamillah Knowles reports for TNW.

“Smart mom, Janelle Burley Hofman has published a document that may secure you a full-on teenage eye roll, but it could also help young ones learn to be responsible,” Knowles reports. “Amusingly it’s not just a few core principles, but an 18 point contract for her 13-year-old son Gregory to adhere to as the lucky recipient of an iPhone.”

Read it all in the full article – recommended – here.

MacDailyNews Take: Good for Janelle Burley Hofman… and for Gregory, too.


    1. How do you know?
      What a ridiculous statement to make.
      No connection between these two events (possible events) AT ALL.

      I dont know why this dumb-ass story is even on a Mac page.

  1. Banning porn is cruel to 13 year old; porn is healthy and perfectly moral thing, considering that the state is officially secular; no one harmed.

    Most of other points are really great, thoughtful and wise.

    1. Actually it was only no porn without adult guidance; if you’re going to look at Playboy it’s good to have someone explain the science of airbrushing (or Photoshop these days).

      Many years ago I dated a guy who had a friend who was the single mom of a teen boy; the kid wanted to see “Deep Throat” but she didn’t want him watching porn w/o an adult present to answer questions, so she said okay IF he would watch it with my friend M. Worked great for all concerned.

  2. My niece who teaches 4th/5th grade would love to have this woman as a parent of her students…she’s had to confiscate many tech products over the last several years for being used during class time. (It’s in the written rules sent to each student’s household, & parents have to sign & return a copy.) I’d probably allow my kid to take it to school (just so s/he could reach me in emergency, the ultimate reason to have a cell phone), but the rest of the contract is sound. (Don’t discount Angry Birds as a learning tool though; there can be some learning of trajectories & basic physics from those feathered fellows.)

  3. Any intelligent person doesnt need a contract with his parents.
    This is EXACTLY the kind of ‘thinking’ that makes the world a really stupid place, especially in Gunworld™ (USA).

    Dont we get cellphones so that we can call home because there are hardly ANY payphones left? Isnt it a necessary piece of equipment if you are out in the world?

    And NOT in school?! Thats not smart, Mrs Contract/Control Freak….

    1. There are hardly any pay phones because most people have a cellphone. You DON’T need a cellphone in school, the school has plenty of phones, and a parent can contact the school in an emergency, and get a message passed to the student.
      Once outside of school, however, yes, a cellphone is almost essential these days.
      But Derek in Milano obviously isn’t bright enough to realise these simple facts.

      1. My High School only had pay phones. If I needed to call my mom in an emergency, having a cellphone would have been very good. Especially if the emergency happens after school is out, like on the way home.

      1. Amen!

        What a difference a decade makes. What would we have done in the 80’s if we didn’t have cell phones.

        Oh wait, we didn’t.

        Derek, almost everything you use has some form of contract/law/stipulation attached to it.

  4. “Wonder without googling.”

    All the rest of the stuff was pretty good but that line was stupid. I’m not saying it has to be google you search but searing the internet is a very good way to learn. Looking up the answer to something and getting caught up in a search for knowledge is healthy. A quest for knowledge should be encourage. Staring out a window at a bird will not tell you the atomic mass of uranium. I can’t count the number of times I’ve gone to look up some little fact and ended up reading about many historical events and scientific theories just from that one little search.

  5. If this is a serious contract with a 13-year-old child, it needs to be narrowed down to a few key points that are easy to remember and follow. Many of these points are just “life lessons” that need to be communicated and imparted in other ways. The parent should follow her own advice and not rely on a document and an “iPhone bribe” to teach her son to behave appropriately. And it should probably go with the child to school (and elsewhere), with the stipulation that it will only be used for specific purposes (which they can discuss “person-to-person” without bullet points in a contract).

    Other adults may say “Good for Janelle Burley Hofman…” But to the child (the actual important person in this deal), this “contract” is probably equivalent to Sheldon Cooper’s “Roommate Agreement” (Big Bang Theory). A bunch of control-freak nonsense meant to be a joke.

  6. Play the phone game when you go out dinner: Everyone puts their phone on the table, preferably in a stack. First person to crack under the pressure and go for their phone buys dinner.

    Some people are just horrible to spend time with nowadays. I’ve got friends that literally send a text message every couple of minutes or so, all day.

    I usually say “I’ll wait until you’re done”. Which kinda confuses them. I’m really thinking “WTF could you possibly be talking about???”.

    1. I don’t have a cellphone and haven’t had one the last 11 years.

      Honestly, that’s the question or thing I’ve always asked my self….

      Literally, WTF could they possibly be talking about???, Specially when it is the same person that’s calling in and multiple times, taking more than a few minutes each call.

  7. First, she states “You are now the proud owner of an iPhone.” Then she states, “It is my phone.  I bought it.  I pay for it.  I am loaning it to you.  Aren’t I the greatest?”

    She’s not the greatest. She’s a bitch, a screaming shrew whose husband, if he hasn’t killed himself, is a Casper Milquetoast who needs that harridan’s permission to breathe. She watched too many repeats of Sheldon Cooper’s room-mate-agreement episodes.

    Tthat story sounds like the updated myth “rules of the office” from 1880 or a “how to please your husband” story from a Ladies Home Journal of the 19-teens.

    If she exists, that household would be hell to live in. If she exists, it’s a guarantee the kid will end up a mass killer.

    I just saw ken1w’s comments before posting this. Great minds and all that.

  8. #1 – this mother is a d-bag narcissist for going to the media with this.

    #2 – no 13yo “needs” an iPhone. Just get him a cheap Android boost or a feature phone.

    #3 – why did the local media even run this story? Slow news day?

  9. I would tell her to take it back – to many ridiculous rules. I like several of the points, just not the way she implemented it. Why would you post that on your blog, unless you wanted to draw attention to yourself. Which apparently it has, since the story has gone viral and everybody is lauding her as such a “great parent”.

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