Establishing a behavior contract with your child is a great way to help your child work with you to create a plan to understand the limits of their behavior. Behavior contracts are often used for children who have problems with disruptive and poor behavior in the home or at school that negatively affects their relationships with their siblings, parents, classmates and/or teachers. A behavior contract is a great way to resolve some of these issues and set rules for your child as a way to help maintain discipline and order. There are a variety of behavior contracts available online that range from simple behavior contracts to more complex contracts that might outline a specific plan for improvement with your child.
Some behavior contracts simply cover the rules and expectations for the child. While another behavior contract might specifically outline consequences for when the rules are not followed, and awards or rewards for when the good behavior is followed continually. The behavior contract works best when the child and the parent both sign and agree to the terms set forth by the parent child contract. The most important part of a behavior contract to keep in mind is that it is imperative to follow through. By following through on the terms in the contract, parents are establishing control over the situation and are not allowing the child to bend the rules to fit their own agenda or behaviors.
One way to follow through on the behavior contract with your child is to have meetings to see how it is working and if any changes need to be made. Get a good idea of how your child is responding to the behavior contract to find out what they think of it, and to find out if it is truly effective in managing your child’s behavior. If it doesn’t seem to be working, make sure the expectations set by the behavior contract are reasonable and make sure the consequences are appropriate in helping to manage the behavior.
Following through with the consequences of failed behavior every time, is the most important way to maintain control and to ensure your child knows you are serious about correcting negative behaviors in the home or at school. Your child may feel upset by the behavior contract, and the entire idea may seem overwhelming, but a behavior contract is a great way to level the situation before it gets out of your control. Don’t focus on negative behavior. Instead, focus on the positive behavior that is spelled out in the behavior contract. Encourage good behavior and make sure to praise your child when they do well.
Check out our website at parentcontracts.com to find out more about parent child contracts and how they can benefit your family by establishing rules and guidelines in your home.