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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Parenting Tips: Family Rules pt 1.. set the stage

For the next few weeks I will be doing a series about family rules.  Please chime in with comments or emails and share what has worked for you. Kids will always be stretching their wings, it is their job.  It is our job as parents to help them stretch safely, to not break their wings, but learn to fly. Here are my 5 steps to set the stage.

1- Start young.
To avoid future questions and accusations of interrogations from irritated teens, start early! Decide what you want kids to learn to tell you and start asking those questions from the very beginning.   
2- Model it. Start by talking out loud. When you leave, answer the questions for your children, for the sitter.  Model that people share this information before separating so that everyone feels safe and secure... not because of a need to "check up."
3- Write it down.  Before your children can read make a picture chart.  When they can read a little put up the key words. Eventually have a clear chart.
4- Keep it handy. Post your reminder where is can be used easily.  Don't let it become a last minute part of the frenzy. Have it be part of the initial planning and thinking.
5- Be dependable. Use your pattern, your chart, your code, all the time.  Let it become part of the routine.  If it gets to be a tired old routine...celebrate that they know it well!

Next Thursday:   Getting Permission.   I will share the rules my family uses when leaving or asking permissions and how we use these 5 steps.

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