Setting House Rules
Quite often, setting a few solid House Rules can make the environment at home a lot less chaotic and a lot more relaxing. These rules determine what behaviour is or is not acceptable in a household and assist your child in aligning their behaviour to your expectations.
The rules you set are entirely up to you and, quite often, are in line with the family’s values and morals. House rules can be as general as being polite and sharing toys, but what is important to note is that everyone in the house must agree to abide by the rules.
Set a few rules – see if you and your child can agree to stick to these rules. Don’t set too many for your children to be able to memorise or remember.
Let your children help you set the rules – you obviously know what you will or will not accept in your house but letting your children participate will increase their willingness to follow the rules Hold a family meetings and decide on the rules, you might receive some insightful responses so it is also a good opportunity for you to learn what is important to your children.
Be clear – don’t overcomplicate the rules, keep them short and concise so they are easy to understand and remember.
Keep them realistic – there is no point laying out rules that are waiting to be broken.
Keep them positive – for example, instead of ‘no screaming’ try something like ‘speak politely’.
Praise – acknowledge and praise your child when they follow the house rules.
Display – write out the rules and put them up somewhere to reinforce them, like the fridge.
Keep it consistent – you may risk your authority losing credibility if the rules ore often bent or changed. This will also make them more likely to be broken.
Practice what you preach – it is important for you to follow the rules too. Children are more observant than we tend to think so when in the event of you being caught off-guard breaking rules, the chances that your child will not comply might get higher.
When broken – reinforce that a house rule has been broken by saying something along the lines of ‘being polite is one of our house rules and you have just broken it’.
Setting boundaries within the house can really teach children to respect limits and will most likely help them in later stages of their lives.
By Komal Qaiser