Why family rules are important

Why should you have family rules

Boundaries are important to children.  It’s how they learn a huge number of skills, these vary according to age:

As a baby boundaries set the internal regulators that we rely on as adults.  We learn how far our emotions need to go before they get capped (and in turn before we regulate them ourselves).

As toddler boundaries are setting the expectations for social norms.  We learn it is not acceptable to hit other children and steal their toys.  We learn to say please, thank you and sorry, we learn to ask and to feel a basic form of guilt.

As we grow, we learn more social skills through boundaries, we learn about how to cooperate with other and collaborate.  We learn to follow the rules for the sake of following rules and we learn the importance of routines.

As a teenager you learn to built on the boundaries you’ve experienced to help you with coping with the pressures of homework and revision, to learn the routine and expectations that you will go to use as adults.

How to introduce family rules

Have basic rules in place (with pictures), such as saying please and thank you and saying sorry.
Written (or drawn) family rules involving the child
Expectations that the rules are followed, maybe with a reward system at first.
Extra incentives, start ‘earning’ pocket money.
Have shared agreed rules and expectations, including screen time and wind down time before bed.
Planned homework time.
Pocket money – teach them to plan how they will spend it and when (managing their cash flow).

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