Any parenting expert will tell you that most children will thrive when parents properly communicate, provide appropriate discipline and when children are taught to face reality and to live by the house rules.
House rules are general guidelines that reflect what parents expect from their children. Children are given freedom and choices provided they follow these rules.
However, there are consequences when children do not follow the rules.
Without going too far, last week I visited a friend and trust me, this is what caught my eyes: house rules printed clearly in the living room. They read;
As long as you are in this house
You will follow these rules
When you have your own house
You can make your own rules.
In this house we don’t have a democracy
I did not campaign to be your parent
You did not vote for me
We are parent and child by the grace of god.
And I accept that privilege and awesome responsibility.
In accepting it I have an obligation to perform
The role of a parent.
I am not your pal. Our ages are too different.
We can share many things
But we are not pals, I am your parent.
This is 100 times more than what a pal is.
I am also your friend
But we are entirely on different levels.
You will do in this house as I say
And while you may ask questions
You may not question my authority.
Please remember that whatever I ask you to do
Is motivated by love.
This will be hard for you to understand
Until you have a child of your own.
It did not end there. I went on to observe whether what was written was put into practice. On arrival, I asked to go to the bathroom, I accidentally locked myself in and luckily, the daughter rescued me within an instant.
“We are sorry about that,” the little girl apologized in a low tone. Isn’t that satisfying enough to show a responsible child? It is the good work done by the parent to raise such a child.
There are important realities that children must face and learn as they grow. It is the responsibility of parents to teach and raise their children to be disciplined as a prerequisite for survival and success in this world.
These are the realities that parents and children must face and wrestle with. They may seem harsh, but most parenting problems are the result of a parent’s failure to recognize these realities and be consistent in solving them.
Children are not adults and they are not parents. They have no authority at all, over their parents. That means children can earn some choices and freedom which are given by their parents.
Children are expected to follow directions and requests made by parents; it’s not the other way round. Based on a child’s behavior, they learn to become responsible for their actions and learn obedience.
There are hundreds of ways to present and describe house rules but there are only a few core issues.
What do parents do once they agree on the rules and realities of their parenting role and responsibility? The answer is simple. Give them to your children, read them to your children and make certain your children know the rules.
Make certain they understand the reality of your relationship and responsibility. Discuss all this for about a week or so until you are certain your children understand. If you start at an early age, most children will accept your rules and follow them.
It will be harder if you try to implement rules after the behavior of your children becomes a problem. It is far better to implement rules before your children break them.
A simpler way of introducing house rules is to involve your child while making the rules, rather than imposing them.