How to handle a troubled teen: Using a family contract

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Dealing with a troubled teen is not easy, but a creative family contract could be a solution to your woes.

Are you dealing with a troubled teen now? Try coming up with a family contract!

A troubled teen is never a ‘sight to behold’ — most of the time, having a troubled teen in the family leads to all sorts of ‘ugly’ situations.

Still, as parents, we don’t have the option to turn our backs on the troubled teen in our lives. Instead, we need to love them, and guide them through their troubled times.

Along with that love and guidance, we need to set expectations on both sides, and work on improving our communication as well.

Of course, if you’ve had all of these parenting ‘skills’ home prior to your child reaching the teenage years, it will be easier to deal with your troubled teen.

However, if you’re still looking for better options and ways, a family contract may be just what you need.

What is a family contract?

A family contract is just what the name implies — a contract between family members that outlines the rules, guidelines, expectations for your home/family and the consequences/benefits of living in or out of the same.

Who should write the family contract?

Every member of the family should give inputs as to what goes into a family contract. But remember, every home needs a leader and you, the parents, should be the leader(s) of your home.

If you have older kids like tweens and teens in the family, you should include their inputs in your family contract.

If you have older kids like tweens and teens in the family, you should include their inputs in your family contract.

Everyone’s opinions and needs should be taken into consideration, but as the parents, you do have the final say.

What should a family contract accomplish?

  • A contract is between two or more people and is meant to serve the greater good for all parties involved.
  • A contract is meant to bring all involved parties into agreement on the matter(s) at hand.
  • A contract involves concessions for all parties involved — give a little, get a little.
  • A contract can and should be amended from time to time, especially as your children reach different ages and stages of development.
  • A contract is meant to make expectations (for parents and children) clear, and should not be filled with trickery and deceit.

Teen Development Parenting Advice by BRAND'S® AlphaMynd Discipline Relationship How to's