Family Rules: Children & Teens


Shreshtha Dhar is a licensed Clinical Psychologist running her private practice Thought Craft in Kolkata. She has special interest in the emotional and behavioral issues of both children và adults. Shreshtha has previosuly worked as a lect... More


Kalpana Nadimpalli graduated in English Literature and Psychology. Her fascination for the corporate world made her do a Masters in Business Administration. Being a mother of two boys, she could natur... More

6 Family Rules Essential For A Disciplined & Harmonious Life

Certain rules are essential for the smooth functioning of a family. They help keep the house organized và the family bond intact. Family rules can entail having dinner together, cleaning the house on the weekends, or going on a picnic once a month. If you haven’t phối any rules for your family yet, this is the time for that.

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In this post, we cốt truyện some common family rules, tell you how they help keep the family together, and give you tips on ensuring every member follows these rules strictly.

What Are Family Rules?

Family rules are certain statements or instructions about the behavior that is expected of the members, especially children. Family rules can be specific khổng lồ a situation, such as dining & safety rules, & certain ground rules such as not being violent.

If you are wondering why there should be rules at home, a place where we can be ourselves without really worrying about our behavior, then let’s explain the need for having rules in the family.

Why Should A Family Have Rules?

Often we hear people saying, “He comes from a good family.” So, what makes a ‘good family’? Having rules is one of the foundations for a good family.

A family, which has a mix of rules, is most likely to lớn be successful. Moreover, rules are not restricted to lớn children alone as they apply khổng lồ adults as well. When we have rules phối by the state and our work place, then why not we have a few at home?

Here’s why all family members should know & follow the rules:

When all the members follow the rules, it helps them lead a harmonious life, & also each individual knows about their responsibility towards the others in the family.Rules help you have discipline in life & make your daily routine predictable and smooth.
Following rules at home will help you và your children follow them at other places too.Children understand which behavior is ‘okay’ & which is ‘not okay’.Children are tempted khổng lồ break rules; the flip side is that they get lớn understand the consequences of breaking rules so that they don’t break them in future.
The rules should apply equally khổng lồ everyone in the family lestYour child gets mixed messages about them. For example, you have a rule, ‘no yelling,’ but you yell at your kids; you have a rule ‘no eating on the couch,’ but you eat on the couch sometimes. This doesn’t send the right message to lớn your kid.

So, convinced about the need for family rules? Then let’s move on to lớn see the rules that you could have for your family.

Common Family Rules

Irrespective of the family type, here are the common family rules that you may have:

1. Have your meals together:

Family rules while having mealsFamily rules while having meals Family rules while having meals

“A family that eats together stays together.” Eating together as a family helps you bond and share your experiences with each other. However, have these rules during mealtime:

Have your meal at the dining table & not on the couch.Ensure the television is off while you are eating.Keep your mobiles away from the dining table, or you will be tempted lớn keep checking on them.Assign your children the responsibility of setting up the table.Instruct your children to lớn focus on eating and chewing their food and not play while eating.
Tell your kids not lớn talk when their mouths are full.Serve only so much food that you want to lớn eat, don’t waste. It will also help your kids realize the importance of food.Don’t rush the dinner time; this is the time you get khổng lồ discuss what happened during the day so take it at a medium pace.
If it is not possible khổng lồ have a family dinner every day, have it as many times as possible in a week.Skipping meals is not allowed unless there is a valid reason such as ill health.Clear your plate after eating.Put the plates in the dishwasher after clearing.

Road safety family rulesRoad safety family rules Road safety family rules

It’s better khổng lồ be safe than sorry. No matter how urgent your work is, you must follow these safety rules:

Buckle up your seat belts before you drive.Ensure the doors are locked and the child lock is working.Do not take phone calls or text messages while driving.
If you are traveling with an infant, secure them in the car seat with the belt buckled in.Instruct your kids not khổng lồ distract you while driving, by making too much noise or quarreling.Tell all members of the family khổng lồ watch out for each other; if someone breaks the road rules, the others will remind them.

These safety rules have to lớn be always followed, whether traveling in your own oto or with someone else.

3. Be polite, respectful, & compassionate:

Make it a practice to speak politely whether it’s with your family members or outsiders. Remember these points:

It might be difficult lớn speak softly when you are angry, but don’t yell no matter what. Make a conscious effort to vị so và practice breathing exercises lớn calm down.
Teach your kids better ways of handling their anger và frustration such as giving them a time-out, drawing khổng lồ express their anger, or counting numbers lớn ten.Explain your kids the importance of the three golden words, please, thank you and sorry.Help them channelize their energies và emotions through useful activities.
The simple way khổng lồ teach your kids to lớn speak politely is to set an example. Parents are the first teachers khổng lồ children, so when they see you talking politely, they will learn to vị so.

4. Cốt truyện the household chores:

It’s a tedious process lớn clean up your home after a tiring day. Sharing the chores will ease up the burden.

Share the cleaning tasks; one can take up vacuuming, another can wash the dishes, và the rest can change the sheets or vì chưng laundry.Keep the things, such as keys, remote, và dishes, in their place khổng lồ avoid chaos the next day.Don’t rush the things next day. Keep the stuff, such as chopped veggies, ironed clothes, và shoes, ready for the next day.

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5. Seek permission or inform before stepping out:

Image: iStock

You need to lớn define boundaries & make sure that everyone stays within them. Here are a few:

Teach your kids khổng lồ inform you or take your permission before they go out.Tell them that they can go out only when you or your spouse permits them; they can’t choose to go somewhere else from there. If they plan to, they must inform you about it.Make sure you have the liên hệ numbers of the parents/guardians of your children’s friends.Give your numbers lớn your children before they leave, or even better let them know your numbers by heart.If you have younger children, tell them not to entertain strangers and shout for help if they sense danger.

6. Hygiene:

Image: Shutterstock

Hygiene starts at home. Practising these hygiene rules will help your kids stay safe & also imbibe them in their daily life:

Tell them khổng lồ wash hands before and after eating food và after using the toilet.Keep a hand sanitizer while you travel và let your kids carry one to school. They may use the sanitizer before eating their snack và lunch.Teach your kids khổng lồ cover their nose và mouth when they sneeze or cough lớn prevent the spreading of the infection.Clear the waste bins every day.Flush the nhà vệ sinh after use.

Other General Family Rules

Turn off the lights when you leave the room.Dry the towels after you use them.Turn off the television if you are not watching.Put your clothes in the laundry basket.Put your shoes in the shoe rack.Check if the door is locked before you leave.Put things back in their designated places such as keys, bags, and books.Wind up the toys or games after playing.Wait for your turn to lớn talk while in a conversation with your parents or a group.

Rules bring order in our lives. But how vì you go about defining the family rules? Let’s help you understand the process:

Steps In Defining Family Rules

For defining any rule, there has lớn be proper planning & execution. Family rules are no exception. The US Centers for Disease Control và Prevention recommends the below steps for defining your family rules:

Identify the rules: Sit with your partner & identify the rules. The menu can be endless but prioritize the rules such as safety, dinner time, or hygiene rules. It can also be specific to behaviors that are not acceptable, such as spilling water, hitting, biting, throwing or jumping on the bed. Start with the problem behaviors you want to lớn address.Explain the rules: After you define the rule, explain it & ensure that your child understands the rule. If you have a rule, “no spanking,” you have lớn explain what is spanking. Tell them why they should not spank.Enforce the consequences for breaking the rules: When rules are made, you should also decide the consequences for breaking the rule. When the rules are broken, the consequences should be enforced immediately for the rule khổng lồ be effective. For example, if your child hit his sibling, then he gets a timeout for five minutes or loses a certain privilege.

Note that the rules cannot be rigid. They may be relaxed under some special circumstances. Also, they need khổng lồ be changed as your children grow. Rules for a toddler may not be the same as those for an older child. So, begin by knowing from when you can mix rules for your kid.

When should you start making rules?

You can start defining rules when your child acquires language skills và starts understanding your tone of language & communication within the family. Let’s look at how you need to lớn make rules at two crucial stages in a child’s life:

Toddlerhood (2-5 years):

Toddlers lack self-control & are still in the training stage. They are most often in a playful mood and tend khổng lồ forget the rules. They need tư vấn and reminders khổng lồ follow the rules. You need lớn be strict và cautious with them, especially with the safety rules, like ‘staying away from fire và electricity’.

Children with special needs might require extra support and help to understand và remember the rules.

School-aged/older children (6-12 years):

As children grow up, you need khổng lồ make new rules appropriate to their age. Don’t have high expectations, it can make it difficult for them khổng lồ follow. Involving them in making new rules helps them understand the rules better.

You can reinforce the habit by rewarding them for following the rules. Don’t use punitive methods as consequences for breaking the rules as the children are still young. Refraining from privileges should be a good consequence at this age.

Teenage (13- 18 years):

Involving teens while making rules helps them be responsible for their behavior. They want freedom và independence in everything they do & when their freedom is restricted, they rebel and try breaking the rules. Besides, they might be sandwiched between family rules & peer pressure. This poses a great challenge for parents.

To make sure that your teen follows the rules, involve them in making the family rules. Encourage their participation so that they understand the purpose of having rules.

Rules on curfews have lớn be imposed, while you need to lớn have a discussion on sex and alcohol.

Some families even have safety contracts – a written agreement that lists the rules the child should follow.

Rules evolve as your child grows from a toddler through to lớn teenager, và you, as a parent, need lớn make sure that they are effective at every stage of your child’s life.

Effectiveness Of Rules

Rules are as effective as you make and back them up. While making your rules, you also need to decide on a consequence for breaking the rule and ensure that all the family members agree on it. For example, when your child breaks the rule, don’t just give him another chance; instead, make him face the consequence of breaking the rule.

You need to lớn start implementing the consequences as early as three years, so that when your child becomes a teenager, there is an agreement on the rules & the consequences of breaking them.

Mere involvement of your family members in making rules might not ensure that they follow the rules. You need to vày more to lớn get them lớn follow the rules.

Tips For Making Your Family Follow The Rules

Getting your family khổng lồ follow the rules is not as difficult as you might think. The following tips can help you motivate them:

Sit down and discuss before you khung the rules. Don’t make so many rules that your family feels overwhelmed. Don’t let the ‘dont’s’ outweigh the ‘do’s’.Remember that toddlers & preschoolers can take in only two to lớn three rules at a given time. Start with one and showroom rules as they grow. This gives them the opportunity lớn learn the rule và understand how the family rules work.Prepare a chart with rules on one side & consequences of breaking the rules on the other. Use pictures to represent them so that your children can understand them easily. Involve your child in making the chart and explain it lớn them.Stick the rules chart at a place, such as a refrigerator or their room door, where your child can see them.If you have any differences with your partner regarding the rules, resolve the differences before they turn out to be conflicts.Rules are for everybody in the family, don’t take advantage of your position lớn break them.Make rules that are age-appropriate for your children, và are easy to lớn follow.Avoid ambiguous rules such as ‘talk properly’ which can mean many things and can be difficult for the child lớn understand. Instead have a clear rule stating ‘say please, thank you, welcome while talking to others’.Children try to lớn take advantage of grandparents and caretakers, và break the rules. Make sure everyone in the family is consistent with the rules.When you see your child following the rules, you can reinforce that behavior by rewarding or praising them.

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When you realize that having rules makes your life easier, you will be motivated to stick lớn them.