Effective Consequence

Creating a personalized Home Contract that works for your family is a key step, but in order to properly implement it you’re going to have to come up with some effective consequences. By choosing effective consequences that motivate your teen, you will besolidifying the authority of your Home Contract and ensuring your effort thus far does not go to waste, while motivating them to stay on track.

Loss of treasured items

Loss of Treasured ItemsWhen a teen breaks a rule or behaves in an inappropriate manner, restricting the teen’s use or entitlement to certain things can be a very effective method of managing their behavior. In this day and age, the majority of teenagers are attached to their phones, music players, laptops and cars, so the loss of any of these will negatively impact their freedom and social life.

When children grow up in an environment where all of their needs have been met and they have even been treated to niceties such as smartphones, Playstations, iPads and pocket money, they start to take these for granted. Children are entitled to have their basic needs met by their parents, but anything above and beyond that is not a necessity but a treat. Removing any of these niceties for a defined length of time is an excellent way to remind your teen if they are not abiding by the Home Rules they will not get the benefits that only a good, responsive child deserves.

Fines

FinesFollowing a similar logic from the above-mentioned loss of treasured items, fines are based around a financial loss. This works best if the teenager receives a weekly allowance or earns money from a part time job. The truth is, if someone was living in your house using your facilities, not paying rent, eating all your food and not helping out – you would kick them out.

Of course you want to provide for your children, but it’s important not to be taken advantage of. Implementing fines for violation of the Home Contract will effectively show your teen that there are financial consequences for disregarding authority – an important life lesson.

Time Out

Time OutMost parents will be familiar with the concept of Time Out as it’s an effective tool for dealing with small children. If things escalate during discussion with your teen, Time Out can be a good de-escalation technique to prevent the teen from getting out of control.

Usually used during at the beginning of an argument, during Time Out the teen will immediately stop what they are doing and take a breather for a few minutes. Time Out works best when the teen is trying to question something that is worth questioning, but their emotions are high or they are hounding the question. It’s your way of saying, “I acknowledge your question, but we need to have some space between now and when we talk about it so we can discuss it calmly”. Make sure your teen understands what you mean when you use Time Out.

Reading Reviews

Reading ReviewsThis is another immediate consequence that has the added bonus of encouraging your child to read more and become more analytical, a useful skill for many aspects of their life.

During a reading review, the teen will sit at an assigned place and will stay there (except for necessary breaks) until the reading assignment they have been assigned is completed. Once the reading is complete, the teen will review with the parent what they read, a synopsis of the main points, as well as their overall impression of the reading. The parent might choose to discuss why they chose that particular piece, as well as the Home Contract violation. Chapters from religious, self-improvement or inspirational books, or selected articles from newspapers and magazines make excellent reading choices.

Listening Reviews

Listening ReviewsIn essence this is basically the same as the Reading Review, but just involves the teen listening to a motivational or educational tape.

Grounded

GroundedBeing grounded means that the teen is restricted from certain activities for a certain length of time. The length and type of grounding will be dependent on the severity of the violation of the Home Contract. The grounding could be for a specified length of time, or until a certain project or certain number of study (or work) hours have been completed. You can get pretty creative with your grounding, choosing certain privileges to be off bounds. You can choose to ban your teen from everything or just limit particular things for a certain length of time; it really depends on the Home Contract violation and what you feel is appropriate. Feel free to include your teen in the negotiation and formulation of their grounding.

Below is an outline that might be helpful for you to determine which areas you want to restrict during the grounding.

Grounding Outline Terms and Conditions Term:
Length of grounding ________________

Conditions:
Out of the home activities: (Check the one in each category that best fits the restriction needed for this grounding)
___ No out of the home activities except with the parents (homeschool)
___ No out of the home activities except for school and with the parents
___ No out of the home activities except for school, parents, work
___ Not applicable, Not a condition of this particular grounding
___ No out of home activities except for school, parents, approved school activities
___ No out of home activities except school, parents, work, and approved School activities approved school activities (sports, etc.) or other Conditions______________________________________________________________________________________________

Friends visiting the home:
___ No friends may visit whatsoever
___ Not applicable, not a condition of this particular grounding
___ Only approved friends at times individually approved by the parents
Conditions______________________________________________________________________________________________

Phone:
___ No phone use unless specifically approved on individual case basis by parents
___ Not applicable, Not a condition of this particular grounding
___ No phone use except under certain conditions
Conditions______________________________________________________________________________________________

Cellphone:
___ Cellphone taken away
___ Not applicable, not a condition of this particular grounding
___ No cellphone use except under certain conditions
Conditions______________________________________________________________________________________________

Driving:
___ No driving privileges
___ Not applicable, not a condition of this particular grounding
___ No driving except to school
___ No driving except to school, no friends may ride along
___ No driving except to school & work
___ No driving except to school & work, no friends may ride along
___ No driving except to school, approved school activities
___ No driving except to school, approved school activities, no friends
___ No driving except to school, work, approved school activities
___ No driving except to school, work, approved school activities, no friends approved school activities (sports, etc. ) or other
Conditions______________________________________________________________________________________________

Transportation (riding in a car with friends):
___ No riding with friends
___ Not applicable, not a condition of this particular grounding
___ No riding with friends except to school
___ No riding with friends to school and work
___ No riding with friends except to school and approved school activities
___ No riding with friends except to school, work, approved school activities
Approved school activities or other Conditions________________________________________________________
May not ride with the following friends _______________________________________________________________

Video Games:
___ No video game privileges
___ Not applicable, not a condition of this particular grounding
___ Only at approved times or after certain chores or responsibilities are completed
Approved times or conditions ________________________________________________________________________

Computer and Internet:
__ No computer or Internet privileges
___ No Internet privileges, computer is approved for homework or other such needs
___ Not applicable, not a condition of this particular grounding
___ Only at approved times or after certain chores or responsibilities are completed
Conditions______________________________________________________________________________________________

TV
___ No TV privileges
___ Not applicable, not a condition of this particular grounding
___ Only at approved times or after certain chores or responsibilities are completed
Conditions______________________________________________________________________________________________

Music
___ Loss of music privileges
___ Not applicable, not a condition of this particular grounding
___ Only at approved times or after certain chores or responsibilities are completed
Conditions______________________________________________________________________________________________

Any other conditions:__________________________________________________________________________________

 

Special Work Projects

Special Work ProjectsSpecial work projects are work projects in addition to normal chores that the Teen needs to complete.

Until the special work project is completed the student is grounded (see Grounded description above). Depending upon the severity of the rule infraction a work project may be as simple as mowing a lawn or weeding a flowerbed. A work project may also include more substantial projects like painting a fence or deep cleaning a house. A work project may be something that can be accomplished within a few hours to a longer work project that requires a few hours a week for a period of a couple of months. Special work projects work best if the project, when it is finished,will benefit others beside the teen. Examples include anything that benefits the entire family, friends, neighbors, individuals in need etc.

As with any project, communication of what the parent expects to have accomplished as well as in what time frame and the quality expected should be addressed before the work project is started. Many parents’ feel that it is best to lay out the details and their expectations in writing to the teen to prevent confusion. It is also important to teach the teen accountability and not let them off with an unfinished or unsatisfactory work project.

Study Hours

Study HoursStudy hour(s) like the reading review help the teen learn and better themselves academically as well as teach them control and self-discipline. Study hours can become part of follow through consequences for many infractions but is often used as a remedy for unsatisfactory academic performance. Often the brightest teens have some of the worst grades in school as academic grades are based are based on participation and completed assignments. Study time is a set period of time during each day that a teen has reserved exclusively for studying. There should be no distractions and the parent should ensure that the teen is studying. This teaches the teen the importance of dedication and time management.

Work Hours

Work HoursWork hour(s) like study hours(s) is a set period of time usually daily or on the weekends where a teen is actively engaged in working. The teen should be instructed sufficiently what work and or chores needs to be accomplished and the parent is to supervise that the teen is accomplishing these tasks. Some parents may give the teen a set amount of work hours that must be performed within a specified period of time and allow the teen to schedule the work themselves. Like work projects the parent should ensure that the teen’s work is of acceptable quality and the teen follows through with their work assignments in an appropriate manner. For a teen being grounded is an additional and effective follow up consequence.

Rewards

RewardsMost of the rewards for following the home contract should be the normal privileges, comforts, and rewards provided at the home. However, if you desire, you can provide additional incentives such as: Weekly allowance, special privileges or certain activities, special prizes or purchases. Some of the most powerful reinforces are those that don’t cost anything: praise, recognition, and acknowledgement.

Home Contract

Home ContractMany Teens expect their parents to provide them with numerous privileges and comforts without any responsibility or accountability on their part. One of the best ways to fix this is through implementing a Home Contract. No reasonable businessperson would attempt to do business with another person without first agreeing to the terms, benefits, and expectations in the form of a written contract. Your teen will be responsible to numerous written rules and/or contracts during the course of their lives: rent, car payments, mortgages, loans, school rules, employee policies, and etc. They will be held accountable to each of these written contracts or policies. There is no better place or way for your teen to learn to be accountable than to start now through a Home Contract.

A Home Contract is a written contract or understanding that clearly outlines your expectations of your teen while they are living in your home and receiving the benefits thereof. Many frustrations and conflicts can be avoided by having this type of clear outline of your expectations.

Ready to start creating your own personalized Home Contract? First watch our presentation on everything you need to know and then head to our Home Contract creator to get started.