Monday, February 22, 2016

House Rules

house rules, blended family rules, step family, stepmom, car rules, visiting at another friend's house rules, rules of the house,
When you get married or come together in a home. House rules need to be established along with consequences in case rules are broken.  It’s very important to have rules in a house because it provides all of the children with structure and teaches them respect and responsibility for their actions. Children with rules in a house tend to appreciate and have more respect for things.  They also place value and worth on things which are really good. Make sure when you do create rules that both you and your husband agree to them.  Also make sure all of the rules apply to all of the children not just the biological children but the stepchildren as well.  If you can't agree to have the same rules for all of the children, then probably having no rules is best for now.  Because the children that have to obey the rules will resent the children that don't have any rules at all.  Here is an example of our house rules that we use in our house for our blended family.

House Rules Example
  • All homework must be done right after school
  • No Name Calling of any kind. If it will hurt someone’s feelings keep it to yourself
  • No Hitting/Kicking of any kind! That also means no Hitting/Kicking back
  • When a door is closed, knock first, wait until you are told you can come in. If no one answers do not go in
  • No locking anyone in rooms or out of the house
  • Share all toys
  • Take Turns when playing a video game or any kind of game or toy
  • No running or screaming inside of the house
  • No standing on any furniture at any time
  • No throwing any balls or toys in the house
  • If it’s not yours, ask permission to use it, before using it
  • When borrowing or getting something, put it back when you are finished
  • Play Fair – No gaining up against each other
  • Always ask if a friend can come over before they come over the house
  • Always ask permission to go to a friend’s house and be home at the time told to be home at
  • If changing to another friend’s house while at a friend’s house always ask us first before going
  • You can’t go over to a friend’s house without us meeting the parents in person first
  • Always be kind to the cats, don't lock them up in a room
  • Always come home at time given, no exceptions
  • When it gets dark outside you need to be in the house
  • Put your bikes or toys back inside the garage/house when finished with them
  • No food in any rooms, eating food is for kitchen only unless permitted too
  • Water only is allowed in rooms, other beverages stay in kitchen only
  • Don’t exclude one another from playing
  • Bedtime during the week is 9:00 pm, and 11:00 pm on the weekends
  • Clean up after yourselves – means anything: toys, snacks, garbage, dinner and cups at the sink
  • What we say goes and that’s it
  • Don’t interrupt when we are talking on the phone or talking in person with another adult
  • If one parent says no, don’t go ask the other parent the same question
  • No Swear Words of any kind
  • All electronics (iPod Touches & Tablets) need to be on the kitchen counter at bedtime

Consequences Example
1st Offense: A warning to stop!
2nd Offense: Time Out away from the situation!
3rd Offense: A toy, electronic device or privilege is taken away for the night!
4th Offense: In your room for the rest of the night!

These are just examples of the house rules and consequences we use in our home. Feel free to use them if you’d like too.  Some of these house rules and consequences may need to be changed depending on the age group you have. For teenagers, for example, you might want to take away their cell phones or laptops as a consequence for breaking a rule. Pretty much anything that they play with or use often is what you should take away.
If you have different age groups, you might want to consider creating two different house rule sets and consequences.  When you are done and both parents agree with them. Get them laminated and hung up on the fridge or somewhere where everyone can see them on a daily basis so they know what’s expected of them.  Before you hang them up, make sure you have a family meeting to go over all of them with all of the children in the family.  When you do have this meeting make sure each parent explains each rule that way it looks like both of you came up with these rules and not just one parent. Please know that creating these rules and enforcing them may be really hard if the stepchildren don't have any rules at their mother's house or if they didn't have rules to begin with.  It's going to take some time to adjust to the rules when going back and forth between houses with rules and no rules.  DO NOT GIVE UP, be persistent and follow through. Don't let guilt parenting get in the way of creating rules for your household.
You might also want to consider developing rules for going over someone else’s house, car rules for those long road trips and pool rules (if you have a pool).  Developing rules for going over someone else’s house is really a great help for those you are visiting.  Because I am sure no one wants kids coming over their house and destroying their prized possessions or jumping on their furniture.  You can always tell the difference between children who have rules at home and ones that don’t.  Great example for rules for visiting other people’s house is:

Visiting at another Person's House Rules Example
  • No Standing or jumping on furniture
  • No Running around
  • Do not touch breakable things
  • Ask permission to use or play with something
  • Don’t interrupt when adults are talking, wait your turn to speak or politely say excuse me
  • If it’s not a toy, don’t touch it
  • Clean up toys or put anything back you got out when it’s time to leave
  • No yelling or screaming while inside of the house, use indoor voices only
  • Always be Polite saying please and thank you

Car Rule Examples
  • No screaming or yelling
  • Always stay buckled at all times
  • No changing or moving to another seat while the vehicle is in motion
  • No kicking the back of the seats at any time
  • No opening doors while vehicle is in motion
  • No throwing garbage or things outside of the window
  • Always take the things you brought with you back into the house
  • Always put garbage where it belongs, don’t leave cups or wrappers inside of the vehicle

If the children always fight over the front seat or certain seats in the vehicle, assign seats for a month or for 3 months that way they don’t fight over a certain seat in the vehicle.

I hope all of these examples really help you in making good rules for your children to follow. Always try to remember you are doing a good thing by enforcing rules in the house.  You are providing your children with structure and it will teach the children how to have respect and responsibility. It will also teach them the value of important things too. Children without structure are often at times very wild, have no respect for others or other people’s belongings, spoiled, and act like they are head of the house. You are doing good by setting rules, will the children like it? Most likely, they will not but as they get older they will learn to appreciate it and understand why.  Children need rules because as they grow up they will always have rules to follow in life such as rules of the road, rules at a job, rules at school and in college. I mean they can’t just drive any way they want to, there are right ways and wrong ways to drive when they get their license else they get a ticket for breaking the law.  Having rules also shows them how much you care and love them. Children need and want to be loved and cared for. If you have been in a blended family for a long time and don’t have rules, it’s never too late to start. If you just got married and became a blended family, now is the perfect time to create rules that make sense for your family. It may be hard for your children but the sooner you do it the better off you will be.

If you have house rules now, please share some of the rules you have for your children.


  1. Thanks, there are some great ideas, I posted on our ministry facebook page.


  2. House rules are a definite must! Swearing is also not allowed in my house or in general! Actually as I read over it another time I am realizing that we have a lot of rules in common. haha it would take for ever to write all of the ones down. Definitely awesome!

  3. -* I so agree about rules. They also really preserve the marital relationship--because they are mostly black and white. Been there... ;-)

  4. i like the fact that you have a LOT of rules in your household (Prov. 22:6 - "train up a child in the way..." :D )

  5. These are great rules and consequences. The most important thing is to stick to them!

  6. It's been a few years since I've had to worry about house rules but back in the day they were an important part of parenting. I always found consistency was the key. The minute you let something slide, they will definitely take advantage. I think as a parent, the best compliment you can get, is to have another parent tell you what a nice child you have. That's parenting gold!:)

  7. It's been a few years since I've had to worry about house rules but back in the day they were an important part of parenting. I always found consistency was the key. The minute you let something slide, they will definitely take advantage. I think as a parent, the best compliment you can get, is to have another parent tell you what a nice child you have. That's parenting gold!:)

  8. Great rules (and consequences). My problem is remaining consistent. Thanks for sharing. Your post gave me some ideas.

  9. Great list of rules. I agree. Rules are great to have!

  10. My kids are terrible picking up trash in the van. So, we decided not to take them anywhere until all of the junk was picked up. Great list.

  11. So many rules. They are really important. It's nice to keep it simple, like everyone follow the golden rule and treat people and things with respect. I know some kids try to find the loopholes if you don't really spell it out though!

  12. It is important for kids to know that each family has a different set of rules as well.

  13. I agree...House rules are a definite must and the most important thing is to stick to them!

  14. These rules are very practical and will bring peace and harmony into a home. I also like the way you have laid them out in different categories, making it simple to follow..