Anyone else get beyond giddy to hear or see how other families manage their homes, kids, schedules, etc.!? Or is it just me? Hoping I’m in good company because there’s been a lot of reflection happening over the last few months — probably one of the better side effects of quarantine — and I thought it would be fun to chat about all the things. Starting with HOUSE RULES.
When I first thought of the topic, it seemed like a good idea because we obviously all have rules that help keep order in our homes and sanity in our brains, but as I sat down to write them out, I realized we actually don’t have many rules. Which might explain the daily chaos and my questionable sanity, ha! But I digress…
For the purposes of this post, what distinguishes a rule from say a value or standard is that when it’s broken, there are obvious consequences. Not that enforcing said consequences is necessarily my forte… but I digress. Again. And just to be clear, some of these get broken often-ish and can also be filed under “Things my mom will nag me about/give me chores to do if I do/don’t do them.”
OUR HOME RULES:
- No Jumping on Furniture: I’d like to say this also includes climbing on furniture, but I just love seeing them comfy and sprawled out over the back of the couch, draped over a side arm, or climbing from a side chair to the coffee table. (The Consequence: They give me $1 to add to my furniture replacement fund :)
- Get Along: Ha! Ok, so there will obviously be conflicts that come up in any relationship, but especially a sibling one and if the way they deal with it is by being impatient, yelling, being mean, etc. it serves no one. (The Consequence: If you can’t get along with your siblings, then you can’t play with your friends. Simple. As. That.)
- No Name Calling: This one piggybacks on rule number 2 and probably needs no explanation. I don’t want them calling others names outside of our home so you know it’s not allowed inside our home either. (The Consequence: Sometimes they get to say or write 3 nice things about the person they called a name. Other times they get to help them with a chore!)
- Eat Over a Plate or Bowl (no exceptions!): This is probably more of a pet peeve than anything and I’m also the only person that enforces it, but I cannot stand when there isn’t a dish or at least a napkin between a person’s food and the counter, table or floor! I also prefer that all the eating happens in the kitchen or dining room. Movie nights and indoor picnics (of course), being the exception. (The Consequence: Their mother will nag them and make them get a plate, and if they choose to eat in the family room, etc. then they are also volunteering for sweep or vacuum duty! Yay!)
- No iPads, Video Games, or YouTube in the Morning: We save that ish for later in the day — preferably after 3pm which hopefully means they will have found something better to do. Netflix or the like are ok for a little bit in the morning tho! And of course there are always exceptions! (The Consequence: They lose the privilege later in the day or the next day.)
- BE FUN!: Sure life isn’t always fun, kids (and adults) get in grumpy moods, and/or are genuinely upset about something. As parents we’re here to help them work through it. However, if they’re just feeling bummed and so therefore being extra, overly whiny or complaining, and making it their job to bring everyone down with them, then they can go do that on their own time! (The Consequence: a “timeout” — no time requirement, just until they pull-it-together. We’re big fans of teaching belly breathing and using calming essential oil rollers (there’s a good recipe in this post!) as tools the kids can use too. Tilly was actually a big fan of both which LITERALLY SAVED US ALL, lol. Another thing we’ll have them do is tell us three things they’re grateful for which will often help get them out of a funk! )
Can you tell by 3 or 4 of our rules, or maybe by the lack of other rules, that I am a middle child!? Ha!
Almost forgot one v. important rule — No playing with shaving cream when it’s Mother’s Day and we’re trying to get out of the house (see photo above for reference). J.K.
To be honest, I’m not totally sure how I feel about rules. Other than the ones that force my children to get along (maybe I’m a hippie!? Ha!). They just feel like a lot of work to enforce. Besides, I live with way too many rule breakers (my husband included!) for them to be all that effective.
How do you feel about rules!? Would also love to hear what your house rules are too so spill the beans in the comments!
What shall we talk about next?!? I’ve had a couple messages about how we manage social media if you’re interested in that? (Spoiler Alert, my goal is always to teach self-regulation and awareness 😬🙃😜 so my answers might not be what people are looking for?)