Skip to main content

Household rules in a benevolent dictatorship...

Yes, I'm going to write two blog posts today - why not...

Do you have house rules?

We've struggled with house rules a lot over the years. Mainly because we don't have a concrete list of house rules.

There are about a thousand things the Grumpy Old Man and I tell the kids they shouldn't do around here, and they are often followed by, 'You know that's against the house rules...' But in all fairness, there are no concretely stated house rules in this house, so the kids are unlikely to keep track of all one thousand things they're not supposed to do.

Today I decided to sit down and write our house rules.

I know popular psychology suggests having a family meeting and everyone agreeing on the house rules, but this seems overly manipulative to me because after all parents are always going to steer the choices towards what they think is fair or reasonable. Otherwise, 'The bedroom will be divided into quadrants and each boy can only access their own quadrant and requires the permission of the owners of the other quadrants to access those.' would result in alliances being drawn to prevent some brothers from entering the room at all, or leaving it again once permission to enter was granted. Little boys are merciless!

So, yup, I took the 'benevolent dictator' approach to writing the rules of the house.

Want to know what they are?


  1. Do what mum and dad ask you to do when we ask you to do it - without argument.
  2. Be kind to your brothers.
  3. Do not lie.
  4. Do not steal.
Following the K.I.S.S.* principle there are only four rules; to give anyone a good chance at memorising them. 

Rule number one might seem open to abuse, but as their parents we will endeavour to always be fair and just - we just want them to know we're sick of the 'But!'s and the 'Why do I always have to..?'s.

Rule number two might seem obvious to most people, but alas not so to our little mercinaries boys; one in particular but all of them to some extent. If these boys can learn to be kind to one another as a general rule, that would eliminate about 90% of the disharmony in this home. The Grumpy Old Man and I try to model being kind, but we must be doing it wrong, because the message isn't seeding.

Rules number three and four are mostly related to rule number two, but sometimes go outside the bounds of brotherhood and even outside the household - sad to say. Again, following these two simple rules would make a huge difference to the flow of harmony in this household.

As you can see, our household rules are fairly minimalist. Some people like funny household rules, other people like all lovey-dovey, warm and cuddly household rules (I suspect they may not have four boys aged 3-12). Those wouldn't really work for us. We laugh a lot anyway, and we love a lot too, we don't need rules to do those things, but we do need to set some simple, plain old-fashioned boundaries for the well-being of all concerned.

What are your household rules?

Here are some house rules to inspire you if you're considering writing your own...

source
source
source


source
source
*K.I.S.S. stands for Keep It Simple, Stupid.

Comments

Keira said…
It’s actually a nice and useful piece of post. I am glad that you simply shared this with us. Thanks!
Scuzzi said…
~smiles~
Being the tyrannical Patriarch in most of my relationships I only have one rule ..

Rule #1 Don't upset Mum.
Sarah said…
Love it Sif, Very timely for me as I realize we need some rules to keep this household running smoothly also.

I love the last rule on the 'summer house rules' you posted...

"If you tell me you are BORED, I will find a job for you to do" :p

haha
Sif Dal said…
Keira, my pleasure :).

Scuzzi, that's a brilliant rule - it's so all encompassing!

Sarah, I employ that final rule on the rare occassion my kids forget house to entertain themselves without technology!

Popular posts from this blog

12 Things Happy People Do Differently - a self-reflection...

A few days ago a Facebook friend posted the above poster on her wall. I believe she got these points from this blog which she enjoys reading, and the bloggers on the Marc and Angel Hack Life blog derived their discussion of these points from this book, available on Amazon - you're welcome! I have to admit, I haven't read the blog or the book I've just mentioned but wanted my readers to have access to the sources of the poster for their own reflective purposes.
The New Year will be upon us in but a few days and I thought this a great opportunity to do a little personal assessment on how I'm playing the happy game. I'm often not very happy at all - I don't need to be happy all the time, let me just say that up front - I personally believe that life is a balancing act and those who seek euphoria often will also often feel desolation because in all things there must be balance. The great riches of the few on this planet come at the personal cost of the many as is …

The symbolism of elephants...

Just recently I've been seeing and noticing elephants everywhere!

A few weeks ago I saw the Samsung Elephant Ad, and watching that led me to watching a video with an elephant painting (seriously, you have to watch it to believe it!).

Then last night the boys told me they were having a free dress day at school to raise money for 'Mali the Elephant' - who turned out to be a paper maché statue which the children will paint and then show around the council before it comes back to the school to stand outside the performing arts room.

Then this morning I followed a link from Twitter to Toushka Lee's blog and read this post about an elephant orphanage in Sri Lanka.

This morning the Grumpy Old Man did another driving test and unfortunately didn't pass. We've booked his next test and are looking forward to that now. About ten minutes before he walked in the door I saw this poster on Facebook...


At the time, I didn't know if the Grumpy Old Man had been successful or …

Alone... And Stuff...

Do you ever just need to be alone?



As the boys are growing up, we have more times when the house is quiet. The youngest will be asleep. One will be reading, one will be playing on his computer with headphones on, one will be painting and there is stillness.

Sometimes, even that is not enough.

Sometimes I crave being alone, with no possibility of someone suddenly realising they have to tell me something important or ask me a question or even just crash about in the kitchen.

Sometimes I crave S P A C E, lots and lots of space, being able to walk from room to room without encountering another soul.

This is how I felt when I woke up this morning, so instead of getting ready for work, I decided to stay home. Get up, but not go anywhere, no hear the sound of my own voice, or anyone else's.

I think this might just be part of getting older. After a lifetime of chasing after other people and trying not to be alone, my mind and body is full of thoughts, experiences, feelings, and busy-ness …