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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Parenting Tips: Family Rules pt 2-- 5 W's

With a new school year starting, you can expect your children to ramp up the requests.  Whether it is a preschool playdate, an elementary student getting invited over after school, a middle school hang out at the playground, or a jr high trip to the mall, or a high school party with friends, kids will always be asking permission for this or that adventure. 

Family rules…Remember the guidelines in last week's post about starting early and modeling. It is a KEYto heading off teenage whines of "It's not fair!" etc.

The reward for all that early work?  If you have always answered these questions for them and have helped them answer those questions for you from early on, sharing this kind of information will become automatic communication style in your home.

In my home I use the 5 W's plus H.  The list is posted on my door just to remind me and my adolescents.  They know that if they want a thumbs up "Yes" to their request, they should come to me prepared with the answers to the 5 Ws and H.  I even made a small wallet-sized version for one child who often called me from school with her requests. Here is my list... What is yours?

Who ?   
Who are you going with and who will be there?

What ? 
What do you need to bring and What are you planning to do?

Where will you be if there is an emergency and I need to reach you and where else should I check if you are not there?

When do you plan to be back and When should I worry if you aren’t back yet?

Why should I feel safe letting you go and Why do you feel safe with your plans?

How will you reach me if you need help getting home and How can I help you?

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