Parents, whether they are living together or co-parenting, have more than likely all come across a point where they disagree on something pertaining to their child. Household rules can be a struggle, and often it can end up with parents forgetting about the reason it started and just arguing with each other.
It's important to set a united front for the sake of the child, though. According to the CDC, family rules help create structure. A family rule is a specific, clear statement about the behaviors you expect from your child. Rules work best when there is consistency, predictability, and follow-through.
Below you will find a list of rules that parents usually do agree on. This is not to say that this list doesn't get revised from time to time, but having a short list of rules for the family will help create structure without things getting too complicated.
10 Parents Have The Final Say In The House
Yes, children have a voice, and they should be allowed to express it. Parents have the final say, though. From toddlers to teens, children will want to test the limits of their parents at least once. Providing consistency is key. You have this time with them when they are young to teach them how to follow rules, so they can be adults who follow rules.
9 Be Kind & Respectful To Those Who Live In The House
According to Kids Helpline respect is the glue that holds relationships together. Giving and receiving respect from others, especially those in a family's household, is important. It helps everyone in the house feel safe and comfortable.
8 Listen To Each Other
One of the key ways to reduce family conflict and improve family communication is to polish listening skills. When family members listen well to other family members, it encourages them to talk about what is important to them, says, Michigan State University. It can be far too easy to be careless about really listening in families. Sometimes members of the family assume that they know what the other person means or pretends to listen while doing something else.
7 Help With Family Chores
Doing chores as a family helps children learn basic essentials of taking care of themselves and the surrounding things. The older they get, they can start doing more chores that will prepare them for adulthood. When parents participate in these chores, it shows the children that it is a family effort. Children are more likely to help out if everyone is helping out.
6 Being Safe At Home
Being safe at home means that family members do not involve themselves or others in risky behavior. Risky behavior can include jumping off furniture, watching something inappropriate online, or even playing with matches.
Siblings may sometimes argue to a point where it leads to hitting, kicking, or punching. This would also be considered unsafe.
5 Personal Hygiene
One of the best ways to maintain a healthy household is to maintain proper personal hygiene. Personal hygiene also has a positive effect on personal relationships. Keeping clean and teaching children to keep clean sets everyone up for success while reducing the risk of sickness.
4 Tell The Truth
Lying or being dishonest can put the household environment in a state of upheaval. Tension might be felt throughout. Not telling the truth can cause trust issues and harm relationships, too. Being honest helps everyone be able to open up and express themselves.
According to The University of Washington, a healthy bedtime routine should be established for everyone in the family, not just children. Establish a regular bedtime for all family members and stick to it seven days a week.
2 No Means No
Kids hear, "no" from parents a lot, but this isn't necessarily what is meant by, "no means no." It may seem harmless to parents to insist that their child hugs or kisses a relative, even when the child seems obviously uncomfortable. However, doing this can show children that they have to do things they don't feel comfortable doing. Over time, their intuition may fade. They become less aware of circumstances that are unsafe.
When parents teach their children that it is ok to say no; when something doesn't feel right, they can be helping to keep their child safe. Most acts of sexual abuse are done by family members, after all, someone the child knows.
1 If Something Goes Wrong, Don't Try To Hide It
While all families may have secrets, it is the content of the secrets that matter most. When something goes wrong, children, as well as adults, may try to hide it or even lie about it. Psych Central says, keeping big secrets like that can be very harmful to a family dynamic.
Keeping something from a parent or child may cause suspicion, resentment, or a false sense of reality. To keep trust strong within the family unit, trying to hide it when things go wrong may not be wise.