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Video:How to Write a Behavior Contract

with Milo De Prieto

A behavior contract is a straight-forward, personalized document that addresses a repetitive, problematic behavior in a student. Learn the steps to writing a behavior contract for a student in this how-to video from About.com.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Write a Behavior Contract

Hello I'm Milo for About.com and today we are talking about How to Write a Behavior Contract. 

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 is a written agreement between the school, the teacher, the child, and the parents. The goal of the whole process is to correct undesirable behavior exhibited by a student in a classroom and replace it with desirable behavior.

Make the Behavior Contract Specific

The first thing to take into account is that even though you may have a standard form for your behavior contract, it is very important to study the behavior you want to correct and customize your form and the whole process as much as possible. Take into account the student's personality, the parents, and the situation at hand. You may want to pay special attention to the student's preferences, likes and dislikes, to propose an effective reward system that will motivate him or her. 

Another important thing to keep in mind is the child's age and to write the document in a language that is easily understandable to the student. Be explicit, specific, and clear. 

The second step is to arrange to meet with all the people involved, including the school administrator in charge of disciplinary matters. Again tailor this to the situation and student, intimidation might not be helpful, a step by step process meeting with each party separately might be more effective. 

What to Remember when Making a Behavior Contract

In the form you draft make sure to define:

  • how you will keep daily accounts of the student's behavior
  • what the rewards for exhibiting the target behavior are
  • What the consequences will be for exhibiting the undesirable behavior you are trying to correct. 

When all is agreed upon have the involved parties sign the form. Some useful tips you may want to try:

  • Don't stray from the plan, consistency is very important.
  • Praise the child when he or she exhibits the behavior you are trying to get them to exhibit in the classroom.
  • Don't get frustrated if it is not effective immediately, in fact plan for it to be a process. But do continue to build trust with the child. 

Sometimes it takes a little while but once you are successful the rewards are very worthwhile! 

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