Family Meeting About Family Rules

One of the most difficult jobs parents have is knowing when to set rules and how to enforce them. Sometimes it's best to consult with the experts: your own children.

I'm Dr. James Dobson with Focus on the Family.

My friend, Dr. Paul Meier, told me he sits down with his entire family every three months or so, and he asks the children, "What do you think the rules ought to be for the next ninety days?" He draws a line down the center of a piece of paper and he lists the "dos" and "don'ts" on one side, and the consequences for breaking them on the other. The rules cover how the children are treated by each other; what time they're gonna go to bed; what the chores are to be done by each child, and more.

Now these standards don't just apply to the children either. There might be a rule about not raising your voice toward another person. That goes for the parents as well as the children. And it's important that the consequences for both are enforced in the same way.

Now please understand that this is not a fully democratic system. The parents still have the final decision, but most of the time the rules the children bring up are no different from those the parents would promote. And when children have a say in what the standards are, what the resulting disciplinary actions are to be, they tend to take them even more seriously. This is Dr. James Dobson for Focus on the Family.

Copyright © 1992 Focus on the Family, Colorado Springs, CO 80995, U.S.A. All Rights Reserved. International Copyright Secured.

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