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Parents, Teenagers and the Cell Phone

Jonathan Hadit, the renowned social psychologist, has pointed out that the current mental health and academic crisis that adolescents are experiencing is directly related to the use of cell phones. As of 2012, most Americans acquired a cell phone; as of 2015, two-thirds of adolescents did so. Their mental health and academic performance began their downward trend. The impact has been for both sexes, but the damage is greater for girls.

Furthermore, in my book La Transformación del Adolescente and my seminar of the same name, I show the correlation between cell phone use and pornography, cyberbullying, sexting,

called death groups, and interaction with pedophiles. I present the research in psychology and police on why children should not have cell phones, smartphones, and devices with free access to the Internet before they are 15 or 16 years old. I also explain the need for applications such as Family Link to control time and applications, as well as the creation of a contract signed by the child and parents to make clear the conditions of its use and promote a positive experience with the cell phone.

For all that, and because my son already has a cell phone, I created the following contract I share with you so that you can use it with your children, making the appropriate modifications.


1.      The cell phone is not a right but a privilege that you must earn by fulfilling the elements of

2.      this contract

3.      To use the cell phone, you need to have a grade average of at least 85

4.      You can only use it for one hour a day

5.    When you get home from school, you must give it to your mother for homework and exercise.

6.      If you have finished your homework, you can use it after 7 pm. You can use it to listen to music while you exercise.

7.      No headphones in the car

8. Mom or Dad must approve any application.

9. Mom and dad will investigate social media applications to assess their suitability. If approved, you can only use them for 20 minutes a day. They will be on trial for a month. Dad and mom can access your content whenever they want and will generate a friend request

10.   No cell phones at the table

11.   No cell phones when we go to friends' families' houses

12.   People before the phone. You can't treat anyone badly for something related to the phone, and when you are with someone, you need to put the phone aside and give them your attention.

13.   You cannot view or access inappropriate or adult content using your cell phone.

14.   You cannot use it to do or receive bullying, send or receive photographs of your body without clothes or of others without clothes, or for inappropriate conversations

15.   Remember, you lose control once you publish something. It's called a digital blueprint. And others can use it as they wish. Be smart, before sharing or publishing think: is it true? Is it necessary? It's good? If not, it is better not to do it

16.   Finally, dad or mom can, at any time they consider appropriate, ask you for your cell phone and put it away.

I accept the conditions of this contract, and I undertake to comply with them as best as possible to have use of the cell phone.

_____________                                   _______________                                      ___________________

Son / daugther                                             Dad                                                                Mom

Once the contract is drawn up, it is necessary to present it in a friendly manner to the child, explaining the benefits of it and acknowledging the possible inconvenience it may cause. Afterward, it has to be signed by parents and children.

The objective of the contract is for your children to make good use of the cell phone. Remember, you are the authority, so you have the right to set the conditions for using the phone and its applications. Your children can give their opinions and negotiate the clauses of the contract, but you have the final say.

Do not forget that the cell phone is not a right but a privilege that must be earned. And we, as parents, must supervise its proper use.

My son accepted the contract well, and although it does not protect him against all risks, it does give us a basis so that he can take advantage of all the benefits.

I wish you much success in implementing the contract.

Dr. Mario Guzmán Sescosse


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