When is a Written Contract Between Parent and Teen Needed?
A written contract constructed by parents/guardians and the teen can be very helpful when verbal communication has not worked, or might not work, sufficiently. For example, when the teen is having problems following family rules.
In other cases, some youth are concrete learners and can better understand the relationships among rules, consequences and rewards by seeing them in a written document. Another situation is to provide “cover” for the youth to more easily resist peer pressure by refusing dangerous social behaviors like drug use or riding with someone under the influence.
Lastly, contracts are perhaps most relevant when parents/guardians believe the behaviors their youth must avoid or engage in are critical to their safety, health, well-being, success or positive development.
For more information on home contracts designed to prevent risky and undesirable teen behaviors while promoting healthy habits and positive self-identify, check out Prevention Plus Wellness Teen Contracts under our “Parents” tools and resources.