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Establishing and Managing Family Rules

Rules are everywhere. They help to keep some sort of order in society and encourage people to engage in desired behavior. The same goes for families. Within every family, there are rules, and while they may vary from family to family, the one thing that remains constant is that they all have them. You probably have rules in your family as well, even if you aren't so sure what they are yet!

Positive Parenting: Identifying and Establishing Rules

Some families require shoes to be removed when you walk into the house. Others require that kids keep their drinks in the kitchen only. The possibilities of what the rules in a family may be are endless, but they are there. Some common rules that families establish include things like no hitting, being respectful, no name-calling, respecting each other's personal property, and cleaning up after yourself. Here are some parenting tips for establishing and managing your own family rules:

  • Call a huddle! Seriously, hold a family meeting to discuss the rules. Get everyone's input on what should be a family rule. Take it all into consideration and create a list right then and there. Then post it and hold everyone accountable!
  • Use behavior charts and a point and reward system to help get your child to follow family rules. These tools can be extremely helpful in leaving the power struggle behind and getting them on board. Circle back in the family huddle frequently to check in on how things are going.
  • Aim to be consistent in enforcing the family rules. Everyone needs to be on board and held accountable for not following them. Accountability and consistency are the keys to being a great parent.
  • Be a great leader! You can do this by setting the example and demonstrating each day the family rules that you want followed.
  • Hold more family meetings if needed, so the rules can be re-evaluated, and you can discuss what everyone needs to work on improving.

Patience is Key

Establishing and maintaining family rules takes time. It is not likely that all the rules will be followed overnight. But if you are patient, make them a priority, and are consistent, you will become successful in getting everyone on board and following the rules!