Effective family rules are the foundation of a healthy, thriving family. A family is like a mini-society, and the more clearly the rules are understood – the more carefully they are followed by everyone in the family – the stronger the stability and security that family can provide.
Like a society, it’s important that the family rules don’t just say what not to do. Instead, they should focus on what behaviours are valued most highly – what to do. Family rules should be simple to understand and follow; and consistent. Being able to follow the rules is an important first step in being responsible, and it is from this that children can then flourish into independence.
Whether child or adult, when we have a clear idea of what we need to do – and what will happen when we or others follow or break the rules – we can feel more confident in exploring and taking action in the world around us. In other words, the security of predictable and well-understood family rules (that is, understanding how the world works, at least in the family) gives us a template to go out and explore the wider world.
The article linked below is an excellent introduction on how to set up effective family rules in your household, and some of the important things to consider in order to make it work best for everyone.