Monday, February 9, 2009

House Rules

My Pirate Sailing flag & Family Motto (just kidding)

We were honored to be asked today for the rules we have at our house. Friends of ours want to establish a new beginning with their child and asked us to tell them what is working for us. I'm no parental authority when it comes to kids. I just analyze the situation and make a plan accordingly. Sometimes I get it right, other times it's a scratch and we start over. So I was deeply honored to be asked. Thanks guys!
Over the years the rules have changed or been eliminated depending upon the age range and maturity. Everyone from Jess & Jordan, the camp kids, the girls this summer, to our three have had some version of the rules. I'm firm but fair when it comes to the rules and a lie will get you in more trouble than if you fess up and face the music. Of course tween kid rules are vastly different than teenage dating daughter rules. House rules are different than outside rules. You get the picture!

I keep them short and simple, too. Young, developing minds can only grasp so much. The experts will tell you that when correcting an adopted child that you must keep things simple and not too much information at once. Anything more you start to sound like Charlie Brown's teacher and you get that "deer in the headlights" look. We keep it to 10 short sentences. The rules are as follows:

  1. Be nice to everyone.
  2. Keep your room tidy and make your bed every morning.
  3. If you make a mess, clean it up immediately.
  4. Return your things to your room after use.
  5. Turn off lights, water, radio, television when not using them.
  6. Eat only in the Kitchen and at the tables.
  7. Wash hands before and after eating and when returning from outside.
  8. Children will do dishes, clear table, and sweep after every meal.
  9. This is your home, take care of it.
  10. Obey Mama and Papa when you are told to do something.
Rule number one has always stayed the same and is a cornerstone for all the rules to follow. It all hinges on rule #1. When someone acts up or starts an argument usually all we have to do is call his or her name and they respond, "I know, rule number one". The other day I heard Kolya telling Nadia to obey rule #1. Don't ya just love it when they get it!

Rule number 10 is my catch 22. If I missed a rule or something new happens, I pull that one out! That way, I don't have to hear Nadia tell me,
"Papa, take out trash is no rule!"
"Ah yes it is sweetie! See rule number 10!"
"Is no fair, rule number 10!"
"Hey, hey, Nadia! Remember rule number 1!"
"Me know, me know, BEEEEE NICCCEEEEE, Ughh!" (with a roll of the eyes)

See how that works!

Each child has a copy of the rules pinned on their bedroom wall. There is a copy on the fridge in case they need another look. One day while Lilya was here, I had them all write the rules in Ukrainian just below the English sentence. They can't tell me that they don't understand the rules. "Nyet poni-my-yo" doesn't cut it, sister!

I'd be interested in hearing what rules you have established at your home. Perhaps I will adapt them to ours. Yours may be verbal or understood. You might have a list like we do or maybe anything goes at your place. No one family is exactly alike and different circumstances dictate different outcomes. Our three need structure and rely on the 10 rules to guide them out of trouble, or into it as it always seems.

Gotta run, some one's yelling that someone else is violating rule #6 and munching on a peanut 3 inches outside the safe food eating area! Danger Will Robinson, DANGER!

~ Felix ~

New adopting friends

Thank you to the families that responded to my request to add folks to "our friends adoption blogs" listing. I hope to get more over the next few days. Let us know about your story. You are truly doing God's work.

Marcie & Josh, welcome! You are friends now and we are excited for your chosen path! Thank you for the privileged of listing you. Now we have a new story to follow. Whoo-hoo!

Natasha & Erik, welcome! Wow, leaving in a couple of weeks, huh! I had no idea! We are glad you chose to tell us about your adoption. Of course we will pray for you and the process. Been there, done that! Support in just the form of a little comment now and then does wonders for the heart! Good on ya!

Cornethia & Jim Bob, welcome! I didn't ask permission to add you, hope it's alright. I noticed that you have the same SDA appointment day as Natasha & Erik. Cool, you'll meet someone that you have been following! Thanks for all the kind words over the past year!

God bless you all, glad to have you. I used to wait and ask folks, but I feel that if you are commenting on our blog and have been doing so for awhile, you won't mind us sharing your story. In fact, I may back and look at some past comments and post some new folks that are adopting. If you rather not be heard, let me know. I'll respect your wishes and won't post your comment as well. If you can't wait to get listed or if I missed ya, please let me know that too. After all, I'm busy times three these days. Sometimes a few details fall through the cracks.

~ Felix ~

About Us

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Longmont, Colorado, United States
Heidi loves to play sand volleyball, sail and garden. Felix loves to fly at the local aeroclub, sail and fish.