How To Create a Cell Phone Contract Between You and Your Tween

Tween girl holds cell hone while parent looks over her shoulder

Deepak Sethi / Getty Images

Deciding if your tween is responsible enough to have a cell phone isn't always an easy decision to make. Once you've made it, you will still need to teach your child some basic rules of cell phone ownership, as well as the responsibilities that come with having a cell phone. Creating a cell phone contract between you and your tween is an excellent way to teach your kid about these rules and responsibilities, as well as the consequences for not seeing them through.

What Is a Cell Phone Contract?

Just like signing a contract in your adult life to buy a home, take a new job, or make a business deal—a cell phone contract between you and your child should clearly lay out the rules you'd like them to follow. On the flip side, it should also spell out the responsibilities you will have as a parent. The contract should be binding and enforceable.

You may want to create a cell phone contract so both you and your kid can hold each other accountable. If all of the rules are spelled out, there can be no question if those rules are broken. If those rules are broken, then the consequences are also clearly laid out. But keep the lines of communication open and be sure you go over every item in your contract, giving your kid the opportunity to ask questions and even make suggestions.

Cell Phone Contract Template

The sample phone contract below can get you started. Use the contract as is, or edit it according to your own rules and consequences. Review the contract together periodically, as circumstances change and challenges may arise.

Contract Introduction

This contract between [Parents' Names Go Here] and [Tween's Name Goes Here] establishes family rules and consequences regarding cell phone usage.

[Tween's Name] Cell Phone Responsibilities

In this section, you will make a list of your kid's responsibilities. Here are some examples:

  • I will share my phone's password with my parents and they may use it to check my phone at any time.
  • I will not send threatening or mean texts to others.
  • I will not text or place phone calls after 9 p.m.
  • I will keep my phone charged at all times.
  • I will answer or respond promptly when my parents contact me.
  • I will not bring my cell phone to the family dinner table.
  • I will not go over our plan's monthly data usage. If I do, I understand that I may be responsible for paying any additional charges or that I may lose my cell phone privileges.
  • I understand that I am responsible for knowing where my phone is, and for keeping it in good condition.
  • I will obey the rules of etiquette regarding cell phones in public places. I will make sure my phone is turned off when I am in church, restaurants, or other quiet settings.
  • I will obey any rules my school has regarding cell phones, such as turning them off during class, or keeping them on vibrate while riding the school bus.
  • I will alert my parents when I receive suspicious or alarming phone calls or text messages from people I don't know.
  • I will also alert my parents if I am being harassed by someone via my cell phone.
  • I will not use my cell phone to bully another person.
  • I will send no more than _____ texts per day.
  • I understand that having a cell phone can be helpful in an emergency, but I know that I must still practice good judgment and make good choices that will keep me out of trouble and out of danger.
  • I will not send embarrassing photos of my family or friends to others. In addition, I will not use my phone's camera to take embarrassing photos of others.
  • I will not use my phone to buy or download anything without asking permission first.


Remind your kid that having a cell phone is a privilege, not a right. If the rules are broken, there are consequences. This section will clearly lay out any consequences your kid could face.

  • I understand that having a cell phone is a privilege and that if I fail to adhere to this contract, my cell phone privilege may be revoked.
  • If needed, I may help pay for the cost of the phone and/or for excess charges that I incur without permission from my parents.
  • I understand that my cell phone may be taken away if I talk back to my parents, fail to do my chores, or fail to keep my grades up.

Parent Responsibilities

Finally, lay out your end of the bargain as a parent. This section details the parent responsibilities, including:

  • I understand that I will make myself available to answer any questions my child might have about owning a cell phone and using it responsibly.
  • I will support my child when they alert me to an alarming message that they have received.
  • I will alert my child if our cell phone plan changes and impacts the plan's minutes.
  • I will give my child _______ warning(s) before I take his or her cell phone away.

Signed ______________________________ [Tween]

Signed ______________________________ [Parents]

Date _______________________________

A Word From Verywell Family

If you think your child may be ready to have a cell phone, but want to make sure they are following your rules, a cell phone contract might be right for your family. You can use this as a guide to create your own contract. This will ensure both you as parents and your tween know the rules and the consequences for breaking them. Involve your child in the process and make sure to listen to their suggestions.

Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

By Jennifer O'Donnell
Jennifer O'Donnell holds a BA in English and has training in specific areas regarding tweens, covering parenting for over 8 years.