House Rules. We all have them– what are yours?
Around here, I kept rules to a minimum. Mostly I do this because the fewer rules I have, the fewer the kids have to recognize and the higher success rate we have. Hey, I’m all about doing what it takes to keep the peace. No one wants a bunch of clauses and regulations to follow when you’re trying to play.
Here are our house rules:
1. Be kind to others.
2. Be mindful of your actions so as not to hurt yourself or others.
Being kind goes without saying. If I can be an example of anything, I hope it is kindness. And if I can teach kids anything I want it to be that kindness trumps any other personality trait.
This idea of being mindful, however, is a relatively new way for me to explain things to older children. But I have to brag and say, it really works! I explain to the kinds that “being mindful” means you are aware of yourself and your body, as well as your surrounding, including but not limited to animals, things on the floor and people smaller than you. It means that you recognize what you are doing when you are doing it. We should always try to be mindful in everything we do.
It takes a couple of conversations for children to grasp this, but it is definitely a concept they are capable of understanding. Honestly, this word: mindful, has made a major positive effect in the way that kids respond to what I am telling them. Because instead of scolding, “you can’t be that loud! The baby is sleeping!” I now say, “Please be mindful that the baby is sleeping when you’re talking.” In this way, the kids recognize that they can talk, but they need to keep it down. It also teaches them to be in control of their actions, rather than having me micromanage them constantly. Hey, anything that can cut down on nagging is an all around win! Try it and let me know what you think. I hope it works for you as much as it works for me.