Family rules

Every family has rules, albeit they are unspoken and unwritten. It could be something like touching the feet of elders on festivals or no electronic devices at the dinner time.

Have you ever given a thought why family rules exist and why they are important? Well, family rules establish boundaries within which each family member, especially children should behave for mutual respect and conflict prevention. Rules are a way to reinforce good behaviour in children and help them understand what is right and wrong or good and bad.

How to Get Kids Follow the Family Rules

The best way to get them to obey is to involve them in the discussion about setting up the rules. When kids feel that their opinion counts, they feel empowered. They will stick to the rules because they have made them up or agreed to it at their free will.

You can also decide the penalty or punishment a family member should get on breaking or non-adherence to the rules. It could be like no pocket money for a month or no screen time for a day. However, make sure that adults do not misuse their authority. For example, if the adult didn’t wear a seat belt in the car as per the family rule, s/he should be ready to bear the consequences gracefully.

Examples of Family Rules

Every family is different and so will be the rules. You know the best what works best for your children and the rest of the family. Here are some examples to get you started:

  • Do a 30-minute exercise in the morning, either individually or as a family.
  • Eat one meal (if not all) of the day together.
  • Say ‘please’, ‘sorry’ or ‘thank you’ when the situation demands.
  • Respect all family members, neighbours, friends or relatives, irrespective of their age, gender, caste, body shape, etc.
  • Do not interrupt when someone else is speaking.
  • Clean up the mess that you make it.
  • Put things in their places after you don’t need them.
  • Do not use bad language or cuss words.
  • Knock the door before entering anyone’s room.
  • Do not watch mobile or television one hour before sleep.
  • Help each other whenever required.

This list is inclusive, but not exhaustive. You can add as many as rules you want!

You can make this activity more fun by printing it or making a handmade poster together. Post these rules on a wall or space where everyone can see them. The rules may change over a period of time as children grow up or some situation demands it.

Do you have such rules in the family? Share them with the Kidwise community!

About Sneha Malhotra

Sneha is a mother of a teen son, and formerly an HR consultant, who is currently considering getting to the back to the workforce. She occasionally writes on HR topics and also on parenting issues - she also hopes to have her own blog soon!

  1. Tanishi Banerjee 3 years ago

    Good blog. I guess all family have rules – it is just they are not formalized.

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