Contracting with Kids: A Positive Way to Teach New Skills and Improve Family Dynamics

Contracting with Kids: A Positive Way to Teach New Skills and Improve Family Dynamics

First developed in the 1970s, contingency contracting is a behavior change strategy that identifies a task to be completed and a reward to follow successful accomplishment of the task. Numerous studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of contracting to improve behavior and teach new skills to children with and without disabilities in home, school, and community settings. Using children’s stories, examples of contracts used by families to help children fulfill household responsibilities, learn new skills, get ready for school in the morning, and make friends at school will be presented. Participants will receive materials for developing, implementing, and evaluating contracts that were field-tested by more than 300 families.

Learning Objectives

  1. State the purpose and give an example of the following parts of a behavior contract: Task, Reward, Task Record, Official Seal, and Signatures.
  2. Describe a collaborative list-making procedure that parents, behavior analysts, and teachers can use with their children, students, and clients to identify tasks and select rewards for contracts.
  3. Identify three common reasons behavior contracts fail and describe a behavior analytic-based remedy for each reason.

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