Thursday, April 24, 2014

Family Rules (and Getting Kids to Follow Them)

Hanging up on our kitchen Command Center wall, we have a list of our Family Rules.

Our Family Rules

These rules are what I consider to be the basics of how we should behave toward one another, for a peaceful, happy home. I also feel that these rules embody the way I want my children to treat people in general, now, and as they grow up and leave the nest. Our rules are:

1.  Be kind and respectful
2.  Share
3.  No hitting
4.  No shouting
5.  No calling names
6.  Be considerate of each other's feelings
7.  Be helpful
8.  If you make a mistake, do what you can to fix it
9.  Treat each other the way you want to be treated
10. Schoolwork and chores must be done before play

We've had these same rules posted since the kids were really little, the only change being that we added #10 about 7 years ago, when my oldest was around 8 years old. One would think, after having these rules in place for pretty much their entire lives, my kids would be following them in their sleep, no? Well, if you think that, you'd be wrong. Adolescents are known for "challenging" the rules, and my precious angels are no exception. I realized after an evening where rules 1, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 9 were broken in about 2 minutes time by three kids that things were getting a bit out of hand. They were obviously not motivated to follow the rules in just to have a peaceful, happy house. I decided it was time to crack down and have some kind of consequences for not following the rules.

Enter: The Chore Jar. I made a list of household chores, cut them out, folded them up and tucked them in a mason jar. From now on, whenever a Family Rule is broken, the offender will have to draw a chore out of the mason jar and do it.

The Chore Jar
Before you start emailing me about how positive reinforcement is better than negative, etc etc etc... yes, yes, I know. We've tried rewards for good behavior (And that is still something we do) but in dealing with stubborn tweens and teens, we've also found that sometimes they need a little EXTRA motivation. Since my kids will do pretty much anything avoid doing extra chores, I'm hoping The Chore Jar will be effective motivation in this case. What can I say... I'm a desperate Mama, who is tired of listening to squabbles. Besides, I figure this is a no-lose situation. Even if they continue to disregard the rules, at least my house will be clean! ;)

1 comment:

  1. Clean houses are always a good thing ... and my singleton can be pretty creative in breaking the rules, so... maybe I'll try this!