Guidelines for developing house rules

• Keep your house rules simple You’ll want to keep the house rules simple enough that your kids can memorize them and even repeat them back to you. • Limit your list of house rules to 3-5 items A list of ten rules simply can’t be memorized, and the point of having “House Rules” is to communicate your expectations in a concise, succinct manner so that your kids can remember them.

• Keep your house rules simple

You’ll want to keep the house rules simple enough that your kids can memorize them and even repeat them back to you.

• Limit your list of house rules to 3-5 items

A list of ten rules simply can’t be memorized, and the point of having “House Rules” is to communicate your expectations in a concise, succinct manner so that your kids can remember them.

• Use positive language

Phrase your wording in a positive manner. For example, try not to start your house rules with the word “Don’t.” Instead of saying, “Don’t call one another names,” try “Be respectful.”

• Let your kids participate in writing the house rules
You have some very definite ideas about what will fly in your house and what won’t. However, giving the kids a chance to participate in writing the house rules will increase their sense of ownership and willingness to follow the rules.

• Refer to your house rules often

Especially with young children, you want to review the house rules frequently. You can make this into a fun exercise. For example, before attending a party together at someone else’s house, you might say to the kids, “Now, what are the house rules again?”

Examples of house rules

• Treat one another as you'd like to be treated.
• Use an "indoor voice" when we're inside.
• Use "walking feet" in the house.
• Use your manners.
• Do your homework.

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