Ah! House rules! Are there too many, not enough? Are they too rigid, too flexible? Too many or not enough? Many parents ask their questions. Let's try to answer it.
Above all else…
Before even setting up the rules, it is important that each parent questions their own values, what they want to pass on to their children and how he wants it done. It often happens that the parents never had this discussion between them before having children, which can cause spats and frustrations, both between adults and with young people.
Each parent can list their values and expectations, indicating whether or not they are negotiable. For example, a parent might indicate “safety” and “respect” as non-negotiable, implying that they take priority. This same parent might, however, consider “responsibilities” to be flexible.
The parents can then share their findings and try to find common ground.
Introduce the rules to children
Once the first step has been successfully completed,it is relevant to present the fruit of this work to the children. In fact, more than 70% of inappropriate behavior on their part stems from the fact that they did not fully understand the rules and expectations.
By clearly explaining what is expected but also by asking them if they want to add values and rules, children will know what to expect in addition to being actively involved in this process. When we feel that our point of view is important and that we have helped to choose the guidelines that will guide our daily lives, we tend to want to respect them more. If they are artistic, the children could also make a poster on which these rules and values are written.
Be rigorous and consistent
Once the rules and values of the household are agreed, we apply them! Not always so simple, however. Why? Because we're tired, because we don't have time, because "it's not that bad, right? »… and so on.
However, children like to benefit from a clear, constant and predictable framework. Might as well apply the rules consistently from the start so kids know they weren't just lip service and that these values do have…a value.
And the consequences?
What if our child deviates from the rule? As much as possible, it is recommended to apply logical consequences, i.e. directly related to the behavior complained of. ByFor example, if our youngest knocked over her big brother's glass of milk because she was very excited at the table, her logical consequence could be to pick up the mess and serve another glass of milk to her eldest.
This leads to the empowerment of children and to the understanding that any gesture leads to meaningful consequences.