Rules, laws, and limitations exist everywhere in life. By following rules at home, you actually teach them how to behave as part of a society. They don’t need to march in lockstep as an unthinking
herd, but they need to know that
laws exist, and breaking them has consequences.
Even if you’re not comfortable setting up a strict household, there are a few essential guidelines to follow to get your child used to what they’ll experience in the world.
1. Create a list of rules.
Yes, you have to. They don’t have to be definitive laws that if broken will unleash the fury, but they do need to exist. Even if you’re not comfortable with setting rules, putting down just two or three to help guide them in their day-to-day behavior will go a long way.
2. Set consequences for breaking each rule.
Make sure the punishment fits the crime, and keep your discipline consistent. If you’re grounding them for missing curfew, don’t ground them for longer than the norm simply because you’re mad at the time the infraction happened. If a punishment can vary, make sure that’s laid out beforehand (i.e. curfew is at 10pm, and every 10 minutes you’re late you’re grounded an extra day).
3. Be consistent.
The world will be, so you should too. Unless they have an excuse along the lines of “I was donating a kidney” then rules are the rules. You’re not off the hook either. Regardless if you’re exhausted after a long day, you have to make sure to maintain what you’ve set if you want to be taken seriously.
Only with some form of structure can children truly feel secure and confident in their home life, and you owe it to them to prepare them for the future as best you can.
Tyler Jacobson is a father, husband, and writer, with experience as a content writer and outreach coordinator for HelpYourTeenNow. Tyler has offered honest advice and humor to struggling parents
and teens. Tyler has researched and written on education problems, disorders, the world of social media, addiction, and pressing issues with raising a teen today. Follow Tyler on: Twitter | Linkedin.
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