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  1. In terms of content, I think there is some good advice here, notably numbers 13-17. I can see where she’s coming from with the sentiment of not being utterly glued to your smartphone to the point of becoming a drooling drone, closing yourself off from the world (unless you’re recording it through Instagram) loosing all manner of social skills and independent thought etc etc.

    As someone who grew up in the last generation who communicated through passing notes, (not texting/IMing each other) in class, and who took photos on special occasions with a disposable camera, (which you later ‘developed’ into prints) I am bemused when I am at gigs/club nights these days and all the yoof are FILMING THE WHOLE THING! Can they really enjoy the immediacy of the event this way? Which is why I agree with the crazy mum’s rule to ‘live your experiences’. I also like that she sees the positive aspects of the phone, especially the point she makes about music (15), and the point about brain games (16). Both appreciate the potential for the phone to enrich him in some way, which is refreshing when there’s a lot of older generation types whining about smartphones making kids antisocial and stupid (or getting in your way at gigs, filming everything!) So, good on the crazy old mum for trying to encourage the kid to use his smartphone creatively.

    But does this need a CONTRACT? Couldn’t all of that have been done with a good old fashioned two way discussion? This discussion, if the kid has half a brain, will most probably make him realize that it IS indeed antisocial to have your phone on in the cinema(if he doesn’t, no contract is going to change that kind of social ineptitude). I think the contract context spoils the good intentions, with its irritatingly patronizing tone.

    As for all the policing of what he can send or look up etc on the phone; I get where she may be coming from, but teenagers need their privacy, and there is nothing wrong or negligent about giving them some of that. This is why she is ‘Crazy (if caring) Mum’. Her rules show good intentions, but it’s far too control freaky and sadly, it might not produce the mature, thoughtful and independent young man she is hoping for, who plays word games and has good manners. The control-freakery is simply gonna make him snap one day, and he will find it ‘exciting and enticing’ (instead of kinda juvenile and lame) to be that little bit rebellious and send a picture of his butt to all his friends and their mothers.

    It’ll be his one way ticket to number 18, but he will feel that it was strangely worth it.

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