A large part of Parenting is making rules for your child. It is almost impossible to parent effectively without rules. And if you are a parent you must learn the art of making rules that your child will be able to follow.
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Why are rules important?
- Rules ensure safety
- Rules define the values and principles of each family
- Rules clearly define what members of the family can expect from each other.
Why is it difficult to make rules?
Making rules that must be followed at home by children is a tricky task because they need to have the following characteristics
- The rules must manage to accomplish what they are meant for
- The rules must be fair to you and your child
- The rules must be acceptable to your child
- The rules must be easy to follow.
Making rules then is almost as difficult as walking a tight rope. And because it is so difficult – many rules that we make for our children are not followed at all
What is a rule?
To make a rule it is most important to understand what a rule is and what it is not.
Should rules be a long list of “do this” and “don’t do that”
For your child that is what it may be.
A whole long list of “Do this” or a “Don’t do that”.
Dos and don’ts are never easy to follow and so you should not be surprised if your child is not following any or all the rules you make – sometimes or all the time.
How can you make sure your rules are followed?
For a rule to be followed – every rule you make must have a stated outcome leading to consequences. Never make a rule without explaining what will happen if it is not followed.
A rule about clearing the table should be made like this.
“When you finish eating you must take your plate to the kitchen and put it in the basin to wash. If you don’t do that it attracts flies. Remember to pick up your plate immediately and you will not have to eat at a dirty table during your evening snack”
If you want your rules to be followed allow your child to experience the consequences of not doing it. Then he will learn to make the right choice.
Learning to follow rules is as important lesson that children must learn. Being in the habit of flouting and disregarding rules can be dangerous.