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This sample contract will help you clearly define for your child what you mean by “ditching school”. Your child is probably a great attorney who suffers from we call “literal disease”. This means that your child is an expert at finding loopholes. This contact also clearly outlines predetermined rewards and consequences. You use the ones listed or use as a template and fill in your own. It also defines everyone’s role including school personnel.
This sample contract will not only help you clarify specifically what you mean by “leaving home without permission” but also illustrate the power of creative consequences. For this teenager, his clothes and looking cool were what was important. Therefore, losing his entire wardrobe, including shoes for 1 week was huge. For teenagers, the consequence has to be more distasteful than the pleasure of breaking your rules or in this case, leaving home without permission. If not, the teenager often takes the immediate gratification to live for the moment and will misbehave. PLL will show you how to creatively figure out the pressure points for your particular teenager.
Disrespect has been voted by parents as the #1 behavior that gets under their skin. Like Aretha Franklin once sang, “All I need is a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T”. To stop the disrespect, often the best offense is a great defense. This defense is doing the unexpected or “catching your child doing something right”. In this case, it means that every time your child goes a whole day of respectful behavior, there are predetermined rewards that they help create with your final approval. And if they can go consecutive days of no disrespect, there can be bonus rewards. This tactic will confuse your child in a good way. Whenever we act in the opposite spirit, good results are likely to happen. I think the biblical teaching of Jesus were very wise in this area and a good roadmap to follow. And always remember there are still consequences for the disrespect. You are not throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
Curfew is what we call a “safety issue”. This means that if your son or daughter is out on the streets late at night the risk of harm skyrockets. At PLL we will show you how to take this template and customize it for your particular child to stop this behavior cold in its tracks.
When parents walk into a messy home and have to nag their child about chores, it sets a negative tone for the entire day. In addition, doing chores mirror what the real world is like. However, parents often make the common mistake of not clearly predetermining what chores they expect to be done and by what time. It is too open ended and allows the child to easily find the loophole. When this issue becomes a non issue, the home environment is more peaceful and tougher issues like curfew or truancy can be better addressed.
Desperate times can sometimes call for “outside the box” thinking. Depending on the teenager, the pawn ticket approach can be very effective. The underlying principle is to make the consequence most distasteful than the pleasure derived from the behavior. In this case truancy or smoking marijuana. It is recommended that you consult the KCCGC counselor before you try this creative consequence because it can backfire if not used properly.
Children are often experts at a tactic called “divide and conquer”. Believe it or not, your teenager knows that a house divided cannot stand. And if you and the school are currently at odds or not on the same page, your teenager can use this to their advantage. To help prevent this maneuver from being successful, this template was created. The KCCGC counselor will help you custom design this template for your child and the school and then help lead a great parent-teacher conference to end your teen’s poor school performance or ditching school problem behaviors.