Thursday, April 21, 2016

Blogging Buffet: R is for Rules

The theme of my A to Z Challenge posts this year is "Blogging Buffet." In celebration of recently posting my 1000th blog post, I am revisiting posts from the past.  This post originally published on 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?


 photo visiting2_zps6d4521f3.jpgThanks for good humor, which brings us closer together, and makes potentially difficult situations easier.

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7 comments:

  1. Unfortunately a saying I often heard was "children should be seen and not heard" which was a nice way of saying shut up. Or my favorite, "do as I say, not as I do." Is it any wonder I'm an auditory learner?

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    1. That last saying is a doozy, isn't it?

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  2. Replies
    1. And it's one the whole family follows! :-)

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  3. John is just brilliant and that is wonderful! I love that you also used it on the other kids, too! They must have thought you 2 were the best/coolest parents ever!

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