Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted by on Feb 7, 2014 in Tips | 28 comments



RulesOver the last few weeks, things have been building up in this house. The children have been making a horrendous mess with their toys, I have been having a terrible fight with them to get them to tidy up and this week it has all come to a head. We needed to do something about it!

I know children need to play and get their toys out and make a mess, that’s fine, but I do also believe there should be a limit to it. They need to learn to respect their things, which means applying some rules.

I have always cringed at the thought of having a ‘family meeting’, but I was feeling desperate, so decided to have a family discussion about the ‘house rules’.

We all sat around the table together. I explained about the mess and lack of respect for their toys and tidying up. We discussed what the rules of the house should be together and wrote down 10 house rules that we all agreed on:

Our house rules

  1. Listen to each other
  2. Play nicely (and share)
  3. Play with 1 activity at a time, then put it away before playing with the next
  4. Don’t talk while others are talking
  5. Always talk nicely – No shouting, No stamping feet!
  6. Look after your toys and property
  7. Ask before taking things from others
  8. Good table manners – sitting nicely, no shouting, no toys at the table
  9. Respect each other
  10. TIDY UP!! – No TV until it’s tidy!

This was quite a nice discussion and I am very pleased and reassured that my children were the ones to come up with most of these rules, they clearly understand how things should be. To be honest, they are generally well-behaved children, so most of these rules they naturally follow anyway, but it’s definitely a good thing to have spoken about them and have them written down.

I have written the rules out nicely and stuck them up on the wall for all to see.

Now for the implementation. I got 3 glasses, the same size, put an elastic band round the top and labelled each with each child’s name. When a child is good and living by the rules, they get a piece of dry pasta to put in their cup. When they are not, they get pasta removed. Once the pasta fills to the top of the elastic band, they get to choose a treat of their choice, for example, Boo wants to make a chocolate cake with me and Pinky wants to make a cherry cake.

To get this process started, I set the alarm on my phone for every 30 mins and if they are being good and playing by the rules, they get a piece of pasta. This is to help remind me to praise the good behaviour, as I feel that can easily get forgotten.

So far the ‘house rules’ are working quite well, I have not been nagging at the end of the day to tidy up an enormous mess, like previously and the children are getting excited about their ‘treat’. I am keeping my fingers crossed, this continues.


The Reading Residence


    • Sometimes, things need reigning in a little to regain balance

  1. I love that your house meeting went so well and it’s great that it is working so far. I think kids need some rules, so that like you say, they can learn to respect their toys and belongings. Hope it goes well! #wotw

    • Thank you, I think kids need some rules to follow so they learn. I did feel guilty about the 1 toy at a time rule, but I think we need it at the moment, then once they’ve learnt not to trash things, we can relax a little with it.

  2. Great that the meeting went well, and I think it is useful to remind yourself to praise as much as complain! Handy pasta cups that can help you with both πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing with #WotW x

    • It is working well at the moment x

  3. Another great idea that I’ll steal from you at some point in the future Karen… glad the house rules are going well #WotW

    • Thank you, hope they work for you if you need them πŸ™‚

  4. I think perhaps I need to do this, the toys are getting out of hand again πŸ™‚ Athough we already have the one thing out a time rule,which helps a lot! #WotW

    • It’s trying to rein it in when it gets out of hand that can be tricky, but, having the rules written down I think will help now

    • It’s finding what works for you I think πŸ™‚

  5. This is brilliant! I love that you came up with the rules together and the pasta idea is inspired x

    • Thank you x

  6. House rules are great, great ideas there!

    • Thank you, they are working well so far πŸ™‚

  7. Pleased to hear it’s working out! #wotw

    • Thanks x

  8. Im glad there working, we also have rules and they work great now

    • I think there need to be a few rules to guide children in the right direction

  9. Good idea. We do something similar in my classroom. It is great positive reinforcement and the treat is perfect incentive.


    • Thanks, the children are really responding to it

  10. A great idea, and I love the fact the reward is an activity with mum! Mel

  11. Love the house rules and the pasta idea- one to remember when mine is bigger!

    • It is working well for us at the moment

  12. This sounds very familiar – I had to have one of these discussions with my son last week! Really like the pasta idea.

    • Thanks, it is a very visual way of praising

  13. So glad that the rules are working and that they feel an investment in them. Some great ideas to implement in our house too!

    • They are doing well so far

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *