Tuesday, November 15, 2011

House Rules

The other day I mentioned our routine. It's great to have some structure in our days, knowing exactly what happens when. The next step for us was firming up what rules should be important to us in our home. Rather than having a list of 'don'ts' that only apply to Zeph, we decided to have 'House Rules' that apply to all of us. They are simple and speak of our values.

Be gentle, kind, loving and obedient.
Use your manners.
Say sorry and forgive.

So far they seen to be working. Zeph knows what they are and understands that when he breaks them there will be consequences. Most negative behaviour we try and manage through removal of the item/ toy that he is using inappropriately but obviously there are times when that is not adequate. To ensure we don't resort to yelling and being completely inconsistent we have outlined the methods of discipline that we feel work for us. Time Out is given for being rough or disobedient and a smack (controversial, I know but we do give the occasional smack around here) for anything that puts him in danger eg. opening the front gates that open onto a busy street.

Do you have house rules in your home?

What methods do you use if the rules are broken?


  1. We have 3 house rules that apply to all of us as well (great minds you and me!)
    Ours are -
    Use our manners
    and Be kind to everyone

    Its funny how often the kids say to each other (or to us) you are not being kind, or where are your mannners.

    Its been working for us, not all the time, but most of the time.

  2. Yes we have house rules, occasionally if needed we call a house meeting to review the rules. The boys love the meetings, eth now writes the rules out, they come up with some funny ones.
    If the rules are broken we do the steve biddulph thing of talking about the problem and finding another solution, consequences saved for the serious stuff.

    He's s a clever little boy your Zeph and so cute!

  3. I love your house rules and am glad to have read your post today, after Cohen must surely have won an award for worst child at playgroup this morning. I was mortified. After taking him away from the scene, calming him down, hugging him and talking about it on three separate occasions, we left. Usually removing him and talking calmly and explaining what he could have done works well. But today he was too tired and frustrated to take it in. So I did the old, if you can't be nice we will go him thing, and go home we did.

    We also have a sort of time out when at home, where Cohen goes into his room and calms down and then can come out and talk to us about what happened or say sorry etc.

    I think we shall be writing out our house rules too. Perhaps, be kind, share, say sorry, listen, respect people, animals and your things.

    (And controversially, we give little smacks too for dangerous things. Like grabbing at the handle of a saucepan full of boiling water after being warned it is hot, or running away from us in a car park. I don't like smacking at all. But I can see a place for it if it isn't abused. Sometimes the warning is enough.)

  4. I haven't really thought about house rules. I should. I have a classroom rule that is fantastic as it is so general it captures all evils. Respect. Respect for yourself, others and things. I can make this about creating an environment for learning, social development or just about presenting yourself with pride. I think I will work on extending this into my home. With a nearly 4 and nearly 2 year old I think this is simple enough for them to follow but also broad enough to capture 'don't throw your food and don't hit your brother'. Thanks for making me stop and think about this!

  5. Love your blog, Emily, and your kiddies are just gorgeous. So glad I discovered you via Che & Fidel.

    There was an interesting post over on Mamamia today about smacking (http://www.mamamia.com.au/parenting/7-reasons-people-smack-their-kids-and-why-they-are-all-wrong/).

    Thought you might be interested in the comments. There were some thought-provoking ones both ways. One thing's for sure - you can always count on Mamamia for a passionate debate!

  6. Huh. We are all possessing super short fuses in our household at the moment (end of year, the big people are both insanely busy which makes us short and stroppy and then the little people are little people), so our only rule right now is to not say eff you see kay out loud. Clearly our house rules need revising. ;)

  7. Those are beautiful house rules lady. I wouldn't expect anything less from you xx

  8. That's such an unreal idea. I'm going to make some house rules for around here too. Kellie xx

  9. It's always a good idea to enforce the positive rather than focus on No! Otherwise we would be saying No No No! All. The. Time.

    Love your rules. I loved what the book said too, about behavior being respectful of others, yourself and the environment. x

  10. We have three too:

    Take care of each other
    Take care of your things
    Take care if yourself

    They work for us (and are easy to remember!!) x

  11. Very good parenting, beetle. Something tells me we'll be needing quite a few rules around this place, too, in the next couple of years. x

  12. Great rules. I think they apply to everyone, regardless of age.

    In my house, as there's only two of us, there are no rules but I think I might implement these ones!

  13. Think I might be putting this up on the fridge tomorrow...would love hubby to be more obedient esp with putting bins out!! and I could be more forgiving :-) our girls - well we could learn from them....

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Thanks so much for your words of encouragement, advice and solidarity.

xo em