Q:

What are the fundamental rules a parent should enforce at home?

A:

Quick Answer

Fundamental rules for a parent to enforce at home include speaking in a polite voice, not being physically aggressive and performing any assigned chores. Appropriate and necessary rules vary based on the child's age and the family's values.

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Full Answer

A child is unlikely to remember a long list of rules, so the parent should focus on a few specific rules that he feels are important. If the child enjoys rough play, the rules should focus on safety. If the child yells at people frequently, one rule could be speaking in a calm, respectful tone.

As the child gets older, the parent can gradually add more rules. By adding a small number of rules at a time, the child is more likely to remember them. The child's rule requirements also change as he gets older. While young children probably don't need rules regarding drugs and alcohol, teenagers do.

The parent should speak to his child during the rule-making process, so he can explain the rules, consequences for breaking them and why they're necessary. This helps teach the child about taking responsibility for his actions. The child is also more likely to follow the rules if he feels like he helped create them, instead of being forced into obeying.

Each rule should include an appropriate privilege and consequence that fits the rule. The privilege is the child's reward for following the rule, while the consequence is his punishment for breaking it.

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