IowaMorningGlory: More About Contracts for Kids

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Marta608, Nov 18, 2006.

  1. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Hi, I just posted to the thread about raising kids and love the idea you mention about contracts. Could you tell me a little more? Fortunately I have done my raising but my son and DIL are very challenged with my (very smart) 12-year old granddaughter. Unfortunately, she's the smartest one in that house, IMO. She and I relate well but CFS prevents me from spending the time with her that I'd like to.

    If I could convince her parents, a contract might get her attention as she's very "fairness-oriented". (She has a "perfect" sister.) I'm wondering how it's done and if the parents might have some rules for themselves in that contract. My son and DIL are not united which, as we know, if a big part of the problem. My son is the bad guy and DIL is the pushover. Rules seem to be made up on the spot. Very bad for kids like my grand whose behavior is also ADHA.

    I don't know that my granddaughter actually is ADHA or if she's just a very anxious little girl given the inconsistency of her parents. I read The ADD Answer by Dr. Frank Lawless and it appeared to me to be anxiety rather than actual ADD.

    I've rambled here but I'm sure you get the idea.


  2. IowaMorningGlory

    IowaMorningGlory New Member

    I am not sure exactly what kind of behaviors you are looking to set boundaries for, but I can give you some examples I have used recently for my foster son. They have been working very well.

    I think the jist I get from you post is your granddaughter is very smart in the respect that she knows how to maybe manipulate her parents to get around things. Which don't take me wrong, I personally think says alot about a child. She is exactly that a very smart girl, probably very polite and loving, and it sounds like her and gramma have a great relationship.

    If you give me some ideas, and if you want I could come up with some suggestions for you.

    Here is an example: (Was going to post other one, but it is a little longer, but more specific)

    Passing Grade Percentage Contract (11/16/06)

    1. All tests will be at a 65% level or higher.
    2. All assignments will be at 65% or higher, except math which at this point needs to be 100% completed to keep from an F.
    3. Jake will be responsible for studying for these tests and completing study aids meant to aid in test taking. (Example: Packets for reading strategies and history, vocabulary for Biology, etc.)

    If these conditions are not met then their will not be computer or game time until following assignment in that particular class and next grade is raised, or if extra credit can be done and it is done (if Jake asks that particular teacher and they agree). (There is not extra credit in Math)

    All this will be Jake’s responsibility and if not followed through on then Jake will be determining his own consequences by not following through. As agreed on by his signature below.

    This contract is due to midterms coming and failing grades being present. At this point Jake cannot have failing classes because next year is his senior year and he does not have room in his schedule to make up anymore failed classes or he will have to go another year.

    This contract is because we want to see Jake succeed and know he can.

    Signature: _______________________________________

    Signature: __________________________________

    Please, let me know if this helps. You are a great grandmother to care so much. I have great respect for you, it is very hard sometimes to step in.

    Kitten hugs,
    Blessed Be,
  3. IowaMorningGlory

    IowaMorningGlory New Member

    I thought this was cute, so just had to add it. You know the reward part, it can be so simple.

    A few minutes ago my foster son came down. He was so proud of himself. He had set his alarm to get up at 11 to go to work at 11:30 because the last two weekends we have been bugging him that he was old enough to get up on his own to go to work. If he could set his alarm to get up and play games, he could set it to go to work.

    The funny part...he doesn't have to be to work until 5:30 tonight!

    We laughed for quite awhile and I told him he still did a great job, because he did get up on his it was still a major thing. He was very proud of himself.

    And now...he has extra time to play games yet.

    He also stated, for a change he was going to work on a reading packet he has due and German or he knows I will take his games away monday.

    Hey, at least he is thinking ahead and that is major progress.

    Kitten hugs & Blessed Be,
  4. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Cute story about your foster son, Laurie.

    Alison's behavior especially concerns me because she's constantly testing the limits (and why not? they change all the time!). The thing that bothers me the most, I think, is that she really does act like she doesn't care anymore and that's worst of all.

    We were watching Akeelah and the Bee, a great movie for young kids. Akeelah wanted to enter the big spelling bee but her mother didn't want her to. Alison said very calmly and matter of factly, She should do it anyway and not tell [her parents], that's what I'd do. And she meant it.

    Lately I hear that the problem is homework. She'll tell her mother when she's picked up from school that she doesn't have homework but during conferences the teachers say that the big problem is that she doesn't do her homework. She just shrugs. And she's only a new 12.

    They take away her phone privileges as punishment so she waits until they're asleep and sneaks the phone into her room in the wee hours of the morning.

    I'm of course concerned that this is just the beginning of much greater problems for them all. What an understatment.

    How would you write a contract for a child who really doesn't care if she gets in trouble or not? Of course I've suggested counseling to no avail.

    Thanks so much for your input.

  5. IowaMorningGlory

    IowaMorningGlory New Member

    Just curious does the school she goes to have an internet site to check grades? If your not sure, call the school to find out. Most schools do but alot of parents aren't aware.

    If they take her phone privalages away, how does she get the phone?

    In our house for example we have internet through the cable company, an the main computer is in our bedroom. The internet is shut off at 11pm and not on until next day, for the kids until chores and schoolwork are done.
    Computer also has security features set by me so they can't get into the wrong site. And I check their msn messages.
    Oh! and when I really have told them somethng several times and it is not getting done, I have shut the power off to their room. (It gets their attention) tee hee. And they believe me now.

    Anything to help, just let me know,
    Blessed Be,
  6. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    They have several phones throughout the house including one in the garage which she evidently confiscates in the night. I suggested that they unplug them all and put them in their own room but, you know? I think it's easier to complain about Alison.

    Turning the power off in their room sure would be an attention-getter! At least she's not on the computer with her friends yet. They have that covered.

    Thanks! I suspect the answer lies in prayer. ;>)


  7. kat2002

    kat2002 New Member

    IowaMorningGlory: Contracts for kids - I love this idea. My sons are 15 and 12, and we have verbal agreements about certain things but I never thought about putting them in writing. What a great idea! I would love to see some additional examples whenever you have the time, if it is not too inconvenient.

    Marta: I hope I haven't offended you by butting in on your post to IowaMorningGlory. Thanks for the title of your post - it really caught my attention.

    Thanks to all,
  8. IowaMorningGlory

    IowaMorningGlory New Member

    "Tough Love" can mean alot of things to alot of people. Yes it is tough on the kids, but parents too. The kids because of consequences, and the parent because it is in our nature to not want anyone mad at us. Being the nice guy is so much easier. Sometimes sacrifice on both sides is a necessity.

    Unfortunately if she knows they aren't going to do what it takes to follow thru with her consequences then they might just as well give the phone back and say were okay with your grades.

    Can grandma do the grades contract with Alison? Just something between the two of you? Is there something Alison likes doing with you that she doesn't do with anyone else? Here would be a sample contract if that were the case.

    Weekly Grade Contract with Grandma: (11/18/06)

    1. Alison will do all her assignments each week.
    2. Alison will turn in all her assignments each week.
    3. Grandma will check with the teachers at school each Friday (whether by email or phone)*most teachers have their own email addresses if you ask them. Great way to communicate with them and they love that your interested.
    4. If 1 & 2 are followed through on Alison and Grandma will________________ (Fill in the blank)
    5. If 1 & 2 are not followed through on Alison will not get to ____________________ with Grandma. (Fill in the blank)

    This weekly grade contract is not to see what Alison gets for grades. At least right now. It is because Grandma and Alison both agree she is capable of doing her assignments.

    This contract is both a reward and consequence contract that will ultimately be determined by how bad Alison wants to do the above with Grandma.

    We know Alison is a smart and bright girl and we want to see her succeed. Besides it will show also how much she cares for Grandma, because Grandma is looking forward to doing ________________(fill in the blank)

    We both agree to this by both signatures signed below.

    Signature: _______________________________________

    Signature: __________________________________

    Just something simple, let me know if it is something you think you could use.

    Kitten Hugs & Blessed Be,
  9. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    You're very welcome to join in. Raising kids takes a village, after all. lol Yes, aren't contracts a great idea?

    Kudos to Laurie.

  10. kat2002

    kat2002 New Member


    It does take a village to raise a child - especially for those of us with CFS/FMS/ME!

  11. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Oh, goodie! I'm so relieved to be able to have this "conversation". And thank you for the example. I'll print it for possible reference for my son, at least.

    Let me ask you this though: It occurred to me to keep my time with Alison sacred between the two of us and not put myself into the discipline situation. She's surrounded by discipline in her parents and her teachers, but what I think she needs is for someone to just love her. I was thinking that if her parents want to use this as a (fair) lever it can work that way but maybe our time together should just be the frosting on her very bare cake. Whattcha think?

    And interesting you should mention doing something special with just the two of us because I've just begun going to our local Animal Shelter for this very reason. OK, so I'm also considering adopting a pet but mostly it's for Alison who loves animals and talks about wanting to be a veterinarian. Which she cannot do without the grades, of course. Grandma has ulterior motives.

    Now, I only have to find the energy each week to continue this with her - which I will do somehow if it's all I do.

    [This Message was Edited on 11/18/2006]
  12. IowaMorningGlory

    IowaMorningGlory New Member

    Marta you and Alison have that special attachment because you probably are the one constant in her life. If I am off base, please let me know.

    My thoughts with the contract would be this. You are probably not going to get her parents to jump in to try this unless they know how and if it works.

    You have a perfect opportunity here. How to put this. Marta doing this contract with her and if she is excited about the animal shelter...then question..what could be a better motivator for her than that?

    Wow..if ever there were motivation, it would be that.

    Explain to her or add it to the contract for both of you to see: (Make it fun for both of you)

    Contract Addition:
    Alison I know how much you love to go to the Animal Shelter and see the wonderful animals in hopes that someday you may get one of your own. The same way you love to see the animals is the same way I love to see your assignments turned in so I can say, "WOW". Lets make this a date 2 weeks from now we will go if I can see those assignments go in. What do you say, "Deal or No Deal".

    Keep it light and have some fun.
    Blessed Be,
  13. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    You present a good "case". lol

    I'll think about it. I know I must first be sure I can continue with the Shelter visits, that my energy will hold up to them. I think I'll give it a few weeks, then decide how to handle it from there.

    Thanks so much for your time and energy.

  14. IowaMorningGlory

    IowaMorningGlory New Member

    I am glad I could help and truly I hope I didn't overstep. I get carried away because I know how hard it is to motivate kids.

    Always try to make it fun for both of you. :)

    Take care and let me know.
    Blessed Be,
  15. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Heavens, no. I love your insight and will probably take your advice once I'm sure I can keep the energy going.

    Thanks again.