family rules

Although my family is nothing like the Duggars, I will admit that I like some of their family “Rules” — thought I’d share them here.  If my family could follow even just a few of these, I’d be happy:
  1. Always use soft words, even when you don’t feel well.
  2. Always display kind actions and joyful attitudes, even if you have been mistreated. Have the right response by quickly forgiving others in your heart even before they ask.
  3. Always be enthusiastic and look for opportunities to praise others’ character.
  4. Always deflect praise and be grateful to God and others for the ways they have benefited your life.
  5. Always use manners and be respectful of others and their belongings.
  6. Always do what is right, even when others may not, or when no one is looking.
  7. Thank God for how He made you, for what He has given you and everything He allows you to go through. (Romans 8:28)
  8. Don’t mock or put others down. Develop compassion and pray for others.
  9. Never argue, complain, or blame. Quickly admit when you have done wrong and ask for forgiveness (even if you were only 10% at fault). Don’t wait till you’re caught. Be sure your sins will find you out. He who covers his sin will not prosper, but he that confesses and forsakes it shall find mercy.
  10. Have a tough accountability/prayer partner to daily share your heart with and to keep you in line (your parents, spouse). The power of sin is in secrecy.
  11. Be attentive and look for ways to serve others with sincere motives and no thought of self-gain.
  12. Think pure thoughts (Philippians 4:8, Romans 13:14).
  13. Always give a good report of others. Don’t gossip! Never tale-bear unless physical harm will come to someone. (Use Matthew 18.)
  14. Never raise a hand to hit.
  15. Never raise a foot to kick.
  16. Never raise an object to throw.
  17. Never raise a voice to yell.
  18. Never raise an eye to scowl.
  19. Use one toy/activity at a time. Share!
  20. Do your best to keep your surroundings neat, clean and organized.
  21. Never let the sun go down on your wrath.
    (Don’t go to bed angry or guilty)
  22. Amendment J.O.Y. – -Put Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last.
Okay, these are all find and dandy, but I guess what I’d really like to know is what they do when a child raises a hand to hit, a foot to kick, an object to throw, a voice to yell,  an eye to scowl, or any of the other things?  What then?  Do they do time-outs? spank? what?  They never address this on their show.  Or if they did, then I missed that episode.
    Here are 10 tips the Duggars say can help any parents with one to 19 children:

    1. Praise your children 10 times more than you get on to them.
    (I could get better at this!)
    2. Model the character and responses you want your children to develop.
    (check! I do this, not always but often.)
    3. Don’t raise your voice or say put-down words, stay under control.
    (ugh, a hard one for me.  I tend to yell.)
    4. Humbly apologize when you blow it.
    (check! I do this.)
    5. Lead by example, look for opportunities to serve those around you.
    (check! I do this.)
    6. Turn off the TV and spend time as a family building special memories.
    (Ugh.  I could improve on this.)
    7. Be involved in your children’s activities and go to church together.
    (check! check! We do this!)
    8. Have heart to heart talks with each child on a regular basis.
    (On a regular basis?  O.K. this one is hard — the only negative to having many children, in my opinion.)
    9. Encourage your children to make wise choices and to choose wise friends.
    (check! I do this.)
    10. Post your own house guidelines.
    (Yea, I should really do this.  Because sometimes I’m not consistent, and kids really thrive on consistency!)

    So what do you think?  Do you have family rules that you live by?  Or, like me, do you fly by the seat of your pants on most days, making it up as you go along?  Okay well I’m really not that bad.  But I’ll admit that I’m not always consistent.  Sometimes my kids will remind me to step it up…

    sister: Mom…Andrew HIT me.
    me: Andrew.  Be nice.
    sister: MOM!  Aren’t you going to DO anything?
    me: Andrew…come here.
    Andrew:  What?
    me:  You hit your sister?
    Andrew:  (silence)
    me:  You know that’s not nice.  Say sorry.
    Andrew:  (turning towards sister)   Sorry!
    sister:  Mom! He SO isn’t sorry!  Send him to his room!
    me:  Andrew, go to your room.  You think about what you did.
    sister:  And don’t come OUT ever!
    Andrew:  How long?
    me:  Well, I’ll let you know.

    Then you know what happens?  I get busy with other things, I get distracted, and soon enough I see Andrew back downstairs playing the Wii with everyone else.  And then of course,  the wronged sister comes at me…

    sister:  MOM!  Andrew is downstairs playing!
    me:  Andrew!
    Andrew:  What, mom?  (all innocent-sounding)
    me:  Are you out of your room?
    sister:  Yes, he IS out of his room!  And he shouldn’t be, right?  Tell him to go back!
    me:  Well…he was in there pretty long….
    sister:  NO he wasn’t!  Mom!  He HIT me!

    The problem with me is that I’ve got no law laid down.  Sure, I say things like “no hitting” and “no name calling”  but there are no concrete consequences for these actions.  And my kids know this.  This is something I need to work on.  Like, right now – before my kids are all adults who  go around hitting everyone who makes them even the slightest bit angry.

    Actually, I the more I think about it, I really don’t think I have too much to be concerned with regarding the hitting-thing.  My kids have always slugged each other every now and then, but yet not one of them has ever hit any kid outside of our family.  Never!  Not once have I ever got a phone call from the school or another parent about a kid of mine hitting.  So maybe, just maybe, it’s more like a show of love and affection here in our home?  Not really anger or aggression after all?

    Yea, that must be it.

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    1. saskia says

      as long as you or your husband don’t go around, hitting other people, your children won’t – i guess, everything ist relly nice at your home, as far as i can see 😉

      i like your way of handling your crowd! it often sounds busy and funny!

      greetings from far far away germany,

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