Thursday, July 19, 2012

Thursday Thoughts: Family Rules

It's always a good idea to have family rules; a code of conduct by which everyone is expected to abide.  Some families post lists of rules.  Others just know the rules by the opt-recited phrases of the parents--for example, "If you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all." (Thanks to the Disney classic movie "Bambi," the parents usually at least imagine Thumper's voice while repeating that line!)

We were no different in our desire to establish consistent expectations in our home.  As parents, we were definitely outnumbered; and having five children, age 8 and under, sometimes it felt like we spent a majority of the day just reining (or reigning!) in chaos, averting disasters, and reminding of rules. My innovative husband devised a plan:  We would make our Number One Family Rule be something easy, something that even the most oppositional of the kids would obey, and one that if (heaven forbid!) someone did break, had a built-in natural consequence. 

And so we gathered the children together, and talked about family rules, why it is good to have clear expectations, etc. etc. Then John solemnly announced our Number One Family Rule:  DON'T EAT BUGS! 



I've got to say, I know I married a genius, but that idea has to be one of his most brilliant ever.  The kids remembered it, had success in obeying it, and it brought a dose of humor into what is otherwise generally a serious topic. 

Four years ago, when John and I found ourselves "Pa" and "Ma" to a group of teenagers on a pioneer trek, we sat down with them to establish some family rules.  We explained that we would like our Number One Family Rule to be the same one we use with our own kids.  The pioneer kids did not actually believe we were telling them the truth.  We found out later that they actually found our kids and asked them point-blank, "What's your number one family rule?" Without exception, each of the kids told them, "Don't eat bugs!" I'm not sure if our pioneer family thought we were cool or crazy at that point, but they embraced the rule as readily as our own kids did. 

How about your family?  Do you have any memorable rules or sayings?
Thanks for good humor, which brings us closer together, and makes potentially difficult situations easier.


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8 comments:

  1. I think that is a pretty good first family rule! LOL

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  2. rofl I agree with Debbie...


    Blessings,Renee

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  3. I love this story and having just returned from the trek I so identify with the situation. Love you. Love your blog. And I won't eat bugs :P

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  4. Too funny! The problem is, at some point in life, you might find yourself in a situation telling them ... eat the bug, it's protein! They might not want to participate in any reality tv or vacation to some exotic locale - they'll come home with pangs of guilt from breaking the rules. ;) [#TALU]

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  5. Awesome! Your husband is a genius! (TALU)

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  6. yeah! funny! it is clear, easy to follow, and easy to remember hahahaha cheers! visiting from TALU

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  7. We have a few. Ours aren't as fun as yours though. lol (TALU)

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Thanks for making this a conversation. I love to hear your comments!