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!