Want your teens to become perfect little angels who never argue and do everything you tell them to do? Yes? Then don’t have children.
But. The contract below will get you closer to that lack of reality.
With just two weeks left until school starts, we will begin the mad dash of getting the paperwork filled out, school supplies and clothes purchased, wrangling the kids back into a decent bedtime and MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL, the Back to School Contract.
Hear angels singing? You won’t. It isn’t that great, but it’s REALLY REALLY good. If you don’t have a BTS Contract or as we like to refer to it, a Zip It Contract, you are in for a treat. The sole purpose of the contract is to say ZIP IT to your sanity sucking teens when they start to get feisty.
For example, they might say, “I can’t believe we have to go to bed, it’s only 9:30.”
You will point to the contract hanging on our family board, take a slow sip of my wine, turn to your teen and with a June Cleaver smile say, “Remember sweetie, you signed the contract.” In other words? “Zip it.”
If you DIDN’T have the contract, the conversation would have gone like this, “I can’t believe we have to go to bed, it’s only 9:30.”
You would begin with, “It is a school night and you need to get sleep to be smart and grow.”
They would say, “But why? All my friends stay up until 10:30 and they are ALL smart and tall?”
Then something so awful, so disgustingly June Cleaver, would come flying out of your mouth, “IF ALL YOUR FRIENDS JUMPED OFF A BRIDGE”…you get the point. *shivers*
Thirty minutes later you would still be arguing and the whole thing would end with an eye roll, some comment about what an uncool mom you are and your teen slamming their bedroom door in your face.
*downs the rest of her wine*
Instead? Zip it.
Below is a copy of our Back to School Contract:
Bedtime will be 9:30 p.m. for Noah every night. You may read until 10:00 p.m.
Bedtime will be 10:00 p.m. for Keenan every night. You may read until 10:30 p.m.
This time is not to be spent on school reading, only extracurricular reading as your school reading will be done during homework time.
Noah is to take the trash out as needed. You are to empty one drawer of the dishwasher per day. Your bed must be made and teeth brushed before you leave for school.
Keenan is to mow the lawn as needed. You are to empty one drawer of the dishwasher per day. Your bed must be made and teeth brushed before we leave for school.
Television during the school week will be after dinner, after all homework has been checked, all chores completed, all showers taken and teeth brushed. No television before dinner. Any extra time before dinner is to be spent outside practicing sports. (Insert your own outdoor activity here.)
Xbox: (This probably only applies to boys.)
No xbox during the week. PERIOD. On the weekends, you may play two hours per day after homework that is due on Monday is complete.
You may use the computer instead of watching television. See “Television” for rules.
My teens are not yet driving, but I think it is pretty clear that the greatest negotiation tool the parent of a teenager holds is a set of car keys. Use them. Loudly and proudly to get your teens to do what you want.
If you are in compliance with the above rules, WITHOUT ARGUMENT all week, you may spend time over the weekend chillin’ with your friends.
If you are NOT in compliance, you may spend time chillin’ with your mom.
We all sign the agreement and while it doesn’t alleviate every argument and certainly doesn’t even slightly curb the eye rolls, it gets rid of most disagreements and shortens the others.
A quick reminder that my smiling face is all they will see all weekend and let’s just say they empty that dishwasher with an enthusiasm that rivals a kindergarten room mom.
Instead of getting annoyed with my teens’ eye rolls, I play a game in my head. I used to be a champion eye roller when I was a teen. So? I grade their eye rolls. One being the worst and ten being the best. Bonus points if they fling their head back at the same time. Sometimes I shout it out to them, “Nice. That was totally a nine,” and other times I keep it to myself. Either way? It makes me laugh instead of scream. You’re welcome.
Submitted by: Stefanie