Basics on family rules and setting limits

Basics on family rules and setting limits

Family rules ensure that the entire household is safe and protected at all times. But are there “rules” on making rules?

family rules

Find out how to lay a firm foundation for your family with rules

The basics

Family rules exist to help make a family get along well and make the lives of all its members peaceful and content. Typically, the parents create basic family rules and limitations. But as the children grow and mature, they begin to veer from the guidelines and start bending the rules. No matter what the situation, there are certain ground rules that lay a firm foundation down for the entire family and should not be tampered with despite how mature and old a person is.


Rules vary from family to family. Households that are more conservative tend to enforce more rules than other families. They might also adopt a different method or style of rules, such as having ground rules, “do’s and don’ts” rules, or situational rules. Specifically, ground rules are the type of rules that must be followed at all times and without exception – even by the parents. The most common ground rules are:

  • Never leave home without telling someone
  • Always do your chores without complaining
  • Never hurt each other in any way

The “do’s and don’ts” rules can change anytime depending on the child’s age and maturity, but they are clear on what is permissible and what is not allowed. However, it is important that the rules that apply to the older children are kept in mind by the younger ones. This helps them to practice and understand the rules they will need to follow when they grow up.

Finally, situational rules are short-terms rules that are perfect whenever a certain situation arises. They can be applied only for the day or for a particular event. Many kids take advantage of having situational rules because they tend to be enforced at times of emergency.

family rules

Learn what to do if your child still defies your rules


Setting of limitations is crucial, especially in a household that has toddlers or teenagers. Without any limitations, children don’t realize what is safe, appropriate and correct. Kids tend to get rebellious just to see what their parents’ reaction may be and how far they can get away with things. Setting limits eliminates the kids’ needs to defy rules, because the children already know the end result.


It is important to note even the best of rules and strictest of limitations will not work if it is not backed up with solid parenting. Proper parenting is the glue of all these rules and limits. As a result, the rules are naturally and appropriately implemented, making fair assessment of each situation and person.

Still defiant

If your child still decides to defy the rules after having such a solid foundation, reinforce the concept of rules and let them pay for the consequences. This way your kids will always know that you are not going to change the rules for anyone. They will try to appeal their case to each parent individually, so be prepared to have a few disagreements with your partner.

Some kids may even point out that their “friend’s mummy” is cool just because she allows them to do certain things. It is best to tell your children that you are not making all these family rules just because you have the authority, but because they ensure that everyone is always on the right track.

What kind of family rules work in your household? Do you have any additional family rules for us to add? Tell us, we’d love to hear from you! For more on enforcing family rules, watch this video:

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Written by

Karen Mira

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