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Got Rules?

Fat Mum Slim /

We sat down in the office, with a new psychologist, while the kids waited out in the waiting room. {Quick back story: we did some IQ testing last year, and will be seeing a psychologist a few times a year. Nothing major, but I’m a huge advocate for talking to professionals about anything and everything. They know stuff. So helpful!}.

So we sat down, and he asked me what I wanted to work on that day. “Well, I need your help,” I started, “I need structure. I’m kinda hopeless when it comes to discipline, I take the path of least resistance a lot because Hubby is at work a lot, and I just can not deal with the tantrums.”

I like people who are straight-up and tell it how it is. I’m an open book, and I like when they tell me where I’m stuffing things up so I can work on them. This guy didn’t hold back and I quite liked it, although uncomfortable at times.

“Well,” he started, “Let’s start with what you currently have. What are the ‘rules’ in your house?”

I looked at Hubby, and then around the room, searching anywhere and everywhere for a clue. I momentarily felt that I was getting a D- in parenting. “Ah, we actually don’t really have any. Of course the kids know that I want them to be kind and thoughtful, but we don’t really have rules.”

Growing up, we didn’t really have rules either. We didn’t have structure like pocket money, or chores. We just chipped in {probably not enough, poor mum} and we got a job to earn money when we were old enough. We stayed out until we wanted to come home, and we did our homework because we wanted to get good results. To be honest, the idea of rules always a bit yawn-worthy to me. Chatting through the idea of rules though, made me realise that without them we were all on totally different pages. I was letting the kids walk all over me, cos I loved them, and then Hubby would come in and try to regain kind of order and the kids were probably totally confused too.

We talked a lot, and then brought the kids in and asked them what our rules at home were, which they scanned the room too… eventually coming up with, “no jumping on the bed?” and “no shoes on the couch?”. Our new rules are really, really simple, and actually almost identical to the school rules which are drummed into the students at our school; Be kind, be safe and be fair.

Obviously there’s a whole structure that we were given with those rules, but these rules have been a bit of a game-changer in our house. Our goal was/is to have less stress in our home, and these rules have really helped. I don’t feel so overwhelmed, and the kids totally get it and a fan of them, so that really helps. And any behaviour or action can be taken back to those broad rules, and we’ve worked on fairly communicating with the kids when they’re not doing something that we like.

I wanted to write this blog post, because I wanted to share about this little enlightening experience, but more so because I want to find out how other households work. Do you have rules? {Please tell me I wasn’t the only house that didn’t have them!}. What rules does your family work from?