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The Parent-Child Contract: An Effective Tool for Families

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son and mom 

The Parent-Child Contract is a tool used in Restorative Parenting, designed to strengthen or repair the relationship between a parent and a child.


As a parent I agree to the following stipulation (including others to be added) and commit to my child(ren) that:


I will always be with you.

I will keep you safe from all harm.

I will respect you as a human being.

I will attach to you for the rest of our lives.

I will view you as my life extension.

I will notice, acknowledge and accept you for who you are.

I will respect your decisions and opinions.

I will guide and influence the formation of your values and behaviors.

I will always support you as a person.

I am responsible to you.

I will provide you with the nurturance to grow and develop.

I will work for your best interests.

I will plan for you to succeed.

I will never leave or abandon you.

I will make the best decisions for you that I can, until you can increasingly make those decisions for yourself.

I will increasingly provide you independence as you develop.

I will allow you to make mistakes.

I will never hurt you directly or indirectly.

I will be responsible for myself and my own behaviors.

I will offer praise, encouragement and support unconditionally.

I will offer suggestions, ideas, opinions and options.

I will love you unconditionally.

I will be sensitive to and considerate of all your ideas.

I will be sensitive to and considerate of all your feelings.

I will accept your limitations and focus on your strengths.

I will accept it when you disagree with me.

I will allow you to know when I make mistakes.

I will seek to understand you more than be understood.

I will let you experience your childhood.

I will give you opportunity to play.

I will love you when you don’t feel you love me.

I will focus more on changing me than you.

I will learn from you.

I will set limits for you.

I will be a role model to you.

I will provide you discipline.

I will provide freedom for you.

I will listen to you.

I will make decisions at times, which will anger and frustrate you.

I will be open to be confided in.

I will work hard to maintain our relationship.

I will always include you.

I will say I’m sorry when I mean it.

I will be proud of you for your accomplishments.

I will be supportive when you experience hardship.

I will encourage your contact and relationship with other supportive adults.

Add your own.

The Bridge for Youth provides free phone, walk-in, and appointment counseling services for youth, parents and families. Call (612) 377-8800 to speak with a counselor.


Getting out the Vote

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What an extraordinary week for The Bridge. One week ago, we found ourselves contestants in an online contest sponsored by Stone Arch, a top-notch Minneapolis advertising agency. The prize: a “makeover” of our brand including a new website. The challenge: receive more online votes than the other two contestants.

Monday began with emailing efforts to friends, family, and donors. With confidence, we had a comfortable voting lead. We felt a slight pressure to keep our lead and cast a wider net including contacts in personal address books and facebook friends.

Crash! Wednesday morning the tide turned. The Bridge was behind in voting, with the spread growing by the hour! An all staff meeting was convened. Brainstorming ensued and shelter staff committed to emailing not just friends but distant relatives, acquaintances, even enemies (who has those?).

As the week wore on, Bridge staff were worried. Teens Alone had a solid lead. Email outreach took on a desperate tone. Posts on Facebook mounted. Shamelessly we begged volunteers, baseball teams, ex-spouses, long lost lovers, coffee shop owners, and barbers to vote.

The tech-savvy quickly figured out they could refresh browsers, clear cookies, and cast unlimited votes. In a breach of good parenting, one unnamed individual insisted his children vote 300 times before leaving for school. A staff member saddled with attending a 2-hour meeting concerning an RFP took solace by voting surreptitiously on her mobile phone for the entire meeting.

Friends in high places pulled strings. Cube mates at Target, Nash Finch, Cargill, and Bremer Bank came through. LGBTQ friends put out the word through Project 515, Arise, and Twin Cities PRIDE festival.

When voting ended, Tuesday at noon, 9,000 votes were cast for The Bridge for Youth. Votes came from India, China, France, England, Australia, and all 50 states – except Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana (need to work on that). This astounding show of support vaulted The Bridge to first place.

We are grateful to all those supporters – and we are indebted to Stone Arch and their team who created a wonderful new identity for The Bridge, including this powerful new website. The re-brand is a story in itself… more to follow on that.