Behavior contracts are one of the simplest but most overlooked techniques available to help parents through the difficult preteen and teenage years. When used properly, written contracts can be incredibly successful in preventing or stopping unwanted behavior.
Behavior contracts work because all children want and need structure in their lives. Written agreements will bring a calming effect to them because they know the rules and their consequences and find that very reassuring. In addition, written contracts will reduce the number of disagreements between parents and their kids because the rules were previously discussed and agreed upon in advance.