Our Family Rules


What an amazing find at Target!


Today was a snow day for Willy and I, so we both spent our day just relaxing and enjoying each other’s company. The roads were plowed and safe to drive on around mid afternoon, so Willy and I went to my favorite playground. Target! Thankfully, I wasn’t affected by the enormous Target credit card scam in recent news, but none the less, my husband and I are monitoring our accounts very carefully, just be on the safe side. 

Anyway, as Willy and I were mozying through one of the home isles, I came across this picture that I added up above. It was perfect! This picture was everything that I ever wanted for my little family, and it’s message is so crystal clear that I made it my impulse purchase. It is currently hanging up on our bathroom wall. 

Why the bathroom, you may be wondering?

Because everyone uses the bathroom, and also, it gives you something to think about in regards to your family. It was also the perfect wall space (just to put that in there.) 🙂

But in all honesty, I was wondering the other day, at what age is it appropriate to introduce meaningful family rules to our son; rules that can be followed, and rules that can make sense to him? Notice that you don’t see the words “no, don’t, or  I” in the picture. I always appreciate stuff like that. When I was a student in elementary school, I once had a HORRIBLE third grade teacher, who’s favorite word was “no,” and that word was plastered all over her classroom. Since then, it always resonated with me and I vowed to only use that word gingerly with my son. There is an entire world of vocabulary out there, and I fully intend to use it when necessary.

The words “no” and “don’t” have  power behind them. Those words makes you feel limited, unworthy, and unwelcome. That is clearly what I didn’t want for my family or my students. But rules and boundaries are extremely important when it comes to raising a child, just like the community that you are a part of. If you have a set of rules for your children that can be easily followed, then you are definitely on the right track. If you have rules that are constantly being broken, then you need to go back to the drawing board.

I remember the first time-out my husband and I gave Willy. He was two years old and he was tipping his chair at the kitchen table. I told him to stop, because if he didn’t, the chair that he was strapped into could tip back and he could get hurt. So, in all of his glory, he looked right at me, and tipped his chair once again. 

He knew exactly what he was doing.

This was not a “three strikes and your out” kind of situation. There never is. This was a safety concern. So, I got Willy’s time-out chair that I had just purchased, placed it in the dining room, and made him sit there for two minutes. He made it very clear that he wasn’t going to sit still for two minutes, so he tried to get up and run away. I caught him, and placed him right back in the chair. This little game of his went on for about 15 minutes, until he caved in and sat in the chair until his timer went off two minutes later. Afterwards, I bent down to his level and told him why I had put him in time out. Then we hugged and kissed, and I sent him off to play. 

Willy learned fairly quickly then importance of time-out, and what is acceptable behavior in our household. 

A year later, the time-out chair stopped working. It only seemed to make him madder than when he went into time-out in the first place, and that wasn’t a good thing. So, we go rid of the time-out chair. Now, when he needs to take a break/go to time-out, I tell to “go take a minute on your bed.” He runs to his room immediately, slams the door, and goes right to his bed to cool off. He now comes out when he’s ready, and he always has an apology in tow. I am so proud of my little boy for knowing and understanding how things work in our household, and he’s always the first one to show me how gentle he can be, and know that an “I’m sorry” can go a very long way.  


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