Household rules

With many small folk in training sometimes I get weary of reminding them about so many little things all day.  “Take smaller bites, please sit up tall, don’t put grapes in your nose…”  I’m sure all parents can relate to the drill.

Certainly if I’m tired of speaking so many reminders, they are tired of hearing them!  So, after a little string of “Don’ts” or “Do’s” we sometimes have to add in a little laughter.

Hence the rules, “Don’t put your elbow in your ear.” and “No flying in the house without prior permission.”   Naturally, the children DO try to put their elbow in their ear when we say this, and because we don’t believe they should be allowed to disobey without consequence, the established penalty is tickling under the chin.  It is simple cause and effect–whether they succeed or not, even trying to disobey will lead to consequence–they will get tickled.

Unlike the elbow in the ear prohibition, the children usually obey the flying rule, and are good about asking permission.  Out of the blue I hear, “Mommy, may I please fly?”  I try to say yes most of the time, but sometimes I reply with, “No, not so soon after dinner” or “No, it is the first Monday of the month, and the moon is waxing.”

Growing up I remember a couple of unusual rules in my parent’s house (rules which I believe were instituted by “we the children”, not actually by my parents) :

1) No pushing people down the stairs backward without their prior consent.

2) No fishing tackle in the china closet

The first rule, in particular, participated some amusing scenarios, as we had to make certain we got a person facing forward before pushing them downstairs without their consent.

Some days just seem to have too many rules.  I see my Kendra over there, “Kendra, sit like a young lady. Talk softer, Daddy is sleeping.  Don’t bend back that book cover, please use a bookmark.  Oh, and Kendra, Don’t put your elbow in your ear.”  Uh, oh.  She just disobeyed–I must go and follow through…

Are there any unusual rules in your home?


4 thoughts on “Household rules

  1. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Maya & Miguel, a show on PBS in the afternoons — — that emphasizes cultural diversity and language learning but I’m reaching out to talk to parents about the program as part of a marketing project I’m working on with Scholastic.

    I found your post and thought I’d reach out to say hello and ask if you’d like to receive a free Maya & Miguel DVD. If you’d like to receive the DVD just email me at Kerri at with your address and I’ll have it shipped it out to you.

    If you do choose to blog about Maya & Miguel show or episodes on the DVD, please make it clear how you received the information. Our goal is to be open and honest with everyone we reach.

    Kerri Roberts, BoldMouth

  2. Dell,
    Thanks for the no flying without permission rule! We implemented it yesterday. I have to tell you though, it was SOUNDLY disobeyed and resulting in MUCH tickling. We may also implement a no singing in Spanish rule and see if we can elicit a little more language learning!
    Annie =)

  3. Our favorite household rule: If the chocolate chip bag is opened for any reason, everyone present in the house must receive a small handful of chocolate chips to eat. 🙂

    Nancy (HK)

  4. I tried "Don't put your elbow in your ear," and my son said, "I'll put my elbow in YOUR ear!" and I got tickled in my ear, and of course he didn't get away with it, and we had lots of laughs.

    I thought up, "Don't tickle your noses with your toeses!" or you get a belly button tickle. Christopher didn't take me up on it (He was excited about tickling mommy's ear), but Natalie (16 mos) picked it up with a little help, and got big giggles out of it.

    Thanks for the idea. (:


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