I know that "family rules" signs are nothing new around blogland. But I always felt like they were just kind of the trendy thing to do, and weren't really right for our family. That is, until summer hit!
This summer has probably been my hardest summer with the kids to date. I've just sort of felt at a loss as to how to discipline! My kids are generally pretty good kids, but I think the boys have gotten so into the rhythm of being at school all day, that they don't know what to do with themselves all day long during the summer. And Avery is now old enough that she wants to be involved with everything they are, so that causes a lot of quarreling!
It isn't like the kids are being awful or anything- it's just that the petty little quarrels and fights are wearing me down. I've felt like there aren't necessarily "rules" they are breaking, so it's been hard to decide how to discipline. For example, one kid starts mimicking another one just to be irritating. We all know how that goes, right? Well, it's really just kids being kids, but it still effects me because I have to hear about it.
So with the boys being at their grandparents for a few days, I sat down and wrote a list of rules that would cover every possible scenario my kids get into. I phrased them as positive statements, like "Be Respectful", except for the "No Complaining" and "No Whining"- those were important enough to be very clearly stated!! I plan to come up with some sort of a reward system around the rules, with the kids earning points when they demonstrate the positive rules.
Again, none of this is new- of course this is basically how we try to teach them to behave anyway. But I'm a very tangible person- I need to have a tangible guideline to fall back on, plus I think it makes it easier for the kids as well. "Stop being irritating!" is a pretty broad statement, but "Our family rules say to be kind and respectful to each other" is at least more specific.
So anyway, that was a very long explanation about why I felt the need to make this sign!!! I'm crossing my fingers that it will be a great way to manage the rest of the summer, and also bleed into the years to come as well...
Here you can see where it's hanging. It's on the wall next to our kitchen table, and visible from both the kitchen and the family room. And I was lucky enough to have a lovely switchplate to work around!!
It was fairly easy to make. The design was born of necessity actually. I don't have a vinyl cutter, so I knew I needed to print the text on my computer. But I wanted it fairly large, and the largest papers I have are 12 x 12 scrapbooking paper. Since most of my words were going to be longer than 12", I decided to put two pieces of paper together for each line, resulting in the "patchwork" look. I'm so glad I was forced to do it that way, because that's my favorite part about it! Then I simply glued the papers down on pieces of wood and sanded the edges.
In case you are inspired to do something similar, the fonts I used were Porcelain, Old Typewriter, and Typo- all available on DaFont.com.
So, wish me luck with this new system of mine! Raising kids is such a challenge, isn't it? As soon as you think you've got things figured out, a new stage of life arises and forces you to reconfigure it all!!