An important step in taking the initiative to resolve problems is the ability to negotiate for what is desired. Negotiation can start at any age. The use of a simple contract can help children learn this skill. Contracts can be written when children want a privilege, to purchase something, or need help in tending to their assigned responsibilities. It might read:
I_________________will ask to use things that belong to others for ______days. When I accomplish this, I can ask to have a friend spend the night.
At the end of the period, evaluate the contract. Discuss:
1. Did the contract help? How?
2. Did you accomplish your goal? How can we work together to help you accomplish your goal?
3. Are there other problems at home we might use a contract to resolve?
Discipline With Purpose, Inc., 1997
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