Why create a social contract in a family?
To plan how we will treat each other as a family, based on our beliefs by basing our behavior on our internal pictures we create with each other. When rules are created for children, they generally consider them the adults’ ways of trying to control them even if the adults ask them what the rules should be. There is no energy in co-creating rules that can interfere with privileges. Children see rules as extrinsic, done to them.
We Must Involve children in the belief discussion and ask them what their values are. They will go to their neo-cortex, do creative thinking and look inside themselves for the answer. Ask how they want to be treated by others. Their answers to that question causes them to think about their own personal values and the son, granddaughter or sibling they want to be.
Example: When one of my grandchildren treats another disrespectfully, I quietly ask them, “Noah, How do we treat each other in our family?” I ask this in a loving, soft voice, absent of judgment, not a punitive or guilt-ridden voice. Or I might ask, “Noah, what do we believe about how we treat each other?”