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Download: Parent-Child Behavior Contracts

By Amanda Morin

Sample Parent-Child Behavior Contract

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A behavior contract can help you and your child work on things like  self-control and lying. It can also spell out rewards for meeting a goal and consequences for not meeting it.

A good contract includes steps you and your child will take to change a behavior. So rather than just saying “Stop doing X,” you come up with strategies to replace inappropriate behaviors with better ones.

For the contract to work, it’s key to get your child’s input. Helping shape the contract makes kids more likely to stick with it.

Start by focusing on one or two behaviors. (Having too many goals at once can be overwhelming.) Work with your child to come up with the goals, strategies, rewards, and consequences.

Be sure to schedule a time to review it later. Use that time to talk about whether the contract needs to be changed or your child is having trouble meeting the goals. This is one of the ways a behavior contract can help you have an ongoing conversation about behavior.

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