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  Discipline: Establishing RulesSaturday, June 22nd, 2024  
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For peace in the home, your child and you must know, understand, and agree on The Rules, and the consequences if they are not followed. As with most of us, a child will interpret your rules to his best advantage. Your rule is "Keep you room clean". Their interpretation, "They didn't mention my closet so I'll just throw everything in there." Be specific. Write it down and pot it on the wall. Add to the definition as they use their's to avoid the rule's meaning. Provide specific consequences. "If you don't take out the garbage everyday (full or not) then you will lose TV privileges immediately and for x number of hours after you decide to take out the garbage".

The Rules are normally associated with chores, but more importantly should set the standard for behavior. The Rules must also be as short as possible. You are not trying to cover every circumstance, you are setting basic rules of behavior in your home. A chore sets the example that everyone is responsible for keeping the family home clean. Behavior sets the minimum standard of acting towards others, in the home and elsewhere. The Rules define how you live together. Once in practice The Rules will make the home more enjoyable for all. To make The Rules even more effective they should include set chores for all and specifically spell out that the behavior rules are for all to follow. If Daddy swears, he has to go to his room.

Consistency is paramount. One of the main reasons that The Rules should be as short as possible is being to maintain constant expectations and consequences. If they see that they don't always lose TV for garbage remaining in the kitchen or Daddy didn't have to go to his room for swearing but they do, then there is a loss of grace in the family. The Rules should be written with your child and used to make expectations and consequences clear and consistent. You have spent the time to sit with your child and write The Rules, don't throw away something you and your child have agreed on by laziness in enforcement or behavior on your part.

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