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9 Rules for parents when making rules for kids


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Aleteia - published on 09/21/18

If you want your kids to be obedient, there are some rules you should follow first.

The setting of rules requires creativity; there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Each family has its own culture and needs, so what works in one family, might not work at all in another. However, here are a few general ideas that should help everyone.

Remember that rules are for children, not for parents

Children sometimes ask that parents follow the same rules, and since the best way to teach children is to set a good example and have them follow it, you might agree to that in some cases. However, it’s obvious that not all the rules that apply to them can apply to you, so don’t allow your children to force you to follow the same rules. This helps them understand that it’s the parents who have the authority, not the children.

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The consequences set for breaking each rule need to be logical

They need to have some connection to the broken rule itself, and be executable immediately. Don’t set consequences lasting for months, or permanently, because with the passage of time the child will not remember why he is being punished, and will only feel resentful.

Set rules early

Don’t think that children don’t understand because they are young. You can start very early with regular times for sleep, meals, and bathing, which can help you not to feel so overwhelmed by the responsibilities of caring for a child. When you start early, children gain trust and have fewer problems with quick adaptation and acceptance of rules, starting in preschool and kindergarten.

Photo by Caleb Jones on Unsplash

Don’t repeat yourself constantly

You have to let the children accept it and show they can remember it and apply it to their behavior.

Be specific

It’s important to set the rules clearly, so if children are punished for breaking a rule, they understand exactly how and why.

Photo by Jordan Whitt on Unsplash

Let them help with the rules

It’s important that teenagers participate in defining the boundaries and rules.

Be consistent and dependable

If you don’t keep your own rules you set for yourself, which may in some cases be the same rules you set for your children, you lose credibility in their eyes.

Let your children explain the rules to guests

If you don’t allow jumping on furniture, they need to tell their friends that this kind of play is not allowed in the house. If you don’t let your teenage son smoke or drink alcohol you should expect that his friends know that a party at your house will be drug and alcohol-free. This will allow for enjoyable and peaceful visits from friends and will help prevent bad experiences.

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Remind your kids of rules in other people’s homes

If the grandparents are more permissive and tolerate behavior that you might not approve of, work it out ahead of time so they know if and where you’re willing to let them stretch the boundaries. Be sure your kids know they must return to your rules at home. For example, if you don’t let your children eat in front of the TV, and the grandparents give them popcorn at that time, explain to the kids that you are making an exception because the grandparents are allowing it.

Read more:
Why “House Rules” Are Great for Kids—and Also Parents


Read more:
The 6 things we’d have to change if we applied St. Benedict’s Rule to family life

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