Every time a kid comes home, we find the need to eventually go over the house rules with said kid(s). This was true for Nadia, Julia and Kole. Next came Rimma. Then we added Jordan and eventually Jessica. Now it's Lizzie's turn. In addition, I find that it is necessary to go over the "Rules" once a month at dinner time, when we are all together. Chores start getting sloppy, laundry days get missed and quiet time/bedtime starts getting ignored. The monthly dinner time reminder helps bump everyone back to center and everyone remembers, until the next month, and we do it all over again.
A few friends have asked me to repost this, especially those folks close to bringing new children home soon. So here you are. Feel free to use these, adapt them to you own use, or revamp them all together. It's also important to note that these 10 rules have evolved over time as the kids have gained English comprehension and understanding. So, in the beginning, keep it simple. These 10 rules have never been more than 10 rules and from the start, they used to be only a few simple words. You can add deeper explanation to them after you have been home awhile and after the "honeymoon" is over. Otherwise, get ready for a lifetime of a messy or broken house, with arguing kids, and chaos as you try to wait on them hand and foot while being a maid, cook and a parent.
This is not cruel or unusual punishment. Institutionalized children need and appreciate structure and no, I don't rule the house with an iron fist or like a Drill Sergeant. We provide a home, security, safety and lots of Love, understanding, compassion and empowerment. Our kids are thriving and 'kicking it" in school, home life and out in society. Here are our 10 Easy Rules:
1. Be kind to one another…PERIOD!
2. Keep your room tidy, make your bed every morning and return your things to your room after use, don’t leave it lying around.
3. If you make a mess, clean it up immediately! This is YOUR home, take care of it!
4. Turn off lights, water, radio, television when not using them.
5. Eat only in the Kitchen or dining room and wash your hands before eating and when returning from outside.
6. You will do your daily chores and your laundry on your day.
7. No TV, computer (unless homework) or video games during school days effective Sunday night to Friday after school.
8. Quiet time starts at 8pm Sunday through Thursday. Everyone has their own bedtime…Obey quiet time and bedtime.
9. Obey Mom and Dad when you are told to do anything.
10. When in doubt, ALWAYS ask permission from Mom or Dad!
~ Felix ~