Creating Family Rules children will be able to follow using four simple steps
Family rules are a wonderful way you to help your children understand your family values. Having a small set of rules also means you give the whole family a chance to understand and maintain a sense of family harmony.
Children really thrive when boundaries and rules are clear. Even more so when the rules in your home are set up in such a way that children feel as if their own ideas about those rules have been given some consideration.
How your family rules are set up can actually help children respect boundaries and better meet your expectation.
While there are many ways to come up with effective family rules, there are few steps you can follow in creating rules that will get children really excited and even happy about this whole process. You can forget the old saying “rules were made to be broken” and in fact come up with rules that your child will thrive on.
Family rules do not need to be a long exhausting list of “can’t dos” and “must do” to be effective.
Follow these four simple steps to creating family rules children are able to follow well:
1. Keep it simple
There is no need to list off every single thing you expect your child to do and not to do in the house. Instead of a giant no-no list or must do check list, it may help to think of family rules as guidelines. Family rules can be a source of inspiration and gentle reminders for your expectations. Choosing words that are simple yet representative of the values you wish to share with your children for years to come usually work best.
2. Invite children to participate
Children are much more likely to respect family rules they have helped set up. Inviting children to create the family rules can be a great way to connect as well as a chance to hear what kind of values your children are already starting to think about.
3.Make a visual
Displaying the family rules somewhere proudly is a great way for the whole family to remember and be inspired by the rules everyone came up with together. Some ideas for creating a visual could be to use family pictures, inviting children to draw a picture or writing the rules together on poster board. For very young children having pictures that represent each value may be helpful.
4. Review and Clarify When Needed
Rules posted on the wall may be a great visual reminder but taking the time to review the family rules together, say once a week or so may be a great way to keep everyone on the same page. We review our rules at the end of our family meetings once a week, this feels like it is often enough for everyone to remember but not so often it becomes annoying. How you review your rules might change as your children get older.
As children grow, it may be helpful to revisit, rewrite or re-evaluate the family rules to make sure they are age appropriate. Especially as children approach the tween/teen years, aside from family rules that deal with core values, make agreements about limits and expectations.
Having clear and simple family rules is important towards maintaining family harmony. Rules and clear expectations also give your child a certain sense of safety without losing the ability to make choices.
Peace & Be Well,
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