The Rules to Setting RulesThere is no point in setting rules that are not followed. There is no point having them that no-one remembers. Rules, however, should be in place for a child to learn what is acceptable behaviour and what is not. They also provide guidelines so that children know what is expected of them. Without rules home life and school life can be tricky as they provide stability and safety to children. They know what they can and cannot do.

Setting Rules That Children Can Follow

A family doesn’t need thousands of rules but the ones you do have should be:

Realistic. Children need to be able to adhere to them. You cannot expect a young child to sit at a table eating with a knife and fork when they have only just started to feed themselves.

Reasonable. They need to make sense to the child and to you. You all need to know why you are setting a rule and the impact it is going to have on the family and themselves. You also need to agree on the consequences of breaking them. Have a think about what the consequences could be so that your child does not do it again.

They need to benefit the child and the family. The rules need to help the child grow to be more responsible for themselves, their things and the family. They can teach them how to treat other people, self-regulation, manners, time-management, organisational skills and self-discipline.

Rules are good for everyone if you choose them carefully with thought behind them. Your child must understand why there are rules and see that they are there to make them feel safe, secure and will benefit them in the future because they are everywhere. Explain you don’t set them to be a meanie but to help them grow into wonderful adults.