These family rules are a work in progress. I need to go through them and reword them to not include the word Should. Also they will take some testing and proving in daily application to refine them.
Work is 100% voluntary, at all times. Otherwise it starts to be like slavery. Force should not be used to get cooperation from family members.
Natural consequences come about when work does not happen. The Parents will do their best to create as much of a natural consequence environment as they can. I.E. Being that children do not always feel the full effect of natural consequences, neither should they, we parents need to train our children with a measured level of consequences that resemble or simulate, as closely as we can, natural consequences.
A minimum level of maintenance work is required in order to keep the family out of crisis. This minimum level of maintenance work is higher in priority then leisure activities.
A. Accommodations must be taken to avoid burn out.
B. Because of past abuse Jeanine has sometimes felt unworthy to participate in life outside of her home. Jeanine can benefit from support in helping her not feel unworthy to participate in life outside of her home.
We do far too little family play. We must play more together as a family, outside, and actively. Joy, activities, fun and play must be sprinkled in amongst the work. Work can not hold a higher priority then Joy.
Attendance of family time activities should be a given in most cases. Family members shall not be given the consequences of missing family activities whenever possible. Reasonable accommodations will be taken in order to allow for all family members to be in attendance on all family activities as much as possible.
Cleanliness is something that requires the efforts of everyone in the family. If mess is starting to take back over the home everyone is responsible. No one is justified in complaining and being upset about the mess, while doing nothing and blaming someone else. If you see a mess then you are responsible to be part of the solution for the mess.
A. The home is in a state of crisis if the floors of the public rooms are cluttered and messy and movement through the home is obstructed.
B. The home is in a state of crisis if the kitchen counters and table are covered in mess and clutter.
C. The home is in a state of crisis if any one person in the family does not have clean clothes to wear.
D. The home is in a state of crisis if there are not enough clean dishes to make a meal.
E. The home is in a state of crisis if the garbage cans are full of garbage, or lacking garbage bags, or not evenly dispersed throughout the home.
F. The home is in a state of crisis if we are not comfortable opening our front door to our neighbors.
G. The home is in a sate of crisis if the front yard looks unkempt
H. The home is in a state of crisis if the animals needs are not being met.
I. If any of these indicators of crisis living in the home start to appear, it is the responsibility of all members of the household to participate in being part of the solution to bring the home out of a state of crisis. If the home is in a state of crisis resolving the crisis becomes the highest priority on the families agenda. All leisure activities and family activities are at risk of being canceled until the home is brought out of a state of crisis.
If supplies for necessary items runs out it is the responsibility for the person who notices the lack of important supply to notify the parents. This notification is not a one time notification. Everyone and anyone noticing the lack of a necessary supply is responsible to tell the parents every time they notice it, or at least on a regular basis. Fear of parents being frustrated at the notice does not release you from the responsibility of notifying the parents. If you have notified one parent then try notifying the other parent the next time. Both parents should be kept up to date on supply needs.
A. Supplies should not be wasted.
B. If you see a supply left open then it is going to waste. It is the responsibility of the person who notices the supply is open to close it. Afterwards the closer can mention it to the person who left it open if known or to the family if not known.
C. Supplies needing refrigeration or freezing need to be put away. Anyone and everyone who sees supplies left out are responsible to put it away. After putting it away it can be mentioned to the person who left it out, if known, or to the family if not known.
D. Family supplies should not be horded or used in excess. This particularly applies to family snacks, treats and special foods. Care should be taken by everyone eating special foods to share the special foods as evenly and as fairly as possible. If you want to eat a special food you are responsible to share it fairly.
E. Supplies should be used for the purpose they are purchased for and not wasted. (I.E. Parmesan cheese is meant for spaghetti and not toast, or to be sprinkled or dumped all over counters and tables.) If you are not sure of the intended purpose of the supply you should check with the parents. It is your responsibility to check before you use it. I did not know does not count.
A. It is the responsibility of the property owner to take are of their own property. IF the property owner leaves something out and it gets ruined then that is the fault of the property owner. If the property owner lends the item to someone else in the family then responsibility for that items care transfers to the lendee until the lendee has returned the supply to the property owner.
B. If a person sees property being damaged or in danger of being damaged it is their responsibility to stop the risk of further damage. After taking precautions to prevent further damage that person can mention it to the property owner or the family as needed.
Children are not responsible in parenting or regulating the work or orderliness of other children. If a child has a concern about another child’s actions they can politely mention their concern to the other child. If the other child does not respond to the polite mention the noticing child can not try to enforce their view of proper action on the other child. After a polite mention of the concern to a sibling all children should bring concerns of work and ordinariness to the parents and the parents will decide how to handle the issue. At this time it is important to remember rule #1. Work is not so valuable that it justifies contention, anger, yelling or frustration.
In short each individual is individually responsible to maintain cleanliness and orderliness in the home. Each individual is responsible to take action when they see a mess or a problem with orderliness. Each individual is responsible to treat other individuals with politeness and kindness and not use force to get their way. Each individual is responsible to respect and maintain the supplies and property in the home. Each individual is responsible to be part of the solution if the home is slipping into a state of crisis living. Maintenance work is more important then leisure activities. Resolving problems of crisis living is higher in priority then activities. The family needs to play together often, and have joyful and fun experiences together often. Joyful family experiences are higher priority then work. Adherence of these rules will greatly increase the orderliness in the home and greatly reduce crisis living in our lives. Adherence is voluntary, if a child is not adhering to these rules it is the parents responsibility to apply consequences fitting to the child’s disobedience.