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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

House rules

This topic has come up way too many times since my first child was born. For the past 16 1/2 years I have been slave to the opinions and rules of all the other mothers, including my own. Before I say anymore, just let me say.... I am not perfect. If you ask for my opinion, I will give you my honest opinion. Furthermore, I have the utmost respect for all the opinions I have heard over the years especially from my own mother, who has taught me good morals over my lifetime.

Anyway, the opinions have been for many different things. It started with,. what you should feed a baby, and when. To how much sleep a baby should have and where a baby should sleep.... to now... when my children are older, things like...  How many chores my children should be doing, What time their curfew time should be. What age you should be to date. How many and how much time electronics should be played, and what time bedtime should be.

The problem with all these opinions (in my opinion) is the should part. My belief, as a seasoned mother, is that a child will grow up healthy in a comfortable environment. In order to obtain this kind of environment you as a mother or father need to do what feels the most agreeable and right for you. Whatever feels natural and makes the family happy (to me) is the way to a content child. An environment that is filled with love and security and cheerfulness with a little adventure is the kind of home I try to uphold. Of course I don't expect you to read this and change your parenting style. I just hope this may give you mothers and fathers that are feeling looked at under a magnified glass a sense of relief.

 Out there... there are many books and facts with experts saying something different than the next. Go by instinct. Its fine to read all the manuals and get ideas. The development of a child is important. Ultimately the answer is right in front of you. Whether the idea comes from a book or person, and you think..."What a great idea." ..All children are different, and what works for one may not work for another. Or what works for one parent, may not work for another.

So (please) next time you judge another parent on how they are raising their children, remember they are doing what they think is right for their child and their family. If their family seems happy, they probably are.

Below, my family goes by this basic list of house rules. I want them to be prepared when sent out into the world someday. These are not necessarily in any order, they are all equally important in my eyes. (And yes, my children are still learning these everyday, and I try and remind them of these rules regularly)

Try to do everything with love.

Be nice to each other.

Learn compassion and be compassionate to others...(think about walking in their shoes)

Be Respectful of each other, and your elders, and those around you

Helping others is important

No screaming

Family is Family

Don't talk about others behind their back, go to the person directly and work it out.

No physical violence is allowed in this house, not even a quick slap.

Manners: say.... "Please!" and "Thank You!"

No Lieing, Honesty is always the best policy.

If you make a mess clean it up.

Be a protector of your siblings, they are the only sisters and brother you have.

No means No

Be faithful (to family and friends alike)

When you say your sorry:..say your sorry, say what your sorry about, tell what you will do next time instead.

If you work hard enough you can succeed

You can be anything you want to be, if you put your mind to it and try


CNG said...

I'm glad to see your list includes 'be nice' along with 'be honest'. I assume there room to combine the two, based on a discussion you and I had some time ago, no? ;-) When you also include respectful and manners, you get what I would characterize as being genteel. And I tend to think good friends are worth a little gentility - it's not asking much. It's demonstrating kindness to those in your life, outside of family, who probably deserve it most. Just my $ .02, YMMV.

eastsideartschool said...

For our family, I would like all of these rules to be combined. To make a well rounded person. I think most of these rules go hand in hand in some way or another. I want them to use these rules anywhere they go in life, and with friends they make along the way.