When it comes to your children, it’s important to set rules and boundaries as early as possible. Your family should clearly understand what type of behavior is off limits and what’s allowed. Establishing rules first will help prevent behavioral problems and create consistency in your household.
Create A List Of Written Rules
Making a list of household rules will act as a constant reminder to your kids. It will also help them understand how rules may be different in other environments. Written rules will make your children understand your expectations. They also make it easy if you have a babysitter or grandparents coming over. Rules that are posted clearly in the home should keep everyone on the same page, literally. A written list can also be a reminder to you to act as a role model and follow the rules yourself.
Ways To Make Your Rules Effective
Sit down with your wife or partner and collaborate on what types of rules you both want to be followed in your home. To make your list more effective, post them in a central location so everyone can see them. Limit your list to up to 10 critical rules. Get your children involved, asking them for their ideas and suggestions. This is a great way to get your kids motivated to follow the rules. Explain exceptions for special circumstances such as holidays, birthdays, special events, etc.
Establish Positive and Negative Consequences
Children respond well when there are positive consequences for following the rules. Praise your kids each time a rule on the list is followed. You can also use rewards as an incentive especially if you didn’t have to tell them to do the chore first. For example, let them watch TV or use their electronics for an extra hour if the rules have been followed. Negative consequences should be enforced whenever a house rule is broken. This will deter your children from breaking the rule again. Depending on their age, you can choose to put them in time-out or take away other privileges.
What Type Of Parent Are You?
Experts say there are three common types of parenting. Each category will most likely have different views on rules in general. The three types are permissive parenting, authoritative parenting, and authoritarian parenting.
Permissive parents are more laid-back and don’t set strict rules for their children. They generally do not set any standards or expectations. Many times there aren’t any consequences or discipline for poor behavior. Permissive parents act more like friends and are sometimes considered “indulgent” parents. This doesn’t mean that they aren’t warm and loving, they choose not to set very many boundaries if any.
Authoritative parents use discipline and rules while establishing a middle ground. They encourage a loving relationship but still expect respect. Research has shown that children raised by authoritative parents tend to develop excellent social skills, have good self-control, are independent and self-reliant, cooperate with their peers, and are assertive and competent.
Authoritarian parenting is the strictest form of parenting where the parents believe that the child’s attitude and behavior should be shaped by a strict code of conduct. Authoritarian parents set rules that are expected to be followed without an explanation. Obedience is required, and there is rarely any leniency. Swift punishment is enforced if the rules are broken. Most authoritarian parents are not warm, nurturing, or emotionally close to their kids. Sadly, research has found that this style of parenting has an adverse effect on children. Some include low self-esteem, poor social skills, increased rate of depression and anxiety. Many authoritarian parents discipline by yelling or violence which can lead to behavioral problems in the child.
Understanding what type of parent you are will help you better come up with a list of house rules and guidelines. As your children age, the rules will most likely have to change or be adjusted. It’s ok to use your first list as a trial an error experiment and can be tweaked based on what works best for your household.
This was a guest post by fellow mom blogger Jennifer Laurings, thank you for your contribution.