Family Code of Conduct
Establish a code of conduct or a written set of house rules and in so-doing make family responsibilities, behaviour and expectations clear for everyone.
When I started researching homeschooling on the Net in 1997, I found a website where a family's house rules had been published. I adapted them for our home.
I am sharing our family rules with you, not because I think you need the rules themselves, but because I think the CONCEPT is worth sharing.
You, you spouse and your children should have a family meeting and decide on some written rules for your home. You may have different values or belong to a different faith, so you will need to create your own set of regulations.
Even if your little ones can't yet read, they can be a part of establishing your family code of conduct. The reason for this, is that when a child later infringes a rule, there can be no doubt that she did know about that rule.
In fact another good idea is to have a place at the bottom of the document where children who can write, can sign their names - like a legal contract. Keep a copy of the rules where they can be referred to often.
Now, before you read the list below, please don't let it put you on a guilt trip. Our children are not little soldiers that obey with military precision, as much as we sometimes wish they would! They most often have dirty faces and untidy hair and don't do all that is required by this list, but these are our goals. We are all in training.
Our House Rules
1. The Bible is our authority on discipline and all other family matters.
2. We obey Biblical instruction: we have family devotions, prayer time, Bible study etc.
3. We honour and obey our parents: we do as we are told immediately, without arguing. We do not nag.
4. If one parent says 'No' about something, we do not then ask permission from the other parent.
5. We are polite: we answer, "Yes, Mommy / Daddy", we say please, thank you, excuse me etc.
6. We clean up after ourselves - our rooms, bathroom, kitchen. We do not make any unnecessary work for others - if we use something we put it away.
7. We keep ourselves neat and clean - we bath, brush our hair and teeth, we keep our clothes clean and our hands and faces clean.
8. We take good care of everything that God has given us: clothes, toys, books, bikes, car, furniture, house - we only eat in the kitchen/dining room.
9. We do not take or use anything without asking first: food, cold drink, scissors, tools, computer, telephone etc.
10. We share with one another.
11. We speak quietly and respectfully with one another - no yelling, no whining.
12. If we are not sure about something, we ask.
13. We tell the truth - we own up when we have done something wrong.
14. We support each other: when someone needs correction we love them, when someone is sorry we forgive them, when someone is happy we rejoice with them.
15. We help around the house, we help each other cheerfully, we do our chores with a good attitude. We are diligent workers. We always do our best and finish our work properly. We don't waste time.
16. When we go out, we act just as if we were at home - we represent our Savior wherever we go. We greet people that we know politely.
17. When we disobey or forget these rules, we accept discipline and instruction given by our parents according to the Word.
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