Be an amazing parent:
Setting Rules: Part 2
Rules should be Clear, Consistent & Concrete Part 1
Rules should mainly be set to keep children/teens safe or teach them how to be responsible adults.
- The best rules are simple, concrete, sensible, and incorporate family values. Negative and Positive consequences are outlined as an incentive to follow the Rules. Example: If you do your chores (positive consequence), you will get an allowance. If you do not do your chores (negative consequence), you will not be allowed to do any fun time activities until they are done. As you can see, consequences should fit the situation.
- Reasons for rules are explained (not argued…you can be firm). Understanding the basis for the rule helps children understand the validity of the rule. (I never used the explanation…”because use I am the Mom” or “because I told you so”). I just explained a simple reason. Examples: You cannot go barefoot because it is only 60 degrees out and that is too cold to stay warm. You cannot have a sleepover tonight because we are leaving for the grandparents’ home early in the morning. Simple and straight forward….no arguing. If they continue to argue, use the “broken record technique” (say your reason several times). If they still continue to argue, let them know there is a consequence for arguing. Example: if you continue to argue with me, I will not OK going barefoot when it is warm enough. If you continue to argue with me, there will be no sleepovers for a month.
- Be willing to listen to your child’s side of the issue and if they have some valid points…note them and even consider amending the rule. I was always open to suggestions. I would let my child offer an alternative solution. This validates them as a person and helps them to feel part of the process. In turn, they are more willing to follow your direction.
- Children/Teenagers will note any hypocrisy in the rules. (Example: after I was confirmed in my church, my mother gave me rules to follow as an adult in the church. Rules like I must pay my own offering and must volunteer to work at the church. So I stated that if I am truly an adult in the church, I could choose to go or not go to the service. My Mom said, “No way, as long as you live in my house …you will go to church”. But she proved I was not the adult. She was being hypocritical and, therefore, I was resistant. Note: Children/Teens are very good at pushing your buttons because you love them…tattoo’s, body piercing, drug use, relationships, defiance, following friends (everyone is doing it), fads…be prepared to have these things come up and try to react in a calm manner. Prepare for a reasonable solution long before it happens. Example: You will not be able to smoke cigarettes until you live on your own. If you disobey, I will stop providing for you with all the extras. If you have money for cigarettes, you have money enough to pay for any fun stuff. If you are adult enough to have sex, you are adult enough to pay for all the utilities. This is how much utilities cost each month. I will bill you monthly.
- Be Consistent: Realize your rules do not have to be like the other parents. But your rules need to be clear and consistent. This means that the rules should be the same all the time. It should have nothing to do if you are in a good or bad mood. Make sure you are not influenced by your emotions. Example: Good mood, let things go or Bad mood, come down hard. Rules should be fair and evenly dispensed.
This article gave you some basic Valuable Parenting Tips on developing rules for children. Guidelines should always be Clear, Consistent & Concrete. With straightforward rules, your child will know before they make a choice what is the correct behavior or what would be improper. Thus, if they choose to disobey the rules, the child can be reminded that they choose to act in a way where they would receive a penalty. This is a good reminder to children that they are responsible for their own behavior. The parent is not the bad guy for enforcing consequences. The choice is out of the parents hands. It is always a good reminder that you are parenting out of love because they need to develop positive behavior traits.
Some other parenting resources would be The Power of Positive Parenting: A Wonderful way to Raise Children by Glenn Latham and Sidney W. Bijou. Positive Parenting in Action by Laura Ling and Rebecca Earnes. For more Valuable Quick Parenting Tips go to www.supportivetalk.com . You can also choose to book a conversation to discuss your parenting or child discipline woes.