Creating Family Rules – Dudes To Dads Podcast Ep 159

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As a child goes from a baby to a toddler, they begin to understand rules.
Words like “NO” come into play. When they are toddlers, it’s a great idea to establish family rules that everyone needs to follow. It begin to teach them boundaries.

We created a family rule rule chart and I’ll put a link to it in the show notes so people can download it as an example.

Ours were:
1. Listen to each other
2. Say Please & Thank you
3. Use nice words
4. Always tell the truth
5. Love each other
6. No whining
7. Help around the house
8. Eat good stuff before bad
9. Exercise & Play
10. Be happy

You might choose to get very specific: for example: take your shoes off before coming into the house or no food is allowed outside the kitchen. It has to work for your family.

Here are some general tips for making it work:

Include everyone in the creation – Have a family meeting and discuss what the plan is. Explain the purpose of it and why it’s important.

Ask your child or children what rules they think should be on the list. They will be more inclined to want to follow them if they create it. Write down any decent suggestion.

Keep them simple – If you have young kids, they need to be able to understand it

Narrow down the list – After you have received input from everyone, begin to discuss what are the most important rules. Try to keep it somewhat limited. 10 rules is a good number but you can use whatever works for your family.

Explain that the rules apply to the family, wherever we are and within our house if there are guests. So if a friend is over, they need to follow the rules too

Try to keep it positive
– Instead of saying “no yelling” maybe consider “use nice words to everyone”
– Instead of saying “no hitting or kicking”, you could say “keep hands and feet to ourselves”
– Instead of saying “no lying”, say “always tell the truth”

Print it and display it – Laminating is even better. Put it in multiple places if needed

Refer to the list often – If rules are being broken, refer to the list. Maybe review it on a regular basis with your child to make sure they are understanding them.

Review the list regularly – make sure it is something you still want to have as a rule. Or maybe you need to focus on some other things

If you are interested in the sample you can download our Family Rules chart.


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