This week, my ex-husband and I have become increasingly frustrated with our teenage daughter's rudeness and, well, "teenager-ness"!
Our little angel (in the pic above with our dog Max) has suddenly been replaced with a sassy, pig-headed, often-times rude teen and we were both irritated and troubled by the sudden change in behaviour.
We tried a few tactics and punishments but nothing really seemed to cut through. It was a shrug of the shoulders, a slam of the door...but nothing felt like it REALLY made an impact.
Until we remembered her iPhone.
This little gadget seems to be the currency of the current generation. Mention taking a phone away and you're met with pale-faced, wide-eyed terror...the kind that instilled fear in me with the whack of a wooden spoon on the kitchen bench back in the 1980's....
The kid's father is in law so it seemed obvious to create a contract with the kids as a light threat of what would happen if the rudeness continued.
To be fair, my 11-year-old son was brought into the contract purely so his sister didn't feel victimized. He's only just worked out how to post a story on Instagram, so we're not too concerned about him...yet. It's MUCH more effective to switch the wifi off at the wall when he is mid-game Fortnite (sorry, not sorry).
We presented the contract to the kids this afternoon in a family meeting and the usual expected reaction occurred - tears, "how can you do this to me", NO ONE goes to bed at 10pm except "old people" and we were reminded a few times how old we were that there weren't any mobile phones or Snapchat when we were teenagers (it did however remind me of the days of waiting for the internet to "warm-up" at this stage of the meeting)...
After much debate, three wines and a few tears, the contracts were signed. Now we will wait and see how it plays out....
If you're suffering as we are, it may be a helpful tool for you to uncover some peace in your home.
Here's the Google doc link with our original contract, however feel free to edit it as you please...and let me know how you go!!