What is a Behavior Contract?
How many behaviors are recommended for a single behavior contract?
Hello I'm Milo for About.com and today we are talking about What is a Behavior Contract. A behavior contract is a simple, straight-forward document that addresses a repetitive, problematic behavior in a child or young adult. It can be an agreement between a student and a teacher or between a parent and a child. Normally it is a form that seeks to correct undesirable behavior exhibited by a young person in a classroom replacing it with desirable behavior. The process of creating the document as a contract and then meeting with the involved parties makes it rather formal. All involved parties, after discussing it and agreeing, sign it to validate it. The nature of the desired change as well as the dynamics of the situation, and the personality and character and age of the child all play roles in how to pursue this process. A behavior contract helps the teacher and the student to focus on the good behavior and takes attention away from the bad behavior. It should create a specific and explicit step by step plan of action for addressing the behavior. The more simple and tailored to the student, the better. It is recommended that behavior contracts focus on no more than two behaviors per agreement so as to not be confusing to the student. Including a list of problem behaviors in a contract can dissipate the efforts and overwhelm the student. The form itself needs to describe in a clear manner exactly what is expected from the student. In other words what specific behavior do you want this child to exhibit. It needs to establish a criterion for achieving success. This way it is clear to all involved when goals are been met. This is especially important for the student. The contract should always focus on the rewards that will be earned by the student as a result of reaching the expected goals. Although the focus is on the rewards earned by desirable behavior, consequences need to addressed as well. A behavior contract does not need to be a year long contract, it can have an expiration date, it can be temporary! For more excellent and helpful information on practically anything, check us out at About.com.