If you’re a parent there is at least one time you’ve had an argument with your kid that started out something like this:
Mom, can I play on the iPad?
No, you haven’t cleaned your room yet.
No, in fact, clean your room and then play with your toys or read a book, you don’t need technology.
Mom you are so unfair!
No I am not.
Yes, you are! (slams door or stomps up stairs)
This type of argument is common or inevitable and seems to happen a lot more in the summer when they are on break from school.
So what can you do to prevent this type of argument from happening, or at least happening so often?
The answer is simple, have a summer contract with your child.
My friends over at MomSmack.com have done most of the work for you and have posted three different templates for this type of contract: one for an elementary school kid; one for a tween; and one for a teen.
These templates can be added to or morphed into whatever works for you and your kid.
Mac and Gaydos asked me why a parent would need to do this to which I answered its all about expectations.
Kids are used to knowing the rules and working within a structure, after all, there are rules and guidelines at school they have to comply with. If they know the rules/guidelines and are told about them beforehand, they are more apt to follow them and understand.
A contract like this puts the parents and the kids on the same page. It lays out the rules and any exceptions. It evens the playing field and holds both sides accountable for their actions. It can help stop a fight since either side can refer to the contract.
I did this with my brother when he was younger and it worked very well.
The secret to making this successful is that the parent has to stick to the contract. Once the parent starts giving in it becomes a slippery slope.
Give it a try, you might just find that your relationship with your kid/tween/teen will improve.