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Work together as a family to develop family rules and learn the importance of honoring other people's personal boundaries.
Discuss and determine what family rules will help create a happy, peaceful home for your family and create a visual of them.
Involve everyone in the process of developing family rules
Let each child know that you appreciate their input and value their opinions.
Have a fun dessert with this Adventure
Notice and praise kids' efforts when they do the right thing.
Try not to react in anger when rules are broken. Find a calm moment to make it clear what the boundary is, and what the consequences will be if it is not respected in future.
It is better not to protect kids from consequences in the outside world. If they break school rules, let the school deal with it. If they are caught breaking the law, let the police and courts decide. Let them learn about consequences while they are young and the consequences are small.
Remember that the consequence helps the young person learn and change their behavior. Try to let go of your own anger and resentment once the consequence has been enforced.
Family rules are an important part of creating a happy, peaceful home . Boundaries should be clear, reasonable and consistent, with consequences for not respecting them. If we fail to be clear about rules and expectations, as well as if we give unclear directions, it can lead to kids not understanding what was wanted and therefore, not meeting our expectation.
There are several benefits of involving the kids in the process of developing family rules:
It helps eliminate power struggles since kids feel like they have some power to choose what happens in their lives.
If youth help to establish family rules they are more likely to follow the rules agreed upon because they helped make them!
Play a Board Game. Choose a favorite board game appropriate for the age(s) of the members of your family. Play at least one 'round' of the game. HAVE FUN with it!
Discuss Rules. Discuss what rules are and why they are important:
RULES are instructions that outline the expectations of a group of people or an organization that maintains order and helps everyone show respect and kindness to each another.
1. Why are rules important to games?
2. How do you feel when someone doesn’t follow the rules of a game?
3. How would a lack of rules change the game?
Identify Rules Around Us. Have each family member identify a couple of general rules that they encounter in their lives. This might include rules regarding driving for parents, rules at school or youth clubs for kids, or any other rule that the family encounters throughout the day.
Bring it home.
1. First identify and discuss the unwritten (or written) rules in your family with the following questions:
❏ What are some rules we have in our family, those we have discussed or the 'unwritten' rules
❏ What rules do we have that you don’t like and why?
❏ What rules do we have that you don’t understand?
Have each family member share a couple of rules they think might be good for the family. You may want to have everyone write each rule down on a separate index card or slip of paper.
As the parent you may have additional rules that need to be added for safety and home management, but keep in mind that the goal of this activity is to involve the kids. Try to include those rules in your '2', and have at least five family rules that the kids have generated and everyone agrees on.
Share the Rules. Read each rule one at a time and discuss as a family the benefits of this rule and how it will help maintain order and cooperation in the home. If you are having family members read the rules they wrote down, let them explain why the rule is important to them. If the family agrees on the rule hold onto it for the next step.
Note: The kids may choose rules that are not realistic or in the best interest of everyone in the family. If they do be sure to acknowledge the intent behind their rule and constructively explore the potential underlying need behind their rule. If necessary, ask to discuss the rule one-on-one after the activity.
Discuss Consequences. It's also a good idea for kids to help determine the consequence of breaking family rules. Whether they help determine the consequence or not, it's important that they know what the consequence is for breaking rules is.
Boundaries, and enforcement of the family rules, will help us develop self-control, to be part of our society, and to feel cared for and safe. Remember that the best consequences of a boundary not being respected are the natural consequences of the behavior. Also keep in mind that while consequences are essential to making boundaries work, positive lessons are more powerful. Take time to notice and praise each other's efforts when a family member does the right thing.
One last thing to consider and discuss is that sometimes it is okay to have different rules for different members of the family. This may be appropriate taking into account their different ages or stages of development as well as their interests. For example, having to miss an outing with friends may have a strong impact on one child while it would mean nothing to another child. It's important to know your children. Along those same lines, while boundaries should be clear and consistent, they should also be changed if they are no longer relevant or necessary.
Display the Rules. As a family determine how you will display the rules. Will someone type them up? Will someone write them down on a poster board? Whether typed or written, you may want to let your artistic kids decorate the Rule list. You may want to let each child decorate their own set of rules to keep in their room or among their belongings. Be sure that you also have one 'family' version to post somewhere in a family space where everyone can see and refer to it.
Reinforce the Rules. To reinforce the rules end with a combination of skits and charades. Break into teams, give each team one of the rules, and have them create a short skit to represent the rule. Then take turns performing the skits and have the other 'teams' try to guess which rule it is.
Even little ones can help with rule setting. Here are some tips for involving your littlest Adventurers.
Choose a board game that they can participate in.
Ask them to share their suggestions for rules and write them down for them.
Involve them in the discussion. Whether they are the only kids you have, or they have older siblings, be sure that they are included in the Adventure in an appropriate way.
The skits are a great opportunity for little ones to be involved! Let them dress up and really get into their role.
Community Engagement Adventure
Taking this Adventure to the community is a little different than most. For the community engagement level of this Adventure:
Look around your community and identify the written and 'unwritten' rules of the neighborhood
Discuss with a friend or a small group of friends some of the rules that keep you safe. Here are some ideas of topics:
→ Rules at School
→ Rules of Driving
→ Rules with your Sports Team or Youth Club
→ What other rules do you have?
Discuss the way that the rules keep you safe and help you to achieve your full potential
If there are teens in the house let them take the lead on the family game and the skits.
If they have artistic or computer skills invite them to use those skills to design the list of family rules that the family decides on.
by Family Rules
Want more ideas on setting boundaries? CLICK HERE