Today, I’d like to share with you a list of ‘rules’ I drew up for our family about four years ago. It is more than a simple list of rues though...I credit this chart as helping to manage my children's behavior, over the past four years....it is my 'secret weapon'!
This list hangs, laminated, in several spots in out house…in the kids bedrooms, on the fridge, and on the front door, a convenient spot for time outs.
When friends come over they are often intrigued by this little poster. I am often asked where I got it from and if they can have a copy. The truth is that it came straight form my own head.,…
…..You see I have never wanted to use smacking with my kids and I have used time outs instead. I was finding though, that with the time outs, my kids (particularly my oldest daughter) would completely turn off her brain…wait for the timer to run out….utter a rudimentary ‘sorry’ and not really understand, or appreciate the reason behind the time out. If I tried to explain it to her then I’m sure all she heard was ….
Even though my children could not read at the time, I found it really helpful to point at the chart and read from it word for word the ‘rule’ they had broken. Perhaps it was the colour coding, or repetition of the exact same words, or the visual clue….but having this chart there seemed to help my children understand exactly what they had done wrong….. And more importantly why it was not acceptable.
Now that my children are older, and the girls can read…I get them to point out the rule they have broken. They have virtually memorized the chart!!
I think that kids really seem to understand rules. There are rules for most games and they are intrigued by things like road rules….even if they make up their own rules for games (which can change depending on the circumstance…or who is winning…) they still understand the importance of rules and why they should be followed. Having a list of concrete rules really seemed to help my children understand what behavior was appropriate at home.
One other reason the rules worked well in our house is that the adults were held accountable to them too! Us adults were also required to asked politely for things and say sorry if we did the wrong thing. I think seeing their parents follow the rules, set an example for the children to do the same thing.!
So here is the Poster…
1. We treat each other with kindness and respect
-no name calling
-no hitting or hurting anyone
-we stop when we are asked nicely
-we answer when we are spoken to nicely
2. We treat our house, furniture and belongings with care and respect.
3. We listen to each other.
4. We use quiet inside voices inside.
5. Children do what Mummy or Daddy asks the first time.
6. We speak nicely to each other and ask for things nicely by saying please and thank you.
7. We tell the truth
8. We say sorry if we have done the wrong thing
I realise that it is not perfect and it is oversimplified…but it really seems to work wonders in our house. I understand that every family is different and it will not work for everyone…but it did work for us!
Do you use ‘time out’ with your children? Do have any tactics that helped teach your children appropriate behavior?? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!
On this lovely Tuesday, I’m linking up with that awesome 'Dish', Jess over at Diary of a SAHM for #IBOT! Come over and read some great Tuesday posts!