Whenever I get unduly frustrated with the house or the kids’ behavior, I know it is time for new house rules! Then, instead of being angry, I can smile and say, “You broke the house rule! One dollar please!”
Today, we cleaned the house. Oh, it was so frustrating. The crayons, hairbands, socks and books that were out of place–how is it my job to put all these things in their right places?
So I added on to our list of house rules, and now the list looks like this:
1. Obey Mom and Dad. “Okay, Mom/Dad!”
2. Sharing: When you want something, “In how many minutes may I have a turn?” The person must say in five minutes or less. Then they must share.
3. Conflicts: When you are upset with someone, “May we please discuss it?” They must stop what they are doing and discuss until resolved.
4. Sit still in church with hands in laps: no wiggling, playing, twisting, turning, whispering or fidgeting.
5. Speak to adults, looking them in the eye and smiling.
10. Put things back in the right places.
11. Anything that Mom or Dad collects goes in a large bag. You have to pay $1 to get it back.
12. Leaving out snacks, drinks or meal food/dishes costs you $1.
13. Coats, fleeces, hats and gloves out cost you $1.
14. Empty cat food cans cost you $1.
15. No whining, raising your voice, or yelling. If you yell at a family member, you owe them $5 (parents included–if a parent yells, the child may charge them $5).
16. No calling someone “a bad kid” or “a trouble-maker” or any global negative description. That will cost you $20. We are all trying to become saints. All conversation should reflect those efforts.