Does your kid have rules?

Really, what about kids and rules? Opinions are really different. Some parents think it would be best without them. And if you think about it, there is a point there – when did kids really sign up to listen to our rules?

But then you get invited to a birthday party. And after some time, you tell your kid you have to go home, because you have to go home. Of course, she doesn't want to, not even if you ask her ten times. And then she starts rolling on the floor. Now there's your moment when one little rule would be so convenient.

Still, imposing a set of rules that your child needs to listen somehow sounds too harsh. Maybe doing a test ride of one rule would be the best option.

So here's a suggestion for you: think of the worst thing your kid does that annoys you! (Like rolling on the floor in front of ten people). Now think of a rule that would stop that. Tell your kid the rule, and find the suitable consequences for not following it (for example, shorter time playing games on your iPad).

To make it fair and equal for all, your child gets to think of a rule for you too! Now, there's a high chance you'll get all kinds of stuff there at first. And of course that “I get an Elsa-related toy every time we go to the store” is not an acceptable rule. Here you have to explain why it doesn't apply. But after some time your kid will come up with a rule that stands, for example “You never get to yell at me”. Along with the punishment such as: If you yell, you have to do 10 push-ups. You'll see, soon you'll discover many other benefits of having a rule like this. :)

However, there's one more rule in the rule game – you have to leave the room for EXCEPTIONS. The rules cannot always be applied, and the context is not always the same. Of course your child can sometimes ask you to stay a little longer at a friend’s house – rules are not written in stone. That’s why this is a great opportunity to teach your child about the nature of rules, their flexibility, but also about the way to break them in a meaningful way.

You can write down the rules, both for your kid and you, and place them somewhere where everybody sees them - just so no one can say: “I forgot about it”. When and if they stick, you can remove them to make place for a new one. We believe this is a good way to introduce rules to your child in a casual, playful and less rigid way.

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