House Rules

Do you have the rules of your house posted for all to see?

When Lauren and I were in our neighbor's house recently, I noticed on the wall in their office a list of house rules.  The list appeared to be carefully considered, and I believe the number one rule was "be honest."  That certainly got me thinking about working with my husband to create a set of house rules for our home, a list that's clearly posted and discussed with kids as they are able to understand what it all means.  I also liked the fact that other children who come to my neighbor's home can see the rules as well.  

If I were to post a list of rules right now for our house, they would consist of rules that have been broken once already, including: 

1. Don't touch the dog bowl (unless you're the dog).

2. Don't eat food off the table (unless you're not the dog). 

3. Be gentle with the dog.

4. Don't try to tickle or pinch mommy's face when she's trying to rock you before bedtime.

5. Don't put your stuffed animals in the toilet.

6. Don't put your sandals in the toilet either.

7. Don't climb up the ledge in the bathtub.

8. We always eat our meals and snacks at the table, sitting in a chair.

With the exception of rules 2, 4, 5, and 8, these rules fall under another item on my neighbor's list, which is "be safe."  Being safe will certainly make it on to our official house rules list, once we create it, along with being honest and loving God and each other. 

Another thing I've been thinking about is a family mission statement.  This was an idea I heard about when a woman came to speak at our church on a women's day of reflection.  Her point was defining the mission and goals of your family helps you weed out things that you don't have room in your family for.  So when  a family member asks to do something, you can assess, does this fit into our family mission statement?  Then you can respond accordingly.

Tell me about your family.  Do you have a posted list of house rules or a mission statement?  Looking forward to your input!


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  • by Kat Location: ENC on Jun 15, 2011 at 01:55 PM
    I have 2 boys who love to break rules and claim they didnt know it was a rule, even when I know they did. I absolutly love that idea. I do believe I will be sitting with my husband tonight making our offical "list" to make a wall list. Thanks for the idea. Though I do have a question...should the conquences be on the list of rules?
  • by Eric Location: Chocowinity on Jun 1, 2011 at 01:13 AM
    Married, no kids. But I get the impression rules like the above will just be violated through loopholes, e.g. putting books in the toilet. Kids push for boundaries; it's how we define ourselves at that stage of development. Rules need to be broad and flexible. For example "Love your family and God above all others". The sixth Commandment covers parents, but doesn't extend to siblings and children (though, it perhaps should). Then something like "Care for your property and respect others' property." And a "family mission statement" sounds creepy. I believe a single person's first responsibility is to the self. Once married, priority one becomes the relationship. Once a parent, it becomes the family -- child before spouse. Therefore, the parents' mission, it would seem, should be to always act with the best intentions for the child(ren). So no, no rules or mission statement -- just work, sleep, get the bills paid, and enjoy life.

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