Rules for Rules: 7 Parenting Tips in Raising Responsible Children


7 Parenting Tips in Raising Responsible Children

Household rules guide our children about the expected behavior and responsibilities at home. Some examples of the rules we want our children to comply with are avoiding excessive use of gadgets, doing homework before playing or watching TV, setting the table for meals, washing the dishes, and getting clothes to the laundry.

Without family rules, our children will not be able to become self-reliant and develop a sense of proper discipline. Moreover, rules provide predictability and clear expectations for each family member that helps everyone to avoid conflicts.

Unfortunately, we become so frustrated when our children tend to be more negligent of the tasks and duties we have assigned to them. After making the wrong choices and have been reprimanded, they promised to be more responsible to obey the rules. However, we find our kids breaking them repeatedly and often challenge our parenting strategies.

As a responsible parent, how do we make sure we are setting the rules fair and square? And what do you do when your kid won’t listen to you? Let me share with you the seven healthy signs (7 Parenting Tips) in making household rules for your children.

  1. Your rules must be age-appropriate

As children grow and change, so does their behavior. If you’ve got a range of ages in your family, household rules for kids will vary, too. Children are more likely to apply a rule when it is age-appropriate that corresponds to the stages of development, whether they are preschoolers or school-age children.

Make sure they understand why family rules are being made, and the consequences for breaking the rules. Reinforce with your kids that each of us has rules that fit our age and ability.

  1. Your rules must be few and easy to understand

Giving too many rules can stress your children. Keep the list short, about 3-5 rules. No one, especially children, can remember many rules. Thus, make sure your children know beforehand what the rule is going to be and how you intend to enforce it. Simplify your instruction and ensure they are easy to follow.

It is important to find the right balance between becoming strict and too permissive parents. Sometimes you may assume your children know what the rule is, but they don’t – it is important to be clear with them.

  1. Your rules must have consequences

Imagine breaking a rule without logical consequences. Obviously, disciplining your child would be difficult when you failed to apply the expected consequences. Sadly, behavior problems stem from a lack of consistency in applying consequences.

Needless to say, some children tend to challenge your rules because they need to test the limits.  In some occasions, children have to experience the consequences first-hand, yet they must be followed by encouragement and support to get the lesson and be more cooperative next time.

  1. Your rules must be stated in positive

Positively frame all household rules. Rules are more effective and meaningful when they described rather than undesired behavior. Children can easily be discouraged and frustrated when parents are emphasizing merely on the negative side of breaking the rules.

In order to create an environment of caring, it is important to enforce positive rules.  The healthy household rules protect your kids from danger and learn to develop self-control.

  1. Your rules must be consistently implemented

Talk to your spouse about your family goals and the rationale behind each family rule. The best way to set boundaries and guide your kids to follow the rules is to be consistent. This is to ensure you’re both onboard about the rules you want to implement with your children.

When a rule is not consistently applied, children may be willing to risk not following the rule. After all, if the rule is enforced with some children, they can and will claim biases or unfair treatment.

  1. Your rules don’t overstep your parental boundaries

Parents must remember that children have individual differences over certain things such as choosing favorite toys, clothes, and preferences or tastes in color. This is the reason why most parents and kids don’t always agree about certain issues.

While it is important to provide guidance, most parents are overstepping the boundaries by violating the personal rights of the children. Therefore, you need to consider the emotions or feelings of your children and ensure you don’t overstep your parental boundaries.

  1. You set a good example to your children

Model behaviors you would like to see in your children. It’s difficult to have your children follow the rules if you are not setting a good example for them. Obviously, it is not enough to explain the rules to our children as they are smart enough to reason out your inconsistencies.

For example, it will be harder to convince your children to avoid eating unhealthy snacks if you have no control over junk foods. As a responsible adult, don’t just tell or preach if you want to be an effective parent to your children.

Final thoughts

In a nutshell, learning to obey simple household rules will prepare your children for successful living in a world that is governed by rules and expected behavior. More importantly, it will help them to obey authority figures, thus preparing them for the real world.

Happy New Year to all responsible parents!

Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. — Deuteronomy 11:19, NIV

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Jun Amparo

Jun Amparo

JUN AMPARO is the author of two inspirational books about personal finance and marriage.  He is nominated as Huwarang OFW 2019 organized by The 700 Club Asia and is pursuing his doctoral study in education. Presently, he is working as a university counselor and lecturer at Asia-Pacific International University in Thailand.