The Written iPhone Contract Is For Me – Not the Kids

FullSizeRenderAntonio and Crystel started asking for an iPhone when they entered middle school. Having a flip phone was not cool.

Jody and I made a deal with them. If they would get on the A/B honor roll for the entire school year they could have an iPhone.

This verbal contract didn’t alleviate my job as a parent in knowing what their grades were. Facebook became second to SchoolView where I would check their grades and learn of any missing work.

An M for missing homework was totally unacceptable. I let them know that an M meant that MOM would come to their classroom and sit next to them. I made good on that promise on three occasions during the school year for both middle-schoolers. I totally enjoyed the experience.

It was amazing to me how Antonio and Crystel would skate a B- seemingly oblivious to the fact that it could drop to a C+ at any time.

I mean, an iPhone was on the hook here.

For three quarters both made the A/B honor roll by a slim margin.

Mid-May, I was concerned that they might not make it the last quarter.

FullSizeRender (3)That’s when I realized that the iPhone contract was for me. Would a C+ end up being acceptable? Would we get them an iPhone anyway?

At this point, I wrote the verbal contract and had them sign it. I had to make it clear to myself that there would be no iPhone if they missed the honor roll.

After receiving the grades in the mail, I wrote another contract.

The first rule: I need to receive A’s and B’s in seventh grade to keep my iPhone. Any quarter that I don’t make the A/B honor roll I will lose my iPhone privileges until I am back on the honor roll.

I anticipate an M or two and am envisioning sitting next to two seventh graders at some point during the coming school year. The threat of that is even better than a contract.

And, just in case, we’ve kept the flip phones.


This entry was posted in iPhones, Middle school, Parenting and tagged , , , , , by Elizabeth di Grazia. Bookmark the permalink.

About Elizabeth di Grazia

An artist, I follow the nudge inside of me. This nudge led me to write Peace Corps stories, find the front door to the Loft, and to graduate from Hamline’s MFA program. The story that became my thesis for Hamline is woven into my book manuscript: HOUSE OF FIRE: From the Ashes, A Family, a memoir of healing and redemption. It’s a story about family. And a story about love–for my partner Jody and the son and daughter we adopted from Guatemala. Most days, I can be found working as a Human Resource Manager for a foundry in Minneapolis. When I am not at the foundry I may be volunteering as a Police Reserve Officer for Richfield, MN or kicking butt at Kor Am Tae Kwon Do.

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