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I signed a behavior contract for my teenage son. But I don't know why it failed.

If this is your question, then there can be several reasons for the failure of the behavior contracts for teens. Here are some common mistakes which parents make while preparing a behavior contract for teens:

1. Clarity:

While preparing a behavior contract, things should be clear. Children find the loopholes in the contracts and take undue advantage of the same. The parents should be clear about the acceptable behavior and mention the effective consequences. For example: If you want your child to behave well with all the family members, then you can set the rules for the child accordingly.

You need to decide upon reasonable effective consequences. Leave no room for the loopholes. If the child violates the rules, punish him reasonably and reward him if he sticks to the rules of the contract.

2. Create the contract together:

It is a good idea to sit with your family members and the child while preparing a behavior contract for the teens. Explain the importance of behavior contracts to your child. Make him understand why it is important for you to prepare a behavior contract. If you involve your child in preparing it, you can discuss the points to be mentioned in the contract. You would also get an idea about each other's expectations from one another.

3. Be specific:

Be specific about the rules and consequences. For example: In case if you want the teenage child to behave well with you and the other family members, you should be specific in setting the rules and consequences. For example: If you expect your child to respect you and the elder members, you can mention the acceptable and unacceptable behavior. The consequences can also be set.

4. Monitor and Review:

Once you prepare such a contract for teens, you should watch the behavior for a few days. You should follow the punishment and the reward system strictly. If you take things lightly, you should forget that the child would abide to the rules. Review the child's behavior and encourage him to follow what's mentioned in the behavior contract for teens.

If you have prepared an agreement for your teenage child, make everyone sign it. Both the parents should sign the contract. If there are other family members involved, then you should have their signatures too. Also stick that written agreement on the refrigerator and do keep a copy of that in some safe place as well.

You can also make changes in the contracts from time to time. If you feel that the behavior contract is not working for your child, feel free to make the changes or prepare a new contract. Once you know about your child's pattern, you can make revisions in the contract.

If you feel that the behavior contract does not work for your teenage child, talk to the child to know what's wrong. You can also take counselor's help to make the child understand the importance of behavior contracts.

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