Wouldn’t it be great if we were provided with a simple set of guidelines when our babies were born? These rules and guidelines could provide a framework for daily expectations and goals as we move through the different stages and challenges of parenting. We could refer back to these ‘rights’ or rules when we are trying to make fair decisions about parenting and balancing common sense with structure throughout the duration of childhood.
I never thought of this until now. Parenting definitely has a curve, and we go through ups and downs as changes hit us, both expected and unexpected. What remains the same, though, is parenting is CHALLENGING! Balancing priorities is stressful. Remembering to stay consistent is tough. And, being a role model can be a lot of pressure. Family systems are wonderful, and crazy! And, as parents, we can second guess ourselves.
What if we had some guidelines to constantly refer back to and remind our children of? If could have such a set of written ideas that would benefit everyone in the family, wouldn’t it help makes our lives just a little easier as parents? Couldn’t it help our children remember what we expect? Don’t you think there could be less arguing and fighting if the system of the expectations were right there in black and white from an early age. Usually, these family rules and norms are unwritten. But, just recently, I thought….What if we actually had a written set of rights and expectations for all members of the family to help everyone stay on track? Less confusion, uncertainty, and less room for arguments! More importantly, a happy, safe and productive community for all to live and grow in……
So, here ‘ya go!:
The Family Bill of Rights
- All family members have the right to feel loved. Family members will make an effort to point out more positives than negatives, more strengths than weaknesses. Family members should express love through both words and actions.
- All family members are expected to uphold the law.
- All family members are allowed the right to change their mind, and must accept that plans change. Just like the word “promise” should be reserved for sincere intentions, changing of plans and actions must also be honored.
- All family members must be accepted as individuals. All members must honor and accept that personal preferences, thoughts, opinions, and even goals may vary within the family.
- All family members must understand and agree upon set of values established by the parents, and stay true to honoring these values. Our 3 tops values are:
- All family members should share in household responsibilities.
- All children must respect the chain of command and understand that the rules and demands of their parents must be obeyed unless the demands cause harm to self or others, or break the law.
- All family members must honor time and distribute time fairly. Parents and children have the right to take time for hobbies, friends, spirituality, exercise, and special interests that promote happiness and growth.
- All family members will be able to express needs and wants honestly without fear of rejection.
- All family members will accept that people make mistakes and accept failures as an opportunity to grow. It is expected that there are consequences for actions. Children will grow with fair, consistent discipline.