As a teacher, parents would come into the class and ask me, “how do you get them all to behave so well?” My answer was always, “it’s simple, you just have to let them know what you expect.”
As a parent, this is something we often over look… we raise our kids from infants and over the years teach them right from wrong, but have you ever sat down and explained what your house rules are?
If you never set house rules, how can you expect your children to “follow the rules?”
At the beginning of every school year, the first thing teachers cover are the classroom rules. This sets the foundation for all expected behaviors in the class throughout the entire year. The rules are always posted in the classroom, and often pointed out when new students arrive, when students are making poor behavior choices, and sometimes just as a reminder to the class.
You need to do the same at home.
Don’t start by just laying down the law… we want to make this transition fun and easy. To do so, I’d suggest a craft project that will help you display your family rules in the house for everyone to see.
Here’s what we did in our home:
Sit with your children and talk about how important it is to have rules. Then ask them what types of rules you follow in the house. They’ll list tons of them or they won’t think of any… you should have a couple in mind before this meeting so that you can lead the discussion.
Here’s a list of our family rules:
- Always be honest or tell the truth
- Treat each other with respect. (no hitting, yelling, kicking, or put-downs)
- Listen the first time – without complaining or throwing a fit. (This means no arguing with your parents or backtalk.)
- Ask permission to use something that doesn’t belong to you.
- Put things away that you take out.
- Look for ways to be helpful and kind to each other.
Once you have a list of rules get out a poster board, markers, crayons, and other crafty decorations. Have your children write down the family rules that you covered onto strips of paper. Then glue them to the poster board. Work with your children to decorate the poster board.
Once it’s dry hang it up in your home – this can be on your fridge, in the hallway… it should be in a place you can see often throughout the week (especially when your child has a behavior breakout).
Talk with your children about how proud you are of their art work. Tell them that these are the family rules now and they should follow them. Then talk about what happens if they don’t follow them – just as important as having boundaries… you need to make sure you’re enforcing them. Otherwise this project is a complete waste.
House Rules For Families DIY Project
If you’re not too into hanging up this homemade craft poster, here’s an alternative project that is a beautiful home decor DIY project that still posts the rules in the house. I loved it.. and it’s on my “todo” list for this weekend!
I came across this project over at Sassy Santuary. She’s created this family rules frame that is just awesome! On top of sharing how she made it she even gives you the free Family Rules Image that you can download and print (other comenters posted that you can get it printed at Costco for only $2.99).
I would highly suggest that you get your children involved in this craft also. This will give you some great “mom and me” time that children crave, plus plenty of time to teach your children about the house rules while still having fun. When lessons are shared in a positive learning environment children are much more receptive!
We want to see the house rules for your family! Give one of these projects a try and send us your pictures (or comment with a link to it).