Home is where the heart is. But not all the time it is filled with positive memories, especially when everyone lives by their own standards with disregard for others. One way to solve this and maintain harmony within the household is to create a list of family rules to be followed by all members. Don’t worry if you don’t know how. This post will share with you the 7 essential house rules as well as how to set and carry them out.
Why are house rules important?
A list of family rules are important for maintaining order in your family. Imagine what state your house will be in if everyone is allowed to do whatever they like — The kids can place toys all over the place. Nobody comes down for dinner when you call. Your husband never lends a helping hand in domestic tasks,… By setting house rules, you can ensure a sense of structure within the house where everyone knows the boundaries and doesn’t make life harder for others.
Rules for your household also teach family members to be more self-disciplined. For example, everyone can learn to sleep on time, clean after themselves, and do the housework when following the family rules.
But most important of all, house rules are a way of educating your kids. Rules can make them aware of what is/isn’t acceptable in the household and develop better habits. With a list of rules, a child will learn to behave and not to expect others to clean up his mess. He can become more independent and responsible.
An essential list of family rules for your household
1. Share the housework
All members are expected to take part in the housework. This is not only to ensure the place is clean but to encourage exercise for the whole family. Instead of spending hours behind a screen in their free time, people can do work that helps them to stay fit while keeping the house tidy.
To make sure everyone takes part in the domestic tasks, create a house chore schedule for your family. Let everyone choose to work according to their preferences so that they can carry tasks much faster. Pin the schedule at a visible place to remind the members when their task is due.
You might also set rules like cleaning after one’s self, washing the cup after using, tidying their room, kids picking up the toys when finishing playing,… to lessen the burden of housework.
2. Set time for family routines
Set a time when children must be at home. For example, make a rule for your kids to return home no later than 9.30 p.m. unless you can confirm they sleep in at a friend’s house. This not only ensures safety but also teaches them responsibility. They shouldn’t be carried away with all the fun when their parents are worried sick.
You might also like to fix your family’s sleep schedule. Be sure to set a good example. If you tell your kids to sleep at 11 p.m., don’t stay up past midnight. Otherwise, your words won’t carry much weight and nobody is going to adhere to that.
3. Respect the privacy of all members
It’s easy to trespass your loved one’s privacy when you’re living under the same roof with them. You may think it’s okay to open the door without knocking, check your kids’ phones and drawers,… But doing that long enough and you lower the trust that others have for you and may result in conflicts.
Set rules for all family members to respect each other’s privacy:
- Knock before entering a room.
- Don’t touch/open things that are not yours. This includes phones, text messages, and emails.
- Don’t supervise your children 24/7.
However, this doesn’t mean you should stop caring about other family members. It only means you should show care in better ways. Instead of stalking your children on Facebook, talk to them, find out what problems they have and help them with that.
4. Make decisions together
There are times when you think you’ve made a good decision but not everyone will be happy about that. This often leads to conflicts and broken bonds.
Whether it’s buying a household item, choose a restaurant or vacation location, always consult your family members beforehand. Take everyone’s opinion into account, including your kids. Help you make better decisions & ensure everyone is happy about the situation.
5. Spend time with family
Sometimes we are too busy with our own lives that we forget we still have a family to care for.
Make it a rule for everyone to be present at least one meal a day (unless they are away). Breakfast or dinner are perfect times for family union. After dinner, watch TV or play games with your kids. Or better take a walk to stay away from the screens. On weekends, plan a family activity: take a trip to somewhere you haven’t been to, hold a picnic in the nearby park or simply cook a meal together. By spending more time with each other, your family can strengthen bonds and create good memories.
6. Children must pay respect to the elders
To teach the kids to pay respect to others, all family members must be a good role model. So make a rule for everyone to have a good influence on the kids. Don’t swear or be rude. Kids are really quick to pick up on that. Don’t call the kids bad names and reproach them harshly when they do something wrong. Who doesn’t make mistakes anyway? Be gentle and show them better ways of doing things. In all cases, you must give respect to earn respect. You can do that by first respecting the choices of your children.
7. Respect each people’s time and personal space
Another item to include in your list of family rules is to prioritize family time over personal commitment. When it’s time for dinner, all members should be present at the dinner table, not keep on working or playing video games.
Plus, make it clear to everyone to respect each other’s privacy time. If someone must listen to music with a speaker, he should go to his room and keep the volume low.
Tips for carrying out house rules
Creating a set of house rules to match everyone’s preferences is hard but maintaining them is even harder. Here are 4 steps to ensure your family members commit to the house rules:
- Write it down: Human memory isn’t to be trusted. Write down the list of family rules on a piece of paper. Then pin it to a visible place like a fridge or family board. Remind everyone to abide by the house rules.
- Talk to other family members: don’t make house rules a secret. Discuss with your family members and create the rules together. When everyone agrees on what to be done, they’re more likely to commit to it.
- Set small punishment: Don’t turn a blind eye when someone breaks the rule. Place small fines (cut allowances in case of kids) if they don’t commit to the house rules.
- Be a good role model: Don’t expect everyone to conform to the rules when you disregard them yourself. Set a good example and people will follow suit.
Setting house rules is essential for maintaining order and harmony within the home. Good luck with adopting these tips and creating effective rules for your family!