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Yesterday I found out about Janelle Hoffman, a mum of five who has found a piece of well deserved fame for a blog she wrote on Christmas day about her son\’s iPhone Contract. Janelle had soared up the Parental award charts when she bought her 13yo son Gregory an iPhone for Christmas. However her status as ‘Mom of the Year’ probably wavered when Gregory found that Santa’s delivery came with a little legalise in the form of an iPhone contract.

Gregory’s response was probably a sweet and sour reaction summed up in one word “Why?” He had finally broken through his Mum’s defences after a year of stealth ‘nag attack’ and now, just when he had the goal in sight, the judicious disclaimers and rights and responsibilities were thrust into view. What ever happened to a gift being a gift or trust and love?

Now let’s all calm down a bit because what I’ve read of Janell’s blog is a well crafted 18 point document. While Janell’s blog title calls it a contract and that probably gained a lot of publicity, the reality is its a superb set of guidelines. Her wording and points show a Mum who must have a wonderful relationship with her son and the points she has made will form great life lessons for all. Kudos to Janell for a contract crafted with wisdom and love.

The point is made that many adults in both their personal and work lives could do with a phone contract like this. Sometimes we err too much on the side of personal freedom and forget about personal responsibility. Janell has set about one of the most important tasks in parenthood. She has shown Gregory what a trusted and loved son can be rewarded with and helped him understand the old Spiderman hit phrase, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

My favourite in the list is number 14 and one I will be doing more often.

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.

Here is the YouTube video and then a link below to Janell\’s original blog post.

Thanks for reading. Please tell me in the comments section if you would give your son or daughter a contract like this.

Janell’s Original iPhone Contract Post – Follow Janell on Twitter