Rules Rule

As a rule, I don't make rules for my kids. Rules are meant to be broken, and broken rules require punishment. As much as I don't like rules, I like punishment even less.

This weekend, however, I laid down a new law that solved two parenting issues I've been having and has a built-in consequence - no punishment required.

Issue #1: My kids spend more time on the computer than I'd like them to.
Issue #2: My kids' rooms are messy.
Rule: No computer time unless your room is clean.

Sunday morning Aidan asked if he could go on the computer. My answer was easy: "Is your room clean?"

So he went and cleaned his room.

When Avery asked if she could go on the computer I asked her the same question. She said, "Never mind, I'll do something else." Fine by me.

But this morning she hatched a plan of her own. "Mom, if I clean the bathroom instead of my room, can I go on the computer?"

To be quite honest, I'd rather clean her room than the bathroom, so my answer was easy.

earning her keep

Aw, the sweet sound of someone else cleaning the bathroom while I sit down with a cup of coffee and my knitting. Rules rock, especially when you bend them.


  1. nice solution! It would work for one of mine. The other one would pester me about how Not Fair it was until I send her to her room.

    I need someone to come and clean my bathroom too.

  2. So what knitting project have you started?

  3. Smart woman.
    As a child, I LOVED to clean the bathroom. As a woman, I love it a little less.
    Jeff and I should probably apply this rule to ourselves, but we would fall back on your virtuous truth, rules are meant to be broken...

  4. I just *may* have created a rule just like this this very morning while taking care of my neighbor's kids. Something along the lines of no eating the cookies for lunch until the flour explosion has been cleaned up while I sipped some of my afternoon coffee in the sunshine...then we all had homemade icecream sandwiches for lunch...so we all made out in the end!!

  5. We have a Munchkin that likes cleaning bathrooms, as well. Go figure? Either way, they're learning responsibility and contribution and we're ... well ... knitting, as you so aptly said!!

  6. All my kids have chores. Even the 3 year old (she helps to set the dinner table and put her toys away).

    Our philosophy is that it takes a whole family to run a household. Not just a Mama.

    And if it just so happens to work in the Mama's favor, we'll just chalk it up to Karma.

  7. Lucky you! Ohhhh, for someone else to WANT to clean the bathroom!!

  8. Acts 4:15 - "Without law there is no trangression"
    I'm a day late for cleaning the toilets, so I guess no computer for me til the chore is done.

  9. these "rules" sound great to me! especially the one where somebody other than me does the cleaning! :0)

  10. Love the sunflower banner. I was just thinking that I need to grow sunflowers in my yard next year. They're cool.

  11. Oh, nice one! I am not a big believer in rules either, but I think at some point there will be a need for a few.

  12. I wish more parents would come up with some "rules" for their children! Sounds like a great solution to me! A solution my Son-in-law came up with to get the kids to clean their rooms was that the first one finished could go and choose any toy that was on the floor in the other's room! now they all compete furiously to be the one to get to go and choose a toy!

  13. creative solution!! I just might use your "rule" too.



email: mollydunham@sbcglobal.net
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