Family rules help create structure.
If children were left to their own devices they would never learn right from wrong and I hate to think about the mess that they would make along the way!
Every way that we live needs rules, consider the fact that even as we reach adulthood we still have to abide by rules as otherwise how would we hold down jobs? It is only fair that we create rules and structure for our kids so that they learn from a young age how to and how not to behave. It doesn’t mean you are a mean parent or a stickler for rules you are just being a good parent and with that in mind here are a few ways you can create rules and structure that every child needs.
- Have a specific and very clear statement on the rules- Obviously a baby isn’t going to understand the rules for the house but older nippers do and from toddler age they have a good understanding of what is right or wrong. While they will test the boundaries and get into trouble regularly instilling in them what your expectations are and how you expect them to behave means they can be in no doubt of your feelings in the matter. Be clear about any rules and this will create a good structure in the long term.
- Discuss and debate- When the kids get older they will question the rules and want to know the reasoning behind some procedures at home and if they are out. Be open to discussing it and avoid saying the old saying “it is my way or no way” as this will only cause friction between you all. It may be your child wants a longer curfew outside playing and consider it rather than saying no straight away, take into account if your child is responsible and trustworthy as this will show your child that good behaviour is rewarded. And anyway isn’t it better that your child would ask to be allowed to stay out later rather than just arriving in late?
- Let everyone know the rules and don’t over complicate them- Everyone in the house should know what the rules are and what will not be tolerated, if there is someone who cares for your kiddies regularly they should be informed too. If you prefer you could write them on a white board and have them there to remind the kids, but avoid having too many rules. Three main rules are more than enough as too may will lead to them being forgotten and not adhered to at all no matter how much you nag!
- Follow through and be consistent- With rules and guidelines there must be consequences if the rules are not adhered to and it is vital that you follow through and punish your child appropriately. If you let it go the rules will play no part in your family life, remember rules and structure are there to make life easier not harder.
- Respect each other- It is important to remember that if rules are broken and things don’t go to plan that you remain respectful to each other and avoid lashing out. Kids are by no means perfect but neither are parents and it needs to be said that rules will not be followed all the time but it is how they bounce back and behave afterwards that matters.