Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Some fun rules at my house

Parenthood has forced me to be more creative than I thought possible.  Here are some of the rules that have become necessary at my house (in no particular order):

1.  If you wake the baby, you get to take care of him/her until the time that he/she should have woken up on their own.

2.  If you come out of your room after we have read stories, brushed teeth, and said goodnight, you are volunteering to do an extra chore, and who am *I* to stand in the way of a helpful child?  (I try to make it something that a person hates wouldn't ordinarily choose to do, for example:  cleaning the garbage can, cleaning the kitchen sink, scrubbing the kitchen floor with a cleaning cloth, scooping the litter box, etc...)

3.  If you leave marks* on somebody by inappropriately using your body**, you get to do the injured person's chores until the marks go away.

*Marks include, but are not limited to:  bruises, split lips, scratches or cuts, broken bones.
**Inappropriately using your body includes, but is not limited to:  hitting, pushing, tripping, or tackling someone, throwing things at to someone, throwing something that "accidentally" hits someone, touching someone when you are angry with them, "accidentally" hitting someone harder than you intended to with a pillow or other object, or not being gentle with someone smaller than you.

4.  If you are saying nasty, mean things can't speak to someone kindly behind closed doors, I will have your father take your door off of the hinges and put it in the garage.

5.  If you will not stop jumping on your bed or taking the mattress off of your bed frame, I will have your father take your bed apart and you will sleep on the floor.

6.  If you jump out and yell "BOO!" to scare your sister, she has permission to hit you as hard as she can, and if you hit her back you will move to the bottom of the behavior chart AND you will do her chores for a week.  (Normally, I do not condone violence, but delicate Marie is completely outnumbered by strapping, bruiser brothers who think--or used to think, before this rule--that it is funny to jump out and scare her when she is going somewhere in the house.  Strangely enough, after the brothers watched me giving Marie punching lessons, they stopped trying to scare her.)

7.  If you break something while disobeying rules (most often:  throwing or launching things), you must pay to replace it.

8.  If Mom is wearing earmuffs, it is because you people can't stop arguing, talking, screaming, singing, or making some irritating noise for ONE MINUTE she is grumpy, and you would be wise not to speak to her until the earmuffs come off. 

9.  At night before they go to bed, I remind the children to pick up everything they want to keep from the main living area of the house.  After they go to bed, I walk around with my laundry basket and pick up the things I find.  Some things I throw away (papers, magazines, toys I'm tired of picking up, craft projects), and some things go in my basket (shoes, socks, books, piggy banks, favorite toys, or toys *I* like).  I used to put all of these things in my closet and tell the children that they had a week or so to earn them back before I donated everything to Goodwill, but then my closet would get full with their things, and they would forget to earn them back.  Now, they must either earn back their belongings (by doing regular chores, extra chores, or schoolwork), or tell me to donate them, in the morning, after breakfast, before they can do anything else (read, play, go outside).  They are required to earn back clothes, shoes, and books, but they can choose to donate anything else.

That's all I can think of at the moment...I'll post again if I think of more.  Do you have any interesting, effective rules at your house?  I'm always looking for good ideas to keep people on their toes =)!


Swistle said...

I love the one about how if someone gets injury marks from an inappropriate behavior, Inappropriate Behavior does Injury Marks's chores until the marks go away!

I am also in favor of the idea that if someone leaps out and scares someone else, the Someone Else can use physical self-defense. That seems like helpful training for adulthood.

Anonymous said...

These are the most awesome rules I have ever seen. I love the way you get chores into everything. Genius!

Doing My Best said...

Swistle--That's just what I was thinking: real life application!

Mrs. Irritation--Thanks; it's nice that SOMEONE (*cough*notmychildren*cough*) appreciates my genius ;-)!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE these rules! Especially the "Boo" rule. My husband needs a rule like that. Scaring people = NOT FUNNY.

Superjules said...

Oh I like these. My favorite is definitely the "Boo" rule!

Anonymous said...

I love the one about consequences for leaving marks. That's a major problem when there is more than one boy!

Hmmm, my rules aren't really like these (maybe they should be). The consequences I use are often desserts, since they are a hot commodity in our house. Soda and treats are very limited, so they definitely don't want to lose them! Also, I demand shoulder massages in exchange for video game/TV time.

Laura Diniwilk said...

I am bookmarking the shit out of this.