Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Fewer Family Rules

So with great gusto the kids listed a thousand rules. Then Logan snipped, sorted, and organized them into these categories:
  • Regular
  • Don't be lame
  • Misc
Then we had a family meeting to, ahem, further refine the categories. We also decided that although "Don't be lame" truly does cover a lot of ground in family dynamics, we'd change it into a positive.

After our family brainstorm, Mark and I had a parental confab and created, ta da!, these six family rules, which we unveiled last night.

1. Be Golden
This is the new version of "Don't be lame." Other contenders were "Be considerate," "Be kind," "Be courteous, and "Be respectful." We like "Be Golden" because it evokes the Golden Rule. (And because it reminds us of Juno saying to Bleeker, "You're golden, man.")

So all day long, I've been telling kids, "Be golden," or "How could you be more golden right now?" Earlier, I caught Levi red-handed and he looked at me sheepishly and said, "That wasn't golden."

2. Be a good steward
This addresses taking care of things and all the rules about picking up your stuff and not stomping on library books.

3. Do you part
This addresses work and the concept that family members should step forward to do all they can rather than waiting for someone else to do it. Logan likes to call it, "Pull your weight."

4. Be safe
This covers all the rules about seatbelts, door locks, and permissions.

5. Be honest
I guess this could go under Be Golden, but we thought we needed a whole rule for this.

6. Obey your parents
Why do we even need this rule? Well, we do. A certain someone just justified his excessive arguing with the claim that he reserves the right to lobby against unfair decisions from his parents. "Dude," I said. "Rule 6."

Additional detail you'll find lame unless you're a full-time practitioner of hooligan management:
It would have been cool to boil things down to even fewer rules, but we also wanted rules that were clear and concrete. We found that fewer rules meant vaguer rules, like "Be righteous," which covers pretty much everything but wouldn't pinpoint the issue of the moment.

Many thanks to those who have donated to Roscoe's Eagle Project. (He's supposed to be sending you thank you notes.) He still needs more than $50, even with all the money he's earned through extra chores for Mom and Dad, so please float him a few if you can.


  1. Hahaha! Angela, I love these rules! Why haven't I posted "no pooping on the arm chair?" My number one house rule for ALL parties, is when in the bathroom, sit down, relax! Translation, everyone sits every time! (it helps with that whole, no peeing on the seat issue)

  2. Those are fabulous rules. We tried to do a similar thing and ran into some problems like the debate over vague vs too many rules. In the end we decided our kids were too young. I dont know... But you're rules are great. And I love that you had a series of FHE's leading into them in a way so reminiscent of our Mom. I hope your "Be Golden" rubs off on my family and becomes a part of our vernacular (sp?) like Joe and Jessica's "You get what you get and you don't throw a fit" has.

  3. oh, And thanks for the reminder about Roscoe's Eagle thing. I've been meaning to do that...

  4. Love this!! I want to do this for our next FHE!!

  5. ahhhh family rules....gotta love them. Lucky for us we have a short last name so we just made an acrostic out of it for our family rules. It's been great. Short enough to have the kids repeat whenever I drop them off to different activities.

    We'll be giving our donation to Roscoe tomorrow...hopefully it's not too late.

  6. How do we donate? I was meaning to ask you.

    Love your rules. We have a "family values" list displayed, but it's so long and somewhat poetic. So we rarely refer to it. It was fun to create, though.

  7. Brim over I acquiesce in but I think the post should secure more info then it has.