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That’s right. House Rules.
Start by getting together with your partner to discuss the matter at hand. It’s important that you are both on the same page and present as a united front. There is no point laying down the law if one of you is going to blow it off. If it’s a Big Deal to one of you, it’s a Big Deal to both of you.
Next, begin identifying the behaviors that are driving you insane. For instance, it could be name calling. Or hitting. Or being demanding. Take some time and make sure you capture all of the behaviors to a list. Group like-offenses so no one is overwhelmed by a 32 point list of behaviors. Once you’ve identified the major issues, decide on a consequence.
Write the behavior and the consequence on a piece of paper that will be prominently displayed in your home.
Gather the troops and explain to them that the constant bickering, arguing and behavior towards one another, in general, is not healthy and today is the day it ends. Go through the list and the consequences, making sure everyone understands these are the new House Rules. They aren’t your rules, they are the House Rules. There is nothing you can do about it, these are the posted House Rules. They are what they are.
Last– STICK TO THE LIST AND THE CONSEQUENCES. If you let up just one little time you are back to square one. So don’t give in! Yes, it’s going to be brutal at first because the little darlings are going to test you and test you and test you some more. And before you know it, three weeks will pass and you will think, “huh, I’ll be darned. Greyson hasn’t hit Genevieve in 72 hours” and then he’s going to hit her. IT’S A TEST. Stick to the plan. They are sneaky little sneaks. You know kids, they are constantly testing the boundaries!
Of course, the House Rules list is fluid and will need to change as your kids grow and develop new, annoying behaviors. When this happens, update the list and the consequences and have another team meeting- first with your spouse and then with the whole family.
Give it a try! You’ll quickly see how ONE THING can create peace in a house otherwise filled with sibling rivalry and snarkiness. You’re going to love your less-stressed life!
Looks Like Happy’s Favorite Things For Surviving Parenting
You know what it’s like after a long day with kids who can’t be pleased! It’s time for a Mom Moment. Grab your Hot/Cold Lavender Eye Pillow for Stress Relief, your noise-canceling wireless Beats, and this list of podcasts that are 30 minutes or less and go hide in your closet. If your kids go to bed nicely after their 7th question/cup of water/hug/story, you can go all out with some nice, relaxing tubby time. A shatterproof wine glass, a tray to hold your wine glass, phone & a candle, and some luxurious handmade bath bombs can go a long way after a trying day on the homefront.
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Happy cat herding!