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A Mother Gave Her Son 18 Awesome Rules To Follow When She Bought Him An iPhone Recently

Submitted by on January 2, 2013 – 10:37 am9 Comments

Like most 13 year olds, Greg Hoffman spent the last year begging his mother for an iPhone. iPhone 3? iPhone 4? iPhone 5? It didn’t matter. Greg just wanted an iPhone. And, on Christmas morning this year, his wish finally came true. Greg got an iPhone. SCORE!

But, there was a catch. Before Greg could actually use the iPhone, he had to agree to a set of 18 rules that his mother Janell Hoffman came up with. If he wanted to keep the iPhone—or, rather, if he wanted to borrow the iPhone that his mother bought him, which was rule No. 1—he had to abide by the rules that she came up with. They were designed to keep him happy and healthy and to keep him out of trouble when he used the iPhone. And, you know what? After looking through the rules, I actually feel like there are a lot of people out there, myself included, who could benefit from some of the rules that Greg’s mom came up with.

As we enter into a new year and prepare to try and better ourselves, we could all benefit from reading through the rules and trying to adhere to one or two of them. So, I’ve included a copy of the rules below. How many of these do you think that you could implement into your life? We’re glad that Greg will have to follow them and we hope that more parents out there will follow his mother’s lead.


1. It is my phone. I bought it. I pay for it. I am loaning it to you. Aren’t I the greatest?

2. I will always know the password.

3. If it rings, answer it. It is a phone. Say hello, use your manners. Do not ever ignore a phone call 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 9:00pm. It will be shut off for the night and turned on again at 7:30am. If you would not make a call to someone’s land line, wherein their parents may answer first, then do not call or text. Listen to those instincts and respect other families like we would like to be respected.

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 lie, fool, or deceive another human being. Do not involve yourself in conversations that are hurtful to others. Be a good friend or stay the hell out of the crossfire.

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

10. No porn. Search the web for information you would openly share with me. If you have a question about anything, ask a person—preferably me or your father.

11. 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 iPhone to change that.

12. Do not send or receive pictures of your private parts or anyone else’s private parts. Don’t laugh. Someday you will 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 phone 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 than 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. I will take away your phone. We will sit down and talk about it. We will start over again. You & I, we are always learning. I am on your team. We are in this together.

So, how awesome are those rules? Which ones could you put into place and utilize?

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