Setting Home Rules/Expectations
Having a set of home rules/expectations for children helps to create a safe and trusting environment. Rules and expectations should be simple, clear, and placed somewhere in the house that can be seen on a regular basis. Try engaging your child in the process of coming up with the list of home rules. Involving children in the process of coming up with the rules/expectations makes them feel more responsible; therefore, more likely to follow them. Keep in mind your child’s age and ability level. You want to set them up for success not failure. Some examples of rules/expectations at home might be:
- We brush our teeth before bed.
- We pick up our toys when we are done playing.
- Put dirty clothes in the hamper or laundry basket.
- During meal time we stay safe in our seat.
It is important to be consistent with the rules/expectations. If your child responds negatively to one of the house rules/expectations simply remind them of why you came up with those rules. For example:
Child: “I do not want to brush my teeth before bed!!!”
Adult: “Remember we have to take care of our teeth by brushing them every night.”
The benefits to having rules/expectations at home are endless! Having rules/expectations help your child to have a calm environment, makes you an active leader as opposed to a reactive leader in the home, and provide structure. They help your child develop long term traits such as being independent, responsible, and caring for things and people. As your child grows you can adapt the house rules/expectations.
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