Rules, yes rules. But who likes rules??
This was how Sparsh and Anaya reacted when I first introduced them to rules of the house. Limited screen times (never while eating), no fighting, no screaming and finishing meals topped the list. These were followed by 1 hour study and 20 minutes of reading each day. For Sparsh it included 10 mins of guitar practice each day. These are just to name a few.
They both saw the printed sheet of paper marked “RULES” and raise their brows. They had both figured how on how they would be breaking each or most before I had finished reading it to them. They managed to manipulate and alter a lot of them. “We hate rules”, these were the three words that popped out of their mouths in union. (At least they agreed on something …Ahh.)
We dragged this for a couple of weeks but kept failing here and there. I believe that kids (why only kids?) need to be rewarded for their achievements and I decided to put the same rules to them with a reward attached to each. Getting ready to school on time would fetch its doer +1, finishing meals +2 and regular study +3 while added screen times would take away 2 points from each and fighting would harm them by -2 points again. End of the week we would calculate the points and the one who scored more would be rewarded. But the problem was here the points were given by me, and I was often blamed for favouritism (now that’s NOT true).
“Mom you only love Anaya, see you didn’t deduct her points “said Sparsh.
“Why did bhaiya get more than me” yelled Anaya.
Now I was in a fix, pacifying two angry kids (mind you this is not easy). Then I decided to introduce rules to them in the form of stories, making it easier for them to understand and follow. Like screaming for nothing was compared with the boy who shouted wolf. I worked towards relating rules with real life situations explaining them the proc and cons of rules. (Like a rule of revising mathematics tables everyday fetched Sparsh a very good in his assignment). This time they were allowed to give points to each other. I introduced special +1’s for helping one another, cleaning their room, using taboo words like sorry, please and thank you. Helping me in the household and not disturbing me while I am working was rewarded by me. Since they were the score keepers they would try to be nice to each other (and otherwise too) to earn the brownie points from each other and also from me.
This made them reciprocate towards each other and sensitive for their actions. It greatly helped in boosting their EQ. This “out of the box” thinking is helping me resolve most issues. It also reflects that rules should be flexible and open minded. They should be strategically placed and rewarded at the same time. A small pat on those growing shoulders does not hurt anyone.
Whether you love rules or hate them, you must consistently abide by them.
Every person had a unique way of setting rules , what’s yours?
Happiness and sunshine 🙂