Little Miss hugging her Kindle Fire

Kid Contract: If You Want A Tablet…

November 2, 2013 by Michelle

The wee ones now have the own Kindles.  After a great deal of thought, I purchased both of them Kindles – and I shared my reasons why I chose Kindles for them.  At 8 and 10 years old, this is their first major electronics acquisition, but I know it won’t be the last.  I didn’t want them to be lost, stolen, or broken, and I didn’t want them to disappear into their tablets at all hours and in every situation like I’ve seen so many other kids do.

A few years ago, I witnessed the brilliance of my friend Melisa, as she had her children sign contracts when they got their first cell phones.  I immediately have vowed that I would do the same when the wee one were old enough.  As we researched tablets, I realized that a contract for this type of device made just as much sense as it does for a cell phone.

We purchased them not to keep up with the Joneses but instead partly because it is important for children to be technologically aware by third and fourth grade, but more because when we go on trips, they need sufficient books to keep them occupied.  It’s always been a challenge to bring enough books with us, but when we headed out on our cruise, I knew we needed a new solution.

The wee one were thrilled when I announced that I was going to let them get Kindles, and they were only mildly concerned when I explained that they would also have to sign and abide by a contract.  We haven’t had to reference it so far, thankfully.  They have had Kindles taken away from time to time for a day due to not following the rules, but overall, this has been an excellent way to set the expectations around their tablets and to help them understand the seriousness of taking responsibility for them.

Little Miss hugging her Kindle Fire

Tablet Ownership Contract

I (name of child) am thrilled that I will receive a Kindle Fire HD of my own.  I understand and agree to the following provisions in exchange, and I acknowledge that not following the provisions of this contract will result in temporary or permanent loss of Kindle privileges.

1) I understand that both owning and using my Kindle is a privilege and not a right.  Failure to follow the rules will result in my losing this privilege, and I will not whine if this occurs.

2) Understanding that a Kindle is not an inexpensive device, I agree to pay for 50% of the cost of the Kindle Fire HD.

3) Additionally, I will purchase accessories that Mom and Dad deem necessary, as well as any that I desire, from my own money.  This list includes screen protectors and a case as approved my Mom or Dad.  I will utilize these safety features at all time.

4) If I break, lose, or otherwise damage the Kindle, Mom and Dad will not replace it.  I will notify Mom or Dad IMMEDIATELY if something happens to my Kindle.  Depending on the circumstances, I understand that I may not be allowed to purchase a new one for a given period of time, either.  I will take good care of my Kindle.

5) If there is a game you wish to load to your Kindle, you must get permission from Mom or Dad, and only Mom and Dad have access to add programs and books to the Kindle.  Any games that are not age appropriate or otherwise deemed not acceptable will not be purchased or loaded.  This is not negotiable.  If there is a cost to any games or books, I am responsible for paying Mom or Dad before the item is purchased.

6) The Kindle will have Kindle Free Time turned on as a default.  I understand that I have a maximum of 45 minutes of game time per day.  I do not have access to videos, the Internet, or other categories.  I may read as much as I want when I am allowed to have my Kindle.

7)  The Kindle will always have the parental controls turned on.  I agree that I will not learn the password nor attempt to circumvent parental controls.  If I inadvertently learn the password, I will alert Mom and Dad so it can be changed.

8)  The Kindle does not leave the house with limited exceptions as approved by Mom or Dad, such as vacations or road trips.

9) I may have access to the Kindle only once all my work has been completed, as determined by Mom or Dad.  For example, I may not wake up and begin playing with the Kindle, nor may I play with it before completing homework.

10) I am responsible for keeping the Kindle appropriately charged.  I understand that there is a battery monitor and that I will plug it in before there is no battery remaining.  If I neglect to take responsibility for this, I understand that I may not whine about this and may not be able to play with my Kindle at that time.

11) The Kindle will live in Mom and Dad’s room to avoid temptation to use it when I have other tasks I should be doing.  Each night, I will be sure to return it to Mom or Dad for safekeeping, and I agree that I will not fetch it to play with until I have been granted permission.

12) I understand that not following any of the above guidelines will result in my losing access to the Kindle for a period of time as determined by Mom or Dad.  If I am unable to complete homework or exhibit other problematic behaviors that seem to be a result of owning or playing with the Kindle, the relevant game or the entire Kindle may be forfeit.

Thank you for the Kindle, and I am proud to show how responsible I can and will be.


(Name of Child)

So far, so good with the contract. I  think it’s helped to explain the gravity of owning a Kindle.  So what would you add or change for your child?


  • Maria

    Fabulous contract! Way to go, mom! 🙂

  • Laila (@OnlyLaila)

    I love the idea of a contract. My son has had a Samsung Galaxy Tab for 2 years and I didn’t think to create a system for how he would use it. I definitely monitor how long he uses it, but didn’t think to create formal rules for it. I’m not that familiar with Kindle’s so I have to read your post about why you chose them.

  • Sarah

    I love this!

  • Michelle

    Thank you so much for sharing this! We want to give our 10 year old son his own tablet but we wanted him to sign a contract with our expectations. Thanks to you our process will go much faster and smoother!

    • Michelle

      I’m so glad to hear this. Having a signed contract where the expectations are laid out makes so much sense to me. It definitely helps avoid confusion and hopefully helps alleviate issues for you. Good luck!

  • saccw

    I like it. I also added the following condition:

    The Kindle may not interfere in social situations. I will not read or play on the Kindle during times when I would otherwise be expected to interact with my friends, my family, or family guests. If I am using my Kindle when guests arrive, I will immediately close the Kindle and put it aside or in a different room so I am not distracted.

    • Michelle

      Brilliant addition. I love it. I had sort of assumed that in some of my other requirements, but I love spelling it out like this.

  • Abby

    How has it been working out? I find that Kibdle’s Free Time feature does not always work properly. Sometimes it tells the kids that their free time is over even though it clearly is not. I find the Kindle Fire HD extremely frustrating for this reason. I love you’re contract, though. We need a refresher in the rules and I am going to use it as a guideline. Thanks!

    • Michelle

      We haven’t had an issue with the Free Time telling my kids it’s over when it isn’t. They HAVE figured out how to extend the time by hitting a button right as it pops up, which frustrates me. For the most part it works well, and it’s better than many other alternatives out there. I hope the contract helps! My son has an iPad for school now, and I put one together for that, too – which I should probably post soon!

  • archana

    This is so brilliant. I just searched for kindle contract and yours popped up. My almost 10 year olds purchased a kindle fire with their pet-sitting money so I will modify the contract but thanks for a huge leg up!

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