Wording of difficult child contracts

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by mstang67chic, Jan 7, 2008.

  1. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    How exactly do you word a contract with your difficult child? We're looking at doing one for when he is 18/graduates. I know the content would be house specific but I'm just curious as to what kind of things should be in it. Comments? Suggestions?
  2. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    <span style="color: #3366FF">Each adult child is an individual with their own needs, etc. Likewise, each parent's expectations will differ from one to the next. So, I have cut and paste portions of our agreement with our 18ddgfg in regards to specific areas that were/are important to H and me. As an 18 year old HS graduate adult living in our home following a very turbulent summer, these are the things that were foremost in my mind when I drafted up the following agreement.</span>

    1) So I can sleep at night, I need to know where you are; if you’re safe. I prefer you in your own bed every night, but I understand that you may want to stay at a friend’s (especially when it is safer to do so). So, I will expect a phone call by at least 11PM letting me know if you won’t be home (where you are/who you’re with). Also, a call if you won’t be home for dinner. This is not a request, it’s expected. You MUST call home & let us know these things, out of respect for living in our home, to show responsibility; because we love & care about you. I know that at 18, a curfew seems strange, but like I said above, it’s about respecting the other people who live in the home. During the week, you need to be home by 11:30 PM. Weekends, Fri/Sat, I think 1:30 AM is fair. Even boarding houses have rules similar to these.

    2) You must be responsible for your bedroom – that means you keep it neat, pick up clothes from the floor, make your bed. You will do this out of respect for our home & because it shows responsibility & development as a young adult. You will do your own laundry as well. You’ll have a laundry basket & will be allowed two days a week to do only full loads – no ‘one item’ loads as it’s waste of water, etc. We can choose together which two days a week will be your laundry days based on your work schedule. You will also be expected to help with household chores such as unloading the dishwasher & tidying the house, no leaving your stuff all over the place, & helping with other stuff when needed. If you see that something needs to be done, such as the tub, sink, or dishwasher, you should just do it. Do not wait to be asked. Adults know when things need to be done & this is a responsibility that we all share. Everyone pulls their weight & pitches in to help keep the house running & tidy.

    3) You MUST get a job working at least 30 hours per week. If one job only offers 15 hours, then you will get another. Many people your age, younger & older, work two jobs to cover their expenses, save for a car, pay rent, etc. Right now it’s just a job. If you’re not in school then your time should be spent working to cover your insurance, etc.; saving for your future needs. You will IMMEDIATELY seek employment upon your return. I expect that you will be working somewhere at least by November 5th. You will not be going out/running around until you have a job.

    4) You will pay us $40/week to cover your insurance. NO exceptions.

    5) You will see your counselor or someone else for life counseling. You don’t need to do in depth therapy if you don’t want it. But you do have to have a little help with direction & since you’re on medication, it’s required by our (most) insurance.

    6) No drinking or drugs in our home. You’re not of age to drink & you have suggested that it may be a problem for you. By your own admission, you obviously cannot handle drinking alcohol. We don’t want you driving with anyone who has been drinking, so if that’s ever the case, call & we will get you. We’d rather have you alive & safe than dead. If we suspect that you are or have been under the influence of drugs/alcohol while driving, we will take away your keys to the car and you will submit to a drug test.

    7) No guests or use of phone past 11PM. No guests, unless cleared by us first, allowed in the house when we’re not in the home.

    <span style="color: #3366FF">This next one is specific to our ddgfg so it may not apply in your case!</span>

    8) You will have to have a more permanent method of birth control, such as the IUD, Norplants, Depo-shot, or at the very least the Nuva Ring. You don’t always take your BC pills & that is a great concern. We will see Dr & she will help decide which long term method would be best for you.

    <span style="color: #3366FF">Good luck - so far we haven't really had any major issues with difficult child respecting our home and rules. If she's at a party and there is drinking, she spends the night and usually calls or is home by noon the next day. She still needs me to remind her to take her medications and she's had difficulty getting a job, but her money has run out so she's bumped up her efforts since H and I do not give her money.</span>
  3. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Mustang -

    Your question brought back so many memories - and I don't know if it's my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) type tendencies or just life with a difficult child that made me feel like an attorney and too indepth when I wrote out our contract.

    I'm used to getting HUNG by difficult child finding the loopholes of ANY contract and sticking my head in them. So by the time my little contracts were done - there was a 2 page agreement just for using the bathroom. lol

    And I taped it up in the bathroom. We don't have much company, but when we did they took ideas from our written word and did similar things for their own easy child kids.

    I think the contract largely depends on your knowledge of your difficult child. Like I said with mine - I could still be working on a draft copy.

    JoG had some excellent ideas.

    Do you have a psychiatrist that you could ask? Maybe call mental health or some day programs for kids with other disorders that could point you in the right way?