What should be Our Family Rules

  1. Technology  – Technologies are tools we use to solve problems.
    1. No TV or Computers in Kids room until they excel in School.  And you probably cannot tell they are excelling at School until at least the 10th or 11th Grade.
      1. Computers should be in a common area where parents can look over the shoulder of the kids to watch what they are doing.
    2. Tablets/Smart Phones as Internet Access Devices
      1. This is a hard problem to solve.  Kids need access to the Internet.  The problem is control.  In the old days, there was only 1 way to get access, through a computer.  Today they can use tablets and smart phones.
      2. My recommendation is something like the Kindle File where you as a parent can set limits on usage.
      3. The problem, however, is many parents may not be knowledgable enough to set appropriate limits.
      4. However, the @lantis Learning Community is building an standard product that parents can use.  More on this later.
    3. No Mobile Phones until they need them because they are unsupervised
      1. Cell phones are to communicate when they are mobile and alone.  As long as you or some other adult is with them they do not need a cell phone.
  2. Allowance/Payment for Behavior
    1. No payment for chores or grades.
      1. Kids should do chores around the house because they are part of the family and everyone has to take responsibility for the health and well being of the family.
      2. Kids should get good grades because they should get good grades not because there is a monetary reward for getting good grades.
    2. Allowance is to teach kids how to manage money, not for doing chores (see rule #2).
      1. There should be clear understanding of what you will buy for your kids
        1. Food
        2. Basic Clothes
        3. Books, School/educational Supplies
        4. Some Toys
        5. Some Entertainment
      2. Everything else should be bought by the kids out of their allowance
      3. We gave our kids $0.25 a week for every year of age.  (This will vary based on your personal economic situation and recognizing this was between 1995 and 2007).
      4. Allowance should not start until the kids want to buy things that you do not want to buy for them.
  3. When we go out to dinner we rotate who gets to pick where we go and everyone should respect that choice.
    1. This is to teach respect for others.
  4. Rewards for good behavior should be given after the good behavior and never promised before.
    1. Avoid promising a reward for good behavior.  Good Behavior should be a reward in itself.
    2. We avoided saying if you are good you will get a reward.  However, when they were good we were generous with the rewards.
    3. We wanted our kids to know that we were the givers of rewards and as long as they were good we would give them rewards.
    4. We would say after a long car trip that they were very good and deserve a reward.  We avoided saying, if you are good you get a reward.
    5. After a while the kids learned this instinctively
  5. Once you make a definitive statement you must follow through.
    1. If you say that unless they are better behaved you will leave the restaurant,  you better be prepared to leave the restaurant if they do not behave
    2. This is about consistency.
  6. Honesty is always the goal
    1. Honesty is not the same as telling everything.  There may be some things you never share with others in the family.
    2. Honesty is about communication so that kids learn how to measure others behavior.
  7. Everyone in the Family has to have goals they are working on and those goals must be known to everyone in the family.  That way everyone can help everyone else achieve their goals.
    1. For parents the goals might be to lose weight or get a new job
    2. For kids those goals will vary by age, but they must be known.
  8. Biblical Quotes
    1. Deuteronomy 11-19; Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (Moral – Teach by Example.)
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