THURSDAY THOUGHTS

What are your house rules?

I was comparing house rules with a friend the other day and I found it interesting how different our rules are, and how we prioritise different rules over others. Sometimes, as I discovered while chatting about it, we might even have rules that we enforce without really thinking about why — perhaps they are rules we had in our own childhood homes, enforced by our own parents, and we’ve just continued to keep them. Or alternatively, we have rules that feel really important to have it is almost unimaginable that another family might not have the same rules in their home. (My good friend, for example, doesn’t mind if her children jump on their sofa! In our house, this is a huge no.)

Here are some of the rules that are important in our home:

  • Take your shoes off at the door
  • No food outside the kitchen or dining area
  • Ask to be excused before leaving the table at meal times (our kids also have to clear their own plate to the sink when they’re finished eating)
  • No toys at the table (this one has surprised a few of my friends!)
  • Try everything on your plate before deciding you don’t like it
  • No standing or jumping on furniture (I must have to remind my kids of this rule at least once a day!)
  • No balls in the house
  • Replace the toilet paper roll if you use the last of one
  • Our kids are always allowed to help themselves to fruit from the fruit bowl, but if they want something else to eat, they have to ask
  • If my boys want to use my computer, to look up the surf report or search for something online, they ALWAYS have to ask me first
  • Remember your chores!
  • Be polite! The following words are not allowed in our home: shut-up, hate, stupid, or any other insulting word. (Also, no swearing, but that is probably obvious.)

Like Emilie mentioned in an earlier post, I also want my kids to know they have to follow the rules of any home they go to, despite whether it’s a rule we have in our home.

So please share — what rules do you enforce in your house? I’m curious to hear. Are mine really strict?

Courtney x

p.s. The photos above were taken by our friend Amelia Fullarton just after Wilkie was born. One year ago!  


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Comments (73)

Laura
April 5, 2018

No you aren´t strict, we almost have the same rules.
We also have the rule no tv on weekdays. I have to remind the no ball rule in the house at least once a day… 😀 We also have the rule no sweets before dinner or lunch. One rule which is hard to follow is to pack the backpack for school, and unpack/ pack the bag for soccer practice….


sarah
April 5, 2018

Our son doesn’t watch tv very often but still the ‘no tv after 5pm rule’ is key. Makes our evenings much less anxious. Also no eating in bed, I hate crumbs on my sheets! Weirdly I don’t mind if he jumps on the couch but I am a strict when it comes to straightening pillows and so right after – guess that’s a ‘clean up your own mess when your done’-rule in general. You have a lovely home, Courtney!


Courtney in Australia
April 5, 2018

Haha – I’m also strict about my bed. When we lived in London and Michael would ride the tube home from work, I always hated it when he would come home and sit on our nice, clean bed! (Is that taking the house rules too far? Haha.)

We don’t have a TV in our home, so we don’t even need to have a TV rule, but I totally get the no TV after 5pm rule. x


Emilie
April 5, 2018

I EXACTLY have the same rules in our home! It’s good to hear that someone has the same (we’re not talking often about that with friends here in Paris). Thank you, Courtney 🙂 !


Lisa
April 5, 2018

We have similar rules ; but my kids are not good rule followers and I have to always moan at them and I don’t like myself!! I’m ALWAYS saying ‘stop climbing on the couch’ ‘no you can’t eat that now’ ‘don’t say that!’ Etc etc and I feel very bad as I don’t want to be moaning so much. How do I get them to understand the rules are there for simple good reasons (health and the well being of everyone) I am quite relaxed and find I allow my best behaved child more wiggle room which is unfair I guess. Trying to be a good mother. It’s hard!!! Love xxx


Lisa
April 5, 2018

Ooooj just remembered one love to hear thoughts on this …

If you bring home a rude friend who doesn’t say hello or please or thank you or goodbye – they can’t come again and my kids can’t go to theirs.

They can be shy. That’s fine. But they say hello / goodbye and please and thank you. Am I controlling????


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Nat
April 5, 2018

I love your rules, Courtney! 🙂 You are not strict at all, this is basic in my opinion. We have the same ones, except the one about the couch – I let them jump on and off as my boys really love to play “ski jumping” game. And I also allow them to play with soft(!) ball in their room, but not in other rooms of the house. Ah, and I also always demand washing hands after coming home, taking shoes off and putting them in the shoe cabinet. After years of reminding them, they now do it automatically. 🙂 And there is a big no-no to sitting on bed or sofa with clothes, worn to school/outside. And cartoons are allowed to watch only on weekends between 7 and 8:30 a.m., while my husband and I sleep in. On weekdays they don’t watch tv at all. I sometimes think my rules are quite strict, but I also think they are necessary as they prepare children for the real world, provide a sense of order and make them feel competent. Thanks for sharing, Courtney!


Marietje
April 5, 2018

We have rules, but I have to force myself to ‘let it go’ more often. I would like my children (4, 5 and 6) to eat with their utensils. But we have to ask our oldest, who is almost 7, all the time. I don’t like that it’s going to be a battle. Not every child is eager to follow those rules. It will come in a few years. My own parents were very easy with these things. I remember I had to teach myself to eat with fork and knife when I was staying at a friends house for two weeks at the age of 12… As a parent myself now, I can’t imagine that! We really didn’t have much etiquette at home…
I like to keep my shoes on myself. That’s better for my back. So if their shoes aren’t dirty they can keep them on too. But often they pull off their shoes while playing. All the play-dates pull of their shoes first when they come to our house.
And we have a really good jumping-sofa! They pull off all the cushions and then it’s just a big trampoline! It doesn’t do any damage to the sofa, so I’m just fine with it. Of couse no shoes on the sofa. It’s also their home, so they can do a lot. But they have to be careful.
And I want them to be helpfull. Like putting the dishes in the washer, cleaning out backpackbacks and so on. But it’s not really a rule.


Jessica
April 5, 2018

I find these types of articles very interesting. Recently my youngest have started using words like stupid, hate etc. and while I obviously just keep repeating “we don’t use those words” several times throughout the day I often wonder how other families go about enforcing the rules of their homes. Is it just repetition?


Courtney in Australia
April 6, 2018

I do think, in this case, that yes it is just repetition. There are some rules I have to say at least once a day in our house. You’d think after all these years I wouldn’t have to remind my 12-year-old not to throw balls in the house, but I still do!!!


joana
April 5, 2018

It’s nice and funny at the same time do know yuo have basicly the same rules, but I have to add two important ones, at least for me: when we get home we take off our shoes at the door AND go straight to the bathroom to wash hands; the other is when we wake up the first thing we have to do when we see someone is to say ‘good morning’, and then we can ask for food or whatever.
as for the sitting in bed with our clothes I’m also not a big fan of that 🙂


Issie
April 5, 2018

No way, ours are pretty much the same, how funny! I also can’t hear ‘I don’t want to…’ they have to say ‘I wouldn’t like to…’ No clue why, it just rubs me up the wrong way 😉


Courtney in Australia
April 6, 2018

I totally get that! I don’t like my kids to say ‘I don’t like that’ about the food we’ve cooked for them. They can say ‘It’s not to my taste’ or ‘I don’t care for it’, but I really don’t like hearing that they don’t like something (even if that’s what they mean when they say it the polite way!). 🙂


Carol
April 5, 2018

Hi, this is an interesting topic for me I always wonder what other families rules are! 🙂 we are quiet laid back sometimes eat at table together sometimes kids are in kitchen and myself and husband eat in living room, shoes off but not always reinforced, they jump on furniture but I will tell them to stop out of fear of an injury. Also I do all the clearing up after meals. This has given me food for thought! I think we need to set out some new house rules! Perhaps it will make my life easier with 3 young children.. We have same rules regarding asking for food, computer and manners. I want them to be happy at home too though and not always worrying about keeping house spotless. Xx


Poppy
April 5, 2018

We have most of the same rules. But I don’t care if my kids swear. I swear like a sailor myself. I’ve made clear that the words are for the home, only. Not for others’ ears.


Jessie Sincavage
April 5, 2018

Your rules are not strict. Ours are similar. From simple ones of take your shoes off, eat at the table, no jumping on the couch. To medium ones of you need to take at least 3 bites of everything on your plate, If you want to play outside with friends all your chores need to be done. To more strict ones of not letting them watch TV except for family movie night on Saturdays, and IPad Friday for 1 hour. When they do this they have to stay in main room. We are also SUPER strict about bedtime. 8 PM sharp. Also if there is an argument and it becomes physical you must leave to another room to cool off. Once you are each child gets a turn to tell his side and then we role play of how to talk kindly to each other to figure out a solution to the disagreement. This work for our family. It’s not easy but we noticed our children are happier and not as crazy in the long run.


Claire
April 5, 2018

Yes


Marleen
April 5, 2018

Sounds like a lovely home with clear rules to me. May I ask you what your reason is to ban the TV entirely?


Courtney in Australia
April 6, 2018

Hi Marleen,
Thanks for your comment.
We don’t really ‘ban’ the TV and my hope is that my kids don’t feel deprived of it. We simply just don’t have one in our home. Michael and I don’t have any interest in watching TV — I guess we are so time poor as it is, and can’t always squeeze in everything we need to do each day, so we simply don’t have time for watching TV. And because of this, our kids have grown up without it and also don’t really have any interest in watching the TV either. Every once in a while we will download a movie for them on my laptop, so they do watch the occasional movie.
I’ve shared my views on electronics in this post here: https://babyccinokids.com/blog/2014/12/12/my-thoughts-on-tv-and-other-electronics/


Esther
April 5, 2018

Your rules are great, Courtney! I have two questions, if I may: if a rule gets broken, how do you deal with the situation? Also, any rules for dressing for the bigger kids? Do they choose their outfits for the day or do you put them out? One of mine loves to choose, the other doesn’t. They are 9. As long as they are clean and match, I’m all good :).


Hanna
April 5, 2018

Lisa – your comment reminds me of an “unofficial” rule that my mother used to have.

Saying “please” and “thank you” was a must in our house. It became second nature even when I was in very young.

However, some of my sister’s friends clearly did not have this same expectation set at home, and I clearly remember my mother serving dinner and correcting those children who did not say please or thank you! My mother would directly ask them to say please and thank you in the same manner she’d direct us. She was firm, but not mean.

I remember being slightly embarrassed at this when I was a child, but I no longer feel that way. I don’t have children, but I study parenting and child development, so I find these issues interesting! When I do have children, you bet that I’ll be doing the same thing as my mom!

I also don’t necessarily think I wouldn’t invite a child over if he/she didn’t say please/thank you. I think I’d do what my mother did- remind them to say those magic words as if they were my own children. The way I see it, that child has just been raised in a house with a different expectation, which isn’t the child’s fault. (No judgement on what you or others do, however – “different families do different things” was another HUGE saying at our house growing up!)


Kristy
April 5, 2018

We have exactly the same rules. I’ve been feeling perhaps I was being too strict in conversation with friends but this has made me feel so much better. We also ask our children to say good morning when they see each other in the mornings. Thank you for sharing x


Anna (in Colorado)
April 5, 2018

I only have one child (at this point 🙂 ) A baby boy who is 10 months. He loves balls right now and we have quite a few bigger dollar store balls that he “tosses” and crawls after. Your boy is a few months older (and maybe never got into balls anyway) but I was wondering how do you vary your house rules to account for age. Or don’t you? I remember being told ‘to not point fingers’ when I noticed my baby brother doing something I wasn’t allowed to do.


Annie from Brimful
April 6, 2018

We have similar house rules and also don’t have a TV…no wonder we’re such kindred spirits (wink). Loved the family pics – time for an updated one!


emiliebabyccino
April 6, 2018

Ha! I think our rules are pretty much identical – funny! And the bed rule I agree with too. No one should sit on my nice clean bed when they have been also sitting on the metro!


Emma
April 6, 2018

Hi Courtney
A really great topic for discussion! Funny my children are aged 3 and 8 months and my rules are very similar to your family rules too. I have been riduculed by friends for not allowing my daughter to jump on the sofa and furniture and even placed boxes on the sofa when she was 18 months to stop her doing it; needless to say she does not bother about it now! I am super strict about food being at the table too and don’t allow wandering around with it. Just last night my partner and I were saying that we feel the most important things are for our children to be kind and polite , I hope our family rules will help them along the way!
Emma x x


Vera
April 6, 2018

Love your rules, as they are quite similar to ours. I just read them to my boys and when it come to the toilet paper roll, they were laughing, saying: „That’s not a rule, we just do it!“ Well, obviously it’s an unspoken rule in our house! 😄
Sending so much love your way! xxx


Emma
April 6, 2018

Being kind and having good manners are our main rules. I have no problem with our small kids (3 and 5) jumping on our beds or couches, nor watching tv. As a result they’re not really interested in either.


Daniela
April 6, 2018

Mine are almost the same but one I also have is wash your hands when you walk in the house.


Samantha
April 6, 2018

I have the same rules at home aside from jumping on the sofa. I don’t like it but I feel as though I’m fighting a lost battle with my son.

We also have:

No phones on the table (for the adults only as my two do not have a phone but I want to set a good example. This also translates to no home phone calls whilst eating, so I don’t answer the phone if it rings)
No chewing with mouth open and my children need to learn correct table manners; napkins on lap, wait for other people to finish before speaking and use of cutlery appropriately (it’s a big bare of mine when I see adults not so the following. Too English?!)

I am the same about beds but I’ve always showered before getting into bed and I expect the same to continue with my children until they leave Home! Shower before bed.

We have a play area downstairs and just books in their bedroom. So their bedrooms aren’t for playing with their friends but a chance to relax and take time for themselves. It’s to be kept clean always. I want their bedroom to be a place to unwind rather than associate it with craziness it I appreciate this is because I have the space for them to have a play area (it’s not a seperate room just alongside the lounge).

No iPads. They’re allowed tv as I can monitor it but only half an hour a day.

I sound psychotic now!


Cecilia
April 6, 2018

Thanks Courtney for sharing your rules! We have the same rules in our home and I am starting struggle now with my 5 year old son that wants to over rule them all 😬
I have a chart that works very nicely with my daughter but not with my son and I would appreciate if anybody has any tips for encouraging rebel boys to follow rules 😊
I also have the bed rule, nobody is allowed to sit with clothes inside the b d. I like beds to be only for pjs or underwear and a place that is nice and clean ready to sleep 😊


Kathryn
April 6, 2018

😂 EXACTLY the same rules (except for the loo roll one!)


Nicole
April 6, 2018

Not strict at all Courtney. We have the exact same rules. All of them. Our rules are different to our friends and maybe they are quite strict but our kids are so polite when they are out and always get complements on their manners. So I’m more than happy to have the rules that we have in our house.


Elisabetta
April 6, 2018

Hi Courtney!
I really enjoyed reading this article and pretty much can relate to everything exept for one thing maybe and this is asking for permission before taking food that isn’t fruit.. can I ask why? Sincerely out of curiosity.
Lots of love xxx
Elisabetta


Stephanie
April 6, 2018

Love your rules, we have the same ones plus “wash your hands when you’re done eating.” People are always asking us how we can get away with white walls, white bookshelves and a light colored sofa and it’s because of our rules around food and no shoes in the house. Food must be eaten at the table and hands washed after eating to avoid it being distributed around the house. Our son is 5 and does this automatically now. And the shoes…I honestly don’t know how anyone can wear shoes in the house, it’s so gross!!! Think of all the nasty places those shoes have been and then to bring that in your home, yuck! Haha. And we’ve had a no toys at the table rule since he’s been old enough to join us at the table. It’s just too distracting. Meal time is for eating and connecting with each other. 🙂


Janneke
April 6, 2018

I have the exact same rules. I don’t think they are strict. They can do as they want as long they ask an are polite. And offcourse they copy exact what you do so sometimes my kids tell me that I can’t say or do that. So funny. Sometimes it is hard to constant remind them how we want to do things, but when i hear how the well behave at other peoples homes it defitnly pays off.


Laura
April 6, 2018

Always thank the person that made dinner and they show me their clean hands before running off to play after dinner. Also they can say bum at home but only say bottom when we are out of the house! Basic boy rules 😂


Alex
April 6, 2018

Lisa, thank you for sharing your rules. Instead of labeling the child who doesn’t say hello, please or thank you as rude, I would urge you to take a softer approach. I was abused as a child and was terrified of all adults I didn’t know well. I often avoided speaking to or even making eye contact with my friends parents. I can totally understand how this comes off as rude but please know that a little guidance might go a long way with these children. You could try gently approaching the child and sharing that in your house you encourage spoken greetings and please and thank yous. You never know what a child is going through at home and, if you have the opportunity to be a positive influence on a child, take it!


Marleen
April 6, 2018

Thank you Courtney for your reply. Although we do have a TV we have the (new) rule that is may only be turned on in the weekend (as well as tablets). So no TV and tablets during the week. I notice that they first try a few times but now they know that they get a ‘no’ they start playing again. It is quite addictive. Furthermore a lot of rules are the same and I will take some in consideration! Thanks for sharing!


Peggy
April 6, 2018

I understand this Lisa and these traits are so important but I do think little kids need to be encouraged to develop these, especially is their parents aren’t there to prompt/encourage…


Jka
April 6, 2018

I would love to have no tv in our house but that is a battle I won’t win. We have a list of rules on the fridge, no tv in the morning, half and hr of tv after school only, unpack dishwasher, go to bed when asked which has always been a battle, no kicking balls inside, be kind. And everyday everyone breaks all the rules which drives me crazy as I hate tv noise the most in the morning if they put on the soccer and how they become numb to getting ready for school. Maybe I need to be more strict …


Sara in Ireland
April 6, 2018

It’s actually funny that my first thought was ”we don’t really have any rules”, but we actually do. They are not something I actively have to remind my children off anymore as they’re 8, 6 and 4.

We take shoes off the minute getting in the door (I’m Scandinavian) and the have to hang up their coats/jacketa and put their school bags in the right place. Wash hand when ever coming in, obviously especially before eating. I’m not too bothered about jumping on the sofa, but they never really seem to do it. Or they take the firm seat cushions down and make a little obstacle course on the floor which is totally fine by me.

The bed in the other hand are sacred. I HATE anyone going anywhere near the bedding with their dirty clothes. You often find a pair of jeans right next to the kids’ beds when they’ve wanted to climb in to read a book 🙂

We have a two storey house and in general they’re not allowed to bring toys downstairs. We have a dog so that’s where it started from that the dog my chew them if not being careful. The dog never touches our stuff, but the rule has more or less stayed and I really enjoy toyfree living room and kitchen. Occasionally so small bits travel downstairs and most annoyingly in on our kitchen table!! This is something I need to be alittle strickter with as if there is any bits on the table, they seem to get fixed on them mid dinner which drives me nuts!

Lots of little rules how to be mindful of each other, loving and caring and helpful.

Oh and they have to tidy up their rooms one a week properly so i can come and vacuum the floor. It’s a great motivation when I tell them the vacuum won’t spare any little lego or barbie shoe 😀


Lisa
April 6, 2018

Hanna – thanks for your comment! I have five kids myself and to be honest if a child comes over and is rude and surly (we have had a few bratty kids come and just go into my cupboard and come out with bags of pirate booty without even asking my kids let alone me) also kids saying to me ‘I’m hungry’ and opening the fridge. I honestly see your point but for me I’m quite intolerant and if kids are rude I’m too busy with my own five to have them back!!!


Hanna
April 6, 2018

Lisa- oh yes, 100% in agreement with this comment! surly/rude is a different level for sure and we are in agreement about that! I honestly was just talking about kids who are generally kind and well-meaning but don’t necessarily remember to say please and thank you!


Yolande
April 6, 2018

I am definitely a strict mum and we have very similar rules. I think it is more of a question of what do you do if a child breaks a rule and what your children are like. One of my daughters will follow certain rules only if she knows there will be a consequence. Other children just need a few reminders. I try to give mine natural consequences as much as possible (eg. if you don’t check your ballet bag for shoes, even though I reminded you, then you will have to dance without shoes. I am not getting them for you), but I will also hand out less natural consequences if needed. My children like to know what is right and wrong and rules make things clear. They give them a feeling of safety.


MelTown
April 6, 2018

We have very similar house rules! Down to the fruit bowl! I am pretty lax about food going into our family room, but it must be contained in the dining area/kitchen/family room. The only rules I have that aren’t on your list are no TV during the week, no hitting (which I assume you do have, but it just isn’t listed), and my big one…NO SLAMMING DOORS.


Peachy Robimsom
April 6, 2018

Our rules are exactly the same, down to the fruit bowl!! I think they stem from my own upbringing! Thanks for sharing !


Vlada
April 6, 2018

Oh! too strict for 🙈We have some similar things like taking shoes off, most of our rules are about health ( no meet, avoiding sugar, no candies etc.), cleaning teeth is a MUST rule. Trying to reduce cartoons time, but this is always a battle:( , no fighting or pushing, we always trying to clean together. Surprisingly I can’t remember what else do we have🤔 Oh, sometimes we put timer for some activities🤷‍♀️


Alison
April 6, 2018

I am curious about what time your children go to bed. My kids go to bed at 7:30 and then my hubby and I really enjoy watching some tv together:) My rules are very similar with the exception of no food outside of the eating areas. It drove me crazy as a kid that we could not have food in the tv room so as a mom, I let my kids eat their snacks around the house if they want to as long as they clean up any crumbs they may leave.


Lisa
April 6, 2018

Hanna – 🙂 totally agree quiet shy nice kids who forget to say please / thank you of course I gently prompt !! But I’m definitely talking about outwardly bratty kids with no manners! X


Lindsey Jones
April 7, 2018

Thanks for this post Courtney.
We are pretty much the same in our house but the one that made me think was the one about allowing fruit from the bowl whenever. Mine are 4 and 2 so perhaps a little young as I know my youngest would just gorge herself on sweet fruit haha. But certainly something to consider for the future xx


Kasey O’Brien
April 7, 2018

Great insight Courtney! I love hearing how others manage their homes. I’d love to hear more on how you curate your children’s wardrobe and what you e taught them about dressing and style.


ariadna
April 7, 2018

Hi! I really like this kind of posts, because it talks about the day by day routine, and how to cope with the whole think as parents.
I really would love a new post about electronics, “the use of the screen” us we say at home. My sons are 10 and 14 now, and thinks are not the same us when they where younger. So I wonder how you deal with all that in that ages.
Thanks you all


Kristi
April 7, 2018

These rules are eerily similar to mine. I’ve got 9 kids and am considered fairly strict by friends. I would add no tv or electronics on school days except for school work. It’s a fine line with the couch jumping-they roughhouse and climb the backs but they know if they actually jump I get after them!


Ann
April 7, 2018

Hi! I find it so helpful to learn about other people’s home rules with their children. We have many similar ones! I wondered if you had house rules surrounding getting out of bed in the morning and staying in bed at night:)? Thanks!


Courtney in Australia
April 8, 2018

Hi Ann,
Thanks for your comment.
With regards to staying in bed, I have to say I’m pretty relaxed about that. In general, my children sleep really well and all of them sleep through the night in their own beds. However, if one of them has a bad dream, I don’t want them to feel like they can’t come to my room to find me. (I remember the occasional bad dream when I was little and finding such comfort in going to my mom in the night.) Last night Marlow (aged 5) actually came to our room and climbed in our bed for the first time in months. I didn’t mind her doing it — probably because it is so rare these days.
Thankfully we don’t have a problem with the kids waking too early, so that isn’t an issue for us. But I remember having friends in London who put a clock in their kids’ bedroom and told them they couldn’t come out of their room until a certain time. x


Lina
April 7, 2018

Interesting rules, we share a few, others are my moms rules but not mine in my family home. I was wondering about the have fruit and ask if they are going to eat something, could you elaborate? I hear my child many times if she can eat something, she is old enough to grab something, and it sounds wiard because it’s her home but sometimes I hear snacks being open one after the other and sometimes I say something sometimes I don’t because basically I am freaked out of eating disorders… so please el amorate I would love to read more about that! 🙏🏼


Angela
April 7, 2018

No, this is not crazy or too strict. I have a huge problem with kids who do not greet (or acknowledge) me when entering my home, or that don’t say “thank you for having me” when leaving. I don’t expect to have a huge conversation, but I think not recognizing the adult of the home is rude.


Angela
April 7, 2018

We have mostly the same house rules as you do, Courtney. A random rule that we have is that a closed door represents an area that is off limits to my kids (or any kids) unless they ask permission. Now we don’t keep all our doors closed all the time or anything, but it does help to keep my kids from getting into things they ought not. For other kids entering my home it does also represent respecting the privacy of your host. I want kids and families to feel comfortable in our home, but also, I don’t want them barging into my husband and I’s bedroom either.


Suzanna
April 8, 2018

I love these rules! My question would be how do you deal with one of the ruled being broken?


Courtney in Australia
April 8, 2018

It’s an interesting question! Perhaps I’ll raise this topic for a future ‘Thursday Thoughts’ blog post. Thanks for the suggestion. x


Soosh
April 8, 2018

Those are good rules you have and quite reasonable, in my opinion.
I am minimun rules mama as it turns out. 🙂 We have “please” and “thank you” and “i am sorry” very high in our home. We vacuum clean, washing dishes together. We also have “nurse on call” duties but those not quite rules, just smth i actively been brining to kiddo’s attention since he turned 3y.o. That is if one of us gets sick another does most urgent choirs around the house (feeding cats, for example, cleaning dishes, taking care of the sick one – which includes making tea, fetching things, reading, etc…)
I have no TV but ipad rule is – you can play it in winter/autumn seasons for 2 hours from 4 to 6 pm.
All the rest of noisy, sometimes furniture/walls distracting activities are ok by me (i even like the marks he leaves here and there, to me it feels that my home is being lived at) maybe because my own childhood rules were as strict as hell :))
I think rules make child learn many handy things they for sure will need in their adult life.


Catherine
April 8, 2018

Hi Courtney we have very similar rules but ones question for you and those who don’t have tv (or limited) what is your stance on toys branded from kids shows. Even though my daughter doesn’t watch tv she knows all the characters from the kids in school eg Frozen, Paw Patrol. How do you deal with them being gifted Or requesting these kind of toys? Do you avoid bringing them into shops? Thanks


Dana
April 8, 2018

Hey Courtney,

I really like your rules, they remind me of the way I was raised and hope to raise my kids similarly. I have noticed that my husband and I have some “updated” values and ways of doing things and we definitely have some alternative parenting styles to some of our siblings and parents back home. I struggle when we visit because many of the things I am trying to teach, somehow get blurred because he is exposed to very different things there, that to be honest are not totally in line with our values or ideas about how he should grow up. For example, we really don’t want him watching tv or using screens ( other than for face timing family) and some of his cousins are constantly on devices or watching shows. How do we handle this when we visit? I find it really difficult to spend time at some of his cousins homes because the tv is just always on. I try to take him to another room or outside but I also don’t want to make their parents feel bad or him to feel left out. Even his own grandparents will knowingly break our rules even though we politely ask them not to, and I find it super frustrating to have to be the “bad guy” but I also don’t want all the work we are doing to raise him the way we feel is right and natural to be undermined. His cousins are also constantly getting new branded and plastic toys, that we don’t care for and i don’t want him getting influenced as he gets older. Curious to hear your thoughts on this. It feels like a touchy subject for me. Thanks! XO


Jessie
April 9, 2018

Hi Catherine, in our house we tell the grandparents we prefer they buy our daughters books or take them on an outing. Like to tea or lunch. Most of the time they listen and not buy toys. I try really really hard not to take my youngest to toy stores. My older ones (7, and 8) understand we just don’t buy toys all the time. For birthdays and Christmas or for my older ones who want to buy something with their allowance for doing chores, you have to donate at least one items for a new item coming in. One time my youngest (3) REALLY wanted a toy (She carried a Peppa Pig castle around Target (She never watched it). I told her we would donated all of her toys. She was fine with that and played with just the castle.


J
April 9, 2018

This is all so interesting. We too have very similar rules.
Can we have a suggestion box for the next Thursday Thoughts? I have 2.. 1. Raising boys during the ‘#metoo’ movement and 2. How to raise siblings to be besties ☺️


Courtney in Australia
April 10, 2018

Thanks so much for your comment and suggestions.
I love suggestion number one — it’s something I’ve been considering writing about, so I’ll try to get a post up on that topic.
For number 2, we have written a post about preventing sibling rivalry which you might find interesting. Here it is: https://babyccinokids.com/blog/2015/01/27/tuesday-tips-preventing-sibling-rivalry/
xx


Granny
April 10, 2018

I only enforce two rules. Absolutely no screaming, so if I hear a scream I know to run! No fiddling with showers, baths and basins without supervision – to save flooding and possible burns. I do explain that excellent manners (and at table) can get almost anything wanted in life and ask that thank you letters/cards are sent as soon as possible for gifts and after parties. Never had a problem getting them kept!


marie
April 10, 2018

Same rules too and like yours, our friends are always surprised with the rule “No toys at the table” but we love to have time to talk at our table and focus with them. Thank you for this post, it is always interesting.


Katie
April 11, 2018

I love these topics and enjoy reading all the comments! We have similar rules in our house, but with a one and three year old it mostly feels like banging my head against a wall. Do you just keep going (for years!) until they get it? Maybe that is just what parenting is. A rule I am trying to instill with moderate success is that you are not allowed to hijack family dinner with your drama–this entails anything from kids refusing to eat certain foods to adults complaining about work. Another thing (like many commenters above) is that we do not allow TV or any screen time during with week, including looking at pictures on our phones or ipads. (I am a firm believer that electronics make children act insane.) The weekdays are bliss with no requests for TV, etc. The weekends, however, always involve fights about TV time and how many shows are allowed. I wish we would scrap the TV altogether but my husband is not agreeable. I am trying with the “hello,” “goodbye,” “please,” “thank you.” But again. Head. Wall.


Danielle
April 12, 2018

It’s nice to know we aren’t the only ones with similar rules. We do not play in beds. They are clean and cozy havens just for sleeping.


se7en
April 13, 2018

We actually have only two sacred rules in our house, and all other unwritten laws will be (almost) forgiven. Our rules are written on a chalkboard in the kitchen: No, no, no playing with snakes; And absolutely no playing on the roof. Maybe not the same rules as everyone else’s… but there are some wild spirits over here.


Phillipa
April 17, 2018

Thanks Courtney for this post. I’ve found it really interesting to read, including all the comments. I’d be grateful if you would do a follow up post on siblings and “mean language” and the babyccino girls views on this. I was interested in your “banned words” list which I think is brilliant. I really think it’s our job as parents to show our kids what’s ok and what isn’t. I have one friend who is so on it about being kind I overheard her 2 year old say the following to my son who had had an accidental bump (we were in the other room): “Finny are you ok???” “I’m sorry it was an accident are you ok?” “Can I give you a hug?” He is a really cool kid and also my friends third child so I know this is down to her parenting – she’s so strong on this sort of stuff. Conversely I have to walk away from a school mum who excuses a child who constantly punches as just being 6 months younger than my son, and whose two sons are constantly physically fighting and saying mean things to each other (age 6 and 3). Her stance is this is normal and she constantly says it’s normal they fight like this, let them figure it out. Wheras my stance is if anyone is saying anything horrible or hurting another it’s my job to intervene and educate them that it’s not ok to do this. And I really am the antithesis of a helicopter mum – as much as possible I want my kids to figure stuff out on their own and also play away from me! I know a lot of mums who seem to share the same views as this school mum (often mums of only boys) which is why I’m interested in this as a subject!


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