Establishing family rules and consequences for kids | Improving family life

It is absolutely important for parents to establish family rules and consequences as doing so improves family life. Each family will be different when it comes to the house rules for kids, but having those rules, and following through on those rules allows each family member to be on the same page when it comes to expectations.

When a family has rules it allows for positive parenting as children don’t feel like they are being punished without reason and they see their parents as fair and this builds the relationship.. Family rules also helps parents in teaching children what you and society expects of them.

When establishing rules parents should involve their child in the process. Children that have a say in the rules and in the rewards and consequences are more likely to follow those rules as they have something to gain or lose that matters to them.

When establishing rules it’s important to come up with a few basic rules that both you and the child can do. Having too many rule or making those rules too difficult will only lead to frustration as both you and the child will not be able to find success.

Be specific in your rules. For example, let’s say that you decided that one of the family rules is going to be, “no phones during dinner.” While a great rule, it can actually be opened to interpretation. Does not phones during dinner mean the child can’t have them out, but still have them in their pocket? If the purpose of the rule is to have family time without any distractions, a better rule may be, “phones are to be placed in the phone basket during dinner and may not be answered. Children who fail to place their phones in the basket or who answer their phones, will have to wait 30 minutes after dinner before they get their phone back.” Now the child knows exactly what is expected of them and what will happen if they don’t follow the rules.

For more information about setting family rules that work, visit Smarter Parenting.

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