By Aunty Chris
Imagine a school where there are no rules. Imagine an office or organisation where there are no rules, or rules are not enforced. Most times, parents or guardians fail to set rules at home and are surprised that their children are going wayward, are not doing well at school, or may even come in conflict with the law. Good parenting does not happen by accident.
In our home, we have developed rules for the children with their participation in the process. Do you have people staying with you in your house? Do you have children that you care for? Do you have rules for them or do they just do whatever they like, go wherever they want etc? Are there rules that tell them the dos and don’ts? Are you setting good examples at home? Without rules, you may end up with a messy and sometimes complex situation at home. Here are some rules we have in our home which you can modify to suit your situation. I trust that having rules at home will give you more order, peace, and excellent children with values.
Children must take part in faith activities
This means children must be taught the way of the Lord while under your roof. If as adult, they decide to become atheists, it is entirely up to them.
Children (you can determine the age) should help with chores.
Treat everyone with respect
Disrespecting anyone, including peers, is prohibited. Respect starts in the home and should continue outside. You do not disrespect people and expect them to respect you.
Treat your living space with respect
This rules forbids children punching holes on the walls, writing on walls on furniture, or putting their feet on the walls that make them dirty. Children should be told to always leave the toilet clean for the next user. If you eat in a dish, do not expect another person to clean it for you.
Use good manners at all times
One of the rules we have at home is that the children use “please” and “thank you”. They are told that these two expressions should be a part of their life whether at home, in school, or other public spaces.
Make requests wisely
Sometimes children think that parents have bags of money in the house or at the bank. In our home, our children are reminded to make requests wisely and should not think that parents are remote controls.
Be honest, trustworthy and avoid greed
As part of the rules at home, my spouse and I instill values into our children. This means they have to be honest, be trustworthy and say NO to greed. If the children trust us as parents to provide for them, they should also ensure that they are honest in their dealings, with us and should learn to share with their siblings and not be greedy.
Breaking of things is forbidden
While accidents do happen at home with a glass cup for instance, children are told that care should be taken of their personal belongings and of all things in the house. In the event of an accident, it should be admitted with an immediate apology. Our children have been reminded that as parents, we do not want to find something broken with nobody taking responsibility.
Avoid arguments, learn to listen
Arguments in the house or anywhere without listening to the other person lead to noise. Children should be told that arguments lead to misunderstanding. It is more polite to listen when another person is speaking.
Be neat and smart at all times
To be untidy at home is not allowed. This rules also includes taking bath without reminders and wearing clean clothes and ensuring that the hair is neat and not left unkempt.
Respect study time
Children should have time to study and time for light out or time for going to bed. You may have a consultation with your children on this.
Stealing is forbidden
We actually have cameras in the house which basically means that as parents, we can monitor things at home whether physically there or not. But beyond cameras, children should be told that stealing is wrong. Also, taking another person’s property to use without asking for permission is not allowed.
Children sometimes tend to provoke each other. For this rule, the children themselves said that if someone does not like a certain action or use of words, another person should not continue.
No fighting or use of abuse language
Nobody is allowed to raise a hand against another person or use any abusive language whether at home or outside.
No noise making
Making noise in the house and disturbing others is not allowed just as making noise in school is against the rules.
Leave the house for school and returning on time
For them to be at school in good time, our children have time to leave the house for school. Leaving the house after the stipulated time is forbidden. Children are also expected to return home just after school or just after any school activity such as special classes or recreation.
Proper use of appliances
All appliances should be properly used, switched off and unplugged when not in use.
Visitors are allowed for educational purposes.
Leaving the house
Nobody is allowed to leave the house without permission. This rule is to enhance everyone’s security.
Bringing up children is hard work. Don’t make it more difficult. Have rules and this will promote peace, order, and excellence in the house. Whatever you come up with is entirely up to you. Like in schools, children who break rules at home should be corrected.