— Beth, age 4
A mom gave her 13-year-old son an iPhone for Christmas, and it came with her own 18-point end user license agreement. The mom’s original site appears to be down—probably from all the traffic hitting it—but the original post is available on Google Cache. (More evidence that Google remembers everything.) As the Mashable article asks, “Is this overbearing child-rearing, or an approach more parents would be wise to implement?”
Here are the points:
- It is my phone. I bought it. I pay for it. I am loaning it to you. Aren’t I the greatest?
- I will always know the password.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 first or stay the hell out of the crossfire.
- Do not text, email, or say anything through this device you would not say in person.
- Do not text, email, or say anything to someone that you would not say out loud with their parents in the room. Censor yourself.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Play a game with words or puzzles or brain teasers every now and then.
- 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.
- 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.
I’m not sure a “contract” was the best way to present this information, especially published on the internet. She should have been teaching these points all along, and hopefully modeling them in her own life as an example to her son. If he hasn’t heard or seen these things already then this contract is too late. There is also a rather flippant tone to most of it. Yet, a lot of the points are good advice.
What do you think?
HERMIT CRABS: original video from And I’m the Dad
We visit beaches as often as possible. Many times, the kids will find and catch little hermit crabs, putting them in a blue bucket that we bring with us. This particular time, we brought along a waterproof camera (Sony Cybershot DSC-TX10) and took video of the crabs being picked up, crawling all over each other in the bucket, and finally being released en masse.
We’ve since learned that you should not take marine hermit crabs home from the beach, if you were curious. We looked it up before trying it, and simply put: if the stress of the relocation doesn’t kill them, it is difficult to give them the proper environment to keep them alive. So leave them at the beach.
Kind of odd timing to release this video when our other marine video (Sea Jellies) was just posted last week. Maybe I don’t want winter here yet.
SEA JELLIES: original video from Andimthedad.com
This past summer, on a visit to Boston, we took in the jellies exhibit at the New England Aquarium. Beth, age 4, didn’t really care about them — she was more into the penguins — but Luke, age 8, was totally enamored. He especially liked the small phosphorescent “sea walnuts.” He grabbed my iPhone and started taking photos and videos.
In order of appearance, the types of jellies in this video are:
- Leidy’s comb jelly (“sea walnuts”)
- European moon jelly
- Pacific sea nettle
- Australian spotted jelly
- Atlantic sea nettle
- Leidy’s comb jelly (again)
- European moon jelly (again)
- Lagoon jelly
Luke was the camera man and/or director for most of these shots. He also helped me picked out the clips to include from the ~40 minutes of footage. I handled the final video edits and scored the music. The basic contours of the song had been floating around in my head for awhile and, in a fit of insomnia, I finally connected with some kind of sea jelly inspiration. I work with digital media professionally, and have written a lot of songs over the years, but this one is gratis: If anyone wants to use it for anything, the MP3 is up on Soundcloud for downloading under a Creative Commons license. You are free to share it and remix it, but please drop me a note by e-mail or Tumblr ask to let me know what you’ve done with it.
As with the prior And I’m the Dad nature videos on hummingbirds and bees (or that strange tutorial on bristlebots) this is one minute long. I have no explanation for the chosen length, other than that it is an easily digestible time, and that forcing a boundary keeps you focused on quality.
Would it be even cooler if these were live shots in the wild? Yes. Can I afford the money or time to take my kids on such a trip? Unfortunately no. Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy this.
— Luke, age 7