What is a home contract?
The most important time during your teen’s drug recovery will be when they return home from receiving addiction treatment. In preparation for their return home a plan must be in place to help them transition smoothly into everyday life.
The home contract outlines what is expected of both you and your recovering teen. It shows in writing what the expectations and consequences that are in effect upon their return home. This contract is different for every family but they all follow certain guidelines.
What makes a good home contract?
Every home contract is different but all good contracts should contain the following:
- Goals or accomplishments
- How they plan to achieve their goals
- Date of completion of goals
- Consequences if they do not meet the goals or break the rules
What you should do when writing a home contract?
Have it in writing. This may seem obvious but you wouldn’t believe how many people try to do establish these rules only verbally. Putting them in writing gives them more weight and allows your teen to be accountable during their drug recovery.
Be mutual. You want these rules or goals to be something your teen can achieve and agree with. You want them to actively strive for these goals themselves and not have it be a mundane routine they despise doing.
Be specific! Getting an A may seem like a straightforward concept but it is important to be specific on what they should achieve. Try “Get an A in Science” or “Get an A on the Spanish Mid-Term”
Include positive and negatives. A home contract should also include positive rewards as well as consequences for not meeting the goal. These rewards and consequences must be agreed upon mutually as well. They can range from turning off electronics at a certain time to taking away their other privileges. Rewards can also be flexible such as an extended curfew to tickets an upcoming event.
Maintain sobriety. No matter what the top goal here is for your teen to maintain their sobriety no matter what. Keeping this goal should be your teen’s top priority and what they should strive to keep no matter what every week.