House rules are important. We have the same rules that were in place when my children were small. Then, there were only nine sets of feet running down the hall. Now that grandchildren are in the family picture, there are 27. And that’s just the grands. We haven’t begun the greats yet. Therefore, I am a firm believer in house rules.
You might think I’m being a bit harsh. After all, we grandparents get to break the rules. Right? While that might be true, some rules should never be broken.
Especially when you consider that most rules are put in place to keep us safe.
Speed limits, for example, are set for a reason. The sign may say speed limit 35 miles an hour, because if you go ten miles over than, you just might not make it around the curve on all four wheels.
When children are young, and living in our home, we need to teach them the importance of following rules. Children who never have to follow rules they don’t like can grow up to be adults who have a hard time following laws.
The rules in our grandchildren’s home may be vastly different from the rules in your home.
In divorced families, the rules can vary greatly from house to house.
Don’t let this make you feel bad. Unless your grandchild has special needs, there is no reason he or she can’t adapt. When you think about it, adapting to different expectations and rules is a skill that will follow children throughout their lifetime.
Think about the jump from junior high to high school. Then you have the transition from high school to college. Or even harder, from high school to the military.
Each shift has its own set of rules. In mom’s house she might not mind children jumping on the bed. However, in grandma’s house, she might have a giant picture window too close to the bed. Different rules.
In your house, you don’t have to have the same rules as you did when you were raising your children. That was different. Unless you’re raising your grandchildren, there is no need for a lot of those rules.
House rules such as ‘clean your plate before dessert’ are not always necessary.
There are rules that keep children safe and healthy. There are rules that mold children into the adults they need to become.
For example, brushing your teeth before bed. This rule will keep your teeth healthy. And it’s good to reinforce that parental rule.
It’s perfectly fine for you to have rules that not only keep your grandchild safe, but will also keep your home in order. Such as picking up toys before the grandchildren go home.
Rules not only keep everyone safe, they keep us sane.