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First viral sensation of 2013 – a mom’s iPhone contract

Janell Burley Hofmann is the mother of five children, including 13-year-old Gregory who just got an iPhone with strings attached. Many parents admire Hofman who says she loves her kids with a "gentle and fierce heart." (Photo courtesy Janell Hofmann)

We’ve already had the first viral sensation of the year.

A mom’s contract with her son, who got an iPhone for Christmas, has caught on because she’s the mom most of us want to be, but aren’t.

Janell Hofmann gave her 13-year-old son an iPhone, with an 18 point contract that begins:

Dear Gregory

I love you madly & look forward to sharing several million text messages with you in the days to come.

1. It is my phone. I bought it. I pay for it. I am loaning it to you. Aren’t I the greatest?

2. I will always know the password.

3. 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.

“Do not involve yourself in conversations that are hurtful to others. Be a good friend first or stay the hell out of the crossfire,” she says. “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.”

Hofmann says she’s gotten a lot of requests from other parents who want to use her contract as well.

I like contract points 13 and 14:

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.

How does Greg feel about this?

“Why? Why did she really have to do this?,” he told ABC News.

She did it because she’s a cool mom – by my definition. I’m not. I’m the mom who handed over an iPhone to my 17-year-old daughter with no restrictions, no conditions. I even bought insurance for it in case it’s ever lost or stolen.

Hmmmm, I’m reconsidering as I look at the rest of Gregory’s iPhone Contract.


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