House Rules For Kids
Check out Coach Mobley’s House Rules for Kids
“I don’t know exactly where Hell is located. However, I do know that real close to it is the time when an adult child turns to their parent and says, “Why didn’t you tell me that I shouldn’t have… My life would be better if you had told me…when I was a kid.” ~ Darryl L. Mobley
House Rules For Children
During a recent presentation, I was asked one of the questions I’ve been asked frequently over the past 18 years. That question is, “How do I develop good house rules for kids?”
Before I go any farther, let me state that… Families are different. Parenting styles are different. Lifestyles are different.
That said, I would hope that parents are united in the goals they have for their kids.
I like to assume that all parents want their children to develop into self-respecting, happy, self-aware, gracious, positive, and productive adults. The question is, “How?”
You definitely should have House Rules for Your Kids.
House Rules for Kids are necessary structure in a chaotic and confusing world that seeks to trick, seduce, confuse, and lead your kids astray.
House Rules for Kids are like the guardrails on the road as you drive on a cliff’s edge.
Guardrails along the road are designed to keep drivers from careening off the road and into dangerous territory. They are usually placed in the trickiest areas, where it is easy to take a wrong turn.
Just as guardrails along the road keep drivers safer, decision-making-house-rules and good-habit-reinforcing-house-rules act as guardrails to help kids develop and protect kids from doing really foolish things. That’s where parents come in. That’s where your House Rules for Kids can play a key role.
So, what is my answer to, “How do I develop good house rules for kids?”
My answer always starts with me saying that each of your house rules for your kids should be designed to lead to a larger endpoint.
The parenting game is not easy. You’ve got to be an ultimate manipulator, tactician, and long-term strategist.
Your house rules should be aligned with the Family Goals you have developed. (You HAVE developed your Family Goals, haven’t you? Of course, you have!)
Your house rules may be serious, fanciful, blunt, humorous… They must be authentic. You must mean what you say.
I then say…
“Here are the House Rules for My Kids. You might find my list helpful.”
1. No talking when Mom or Dad are speaking.
2. Fix your problems with your sibling(s) or I will fix them (and you may not like my fix).
3. Tell your mother (or father) that you love her/his meals, every time she/he makes you a meal. Gratitude is a beautiful thing!
4. If we pick you up late from a sports practice or club meeting – – – deal with it and don’t have an attitude when you get in the car. Be happy you have “parent limo service” that you don’t pay for.
5. Do not speak so loudly that Dad can’t hear his conversation with Mom.
6. Parents and children are not equals. Defer to your parents.
7. Don’t waste Mom and Dad’s money by drinking bottled water around the house. As it is, most bottled water IS tap water. Bottled water is not safer than the water we in the U.S. drink from the tap. And several studies have shown that tap water is considered to taste better than bottled water in “blind tests.” (Blind tests are when the folks taking the test don’t know whether they are drinking tap or bottled water before they are asked to say which tastes better.) Drinking tap water costs about 50 cents a year per person. Drinking the same amount of bottled water costs about $1,400 a year. Stop being a sucker! One day I want you to be able to say, “My parents did not raise a fool!”
8. Don’t touch Dad’s leftover Chinese food or pizza. Just don’t. (It’s too delicious to share. ;-))
9. These words work really well: “Hello.” “Good Morning.” “I Love You.” “Please.” “Thank you.” “Yes Dad.” “Yes Mom.” “Yes Sir/Ma’am.” “No Sir/Ma’am.” Use them.
10. Keep your room clean or expect to lose privileges.
11. During family meals at home or when we are out at a restaurant: sit up straight; use your fork and knife; close your mouth while chewing; and stay seated until you are done.
12. Chew gum with your mouth closed. The world does not want to hear you chewing or see the gum in your mouth. Good manners for a horse are not good manners for you.
13. Place your dirty clothes in the basket.
14. Don’t ever tell me that you are bored. For the most part, only boring people are bored.
15. Don’t ask me the same thing over and over and over… I respond poorly to being badgered.
16. When I ask you a question, I want the answer to my question. The more evasive you are, the tougher I get.
17. Don’t be a selfish member of the family.
18. Homework comes first.
19. Don’t lie to me. That leads to all kinds of problems. (I also tell my kids that the longer your answer to my straightforward question, the bigger your lie.)
By the way – each of my kids had a printed copy of the House Rules for Kids. I never wanted them to have the ability to pull the get-out-of-jail-card by saying, “I forgot.”
I hope you find my House Rules for Children helpful.
Darryl L. Mobley
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