Steps for Developing a Contract

  • BEFORE beginning the contract process with your child:
    1. List all possible consequences if your child violates the contract.
    2. List all the reasons you would follow through with consequences.
    3. List the reasons your child would give for not wanting to agree to abstain from illegal substance use or refusing to sign the contract. Determine what you will you do if your child refuses to sign a contract agreeing to be substance-free.
    4. Make an appointment to meet with your child in a place free from distractions (i.e. TV, phone, friends, siblings, etc.) Allow one hour.      

  • As you are creating the contract:
    1. Clearly out line your position on the use of illegal substances and share your honest concerns with your child.
    2. Tell your child that you will always give them a safe, calm ride home with no discussion or questions until the following day.
    3. Ask your children to name other caring adults in their life that they believe would help them if asked.
    4. The goal of the contract is not to make them feel trapped, but rather to let them make choices, knowing what the consequences will be if they choose to use illegal substances.
    5. Make one copy of the contract for you and one for your child. You must sign both copies. Give your child one copy at the end of your meeting.
    6. DISENGAGE! Don’t bring up other issues.
    7. Once the contract has been signed, the meeting is over. Back off and let the contract take effect.

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