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Rules of Civility

September 2, 2009

I think this is great. Here is the note Iwrote to myself about this idea: Rules of civility while practicing penmanship. Make up your own, copy these, but implement this! Go on over to Mommy Coddle and check it out.

I’ll try not to get on a soap box here, but I’ve often thought that a lot of times we don’t expect enough out of our children as far as behavior, manners and obedience is concerned (myself included). In my limited experience, I have found that my kids are far more compliant when they know their boundaries and what is expected of them. This is where the Rules of Civility might come in handy, for both parties. (Maybe we each need our own list- one for parents and one for children!)

Currently, this plays out (at least in our family) in the form of “pep talks.” We like to mentally prepare our children for all kinds of things. When we know we will be going into an unfamiliar situation, we try to inform the children of our plans and then give them a quick run down on how they should behave and what their limits will be. Even at home, we try to give warnings about bedtime, clean up time, bath time, dinner time, whatever. We remind the kids that a change of venue is coming and that they need to be thinking about the proper response when the time comes. Experience is teaching us that this helps a whole lot to avoid major meltdowns. (On most days–believe me, we still have a clashing of the wills from time to time!) It can be exhausting, especially when you feel like you are constantly thinking ahead and trying to prepare for the inevitable, but we feel like it’s rewarding and makes for more pleasant transitions, in general. One thing we often find ourselves saying is, “This is our plan, but sometimes plans change and we need to be ready to respond correctly if they do.” Or something to that effect.

What are your practices concerning boundaries, plans and avoiding meltdowns?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Natalie permalink
    September 2, 2009 4:16 pm

    Good thoughts! At this stage of the game for us, it just means adapting our schedule to Abby's needs. I see a lot of fussy babies who's mothers are running here and there and everywhere- we've toned things down quite a bit to have a restful, playful little girl who knows we know her limits 🙂 I was thinking about this alot on our recent trip to a state park. We brought Abby along to celebrate our Anniversary, and though we didn't spend as much time hiking as we would have liked, and we had much earlier evenings that we normally would on such an outing, we avoided any meltdowns (well, except for those few times…;-) and we're home and feeling rested and happy to be back in our "routine." That being said, I am by NO means a creature of routine/habit, but feel that this makes me more in-tune/aware of Abby's signals of tiredness/hunger/boredom, etc. Hopefully the next kiddo will be as adaptable!!

  2. jena permalink
    September 2, 2009 8:43 pm

    LOVE IT ! that sums it up 🙂

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