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Broken Rules

Posted by on Mar. 10, 2013 at 8:06 PM
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Rules are not made to be broken, but for my kids they always get broken everyday, My kids sneak into the fridge and make huge messes no matter how many times I tell them to stay out they continue to get back in especially if it's ice cream. They've been known to chug my Dr Pepper which irritates me. They trashed my daughters room and have trouble cleaning it up its like they can mess it up, but can't clean it up. So I thought about moving my 4 year old daughter upstairs to share a room with her 2 older brothers (7, 9) bc they always fight they dont get along and thought baout taking toys away at least rooms would stay cleaned. What do u guys think? I've also tried child proof lock for the fridge twice before they've broken it within the same day. Also what kind of rules should I set, rewards, etc? Thanks!

by on Mar. 10, 2013 at 8:06 PM
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by Platinum Member on Mar. 10, 2013 at 8:11 PM
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What are the immediate consequencces?  I would be having them in time out or losing priveleges each time they do not listen to you.  The oldest can write sentiences wihich is tedious for a child but drives home the rules that they need to listen to.

by Silver Member on Mar. 10, 2013 at 8:11 PM
You could get into trouble for having them share a room at those ages. My parents got in trouble because I shared a room with my 2 brothers as a kid they said if my dad wanted to continue with visitation he had to have a seperate place for me.

Do they get punished? Do they get snacks in between meals?

My son has free range for drinks and snacks as long as he eats the meals I give him and I've never had an issue.
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by on Mar. 10, 2013 at 8:49 PM

So I wont let them share a room. They have breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack even then they still want junk food, etc

by on Mar. 10, 2013 at 9:01 PM
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Don't buy junk food. Or lock the junk food up. 

by Barb on Mar. 10, 2013 at 9:39 PM
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No ice cream or sodas in your house. Keep a drawer in your refrigerator with snacks that you don't mind them having-  baggies of fresh, cleaned and sliced veggies, cleaned fruits, raisins, PBJ sandwich halves in baggies. milk and water to drink. Don't have junk food at all in your house.

Never make a threat that you are unwilling to keep. And if you threaten a consequence, then carry it out immediately.  They failed to clean up their mess- OK- no problem- but the TV show they like to watch won't be seen until the mess is cleaned up- by them.- as an example.  You are strong and you are the MOM- you rule!

by on Mar. 11, 2013 at 10:01 AM
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Something tells me there is more going here than just the children sneaking into the fridge and trashing the daughters room, First of all I would sit down and have a family meeting with all three children, you need to set down some firm rules and stick to them, taking away a favorite game or a privilege would be the way to go if they don't follow the rules, consistency is also the big important key here, you can't allow one thing one time and then another time that same thing is allowed. You should not allow your daughter to share a room with her brothers, she should  have her own room. Instead of sodas etc, have more healthier snacks around. You did not mention if there is a father in the household, if there is he needs to also take a firm stand too especially with the boys, I am thinking and I could wrong on this or maybe reading more into this than supposed to, but I am wondering if there is also a very big lack of respect going on especially coming from your sons. If the father is in the household, he needs to have a talk with them and show them how they are to act, not just say it but live it and  be an example.  It just sounds to me like the boys have a total lack of respect for your rules that you have set and this needs to be addressed first and foremost .

by Cecilia on Mar. 11, 2013 at 10:04 AM

I agree. This should be one of your first steps.

Quoting MamaSnaps:

Don't buy junk food. Or lock the junk food up. 

by Bronze Member on Mar. 11, 2013 at 10:19 AM
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I know that for us, if a rule is getting consistently broken, I need to look at the validity of the rule.  Is the rule there for a real purpose, or is it there because I just want greater control?  

Safety issues aside, I try to have as few rules as possible so that the kids respect the important ones.  

I have general rules about respecting every family member, asking before taking things not theirs (including food), etc. but too many rules can actually lead to more stress and arguments.  Not because they are pointless, but rather because they are so numerous, so specific that everyone loses sight of the bigger picture, that rules are helpful tools that make it easier for everyone to get along.

It has worked well for us, but that has been the enviroment in the home practically since day one.

by on Mar. 11, 2013 at 10:23 AM
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so how many children do you have?  Are there four boys and a girl? Just wondering, maybe i'm reading it wrong...

Anyway, you can have ALL the boys share a room, and ALL girls share a room.  I had all four of my kids share a room (three girls and a boy) once, didn't know we could get in trouble for it. But it was for 6 months, and we had to rent a two bedroom home.  We gave the kids the master bedroom, so it was big enough.  Then there was a really big closet with a window in it.  My son put his bed in the closet, and the three girls had one of those bunks that sleeps three- full size below and twin on top.  They thought it was fun!

We never put toys in the bedrooms.  I always tried to have an area or room in the house for toys.  In the two-bedroom home, there was a downstairs office.  It hadnt' been a third bedroom, although we could have used it for that, but there was no closet, and my son was uneasy about sleeping downstairs by himself.  He was under 10 at the time, don't remember how old exactly. 

Anyway, that's not what you asked.  You asked about discipline and consequences.  

In my house, kids were not allowed to get into stuff in the kitchen without asking. EVER.  I needed to know when I went to make a recipe, that I had all the ingredients.  I don't know how moms manage when their kids have free reign, but to each his (or her) own.  In my house, I served breakfast, am snack, lunch, pm snack, and dinner.  If we were up late enough to have an after dinner snack, my DH usually got it.  

Could you try putting a chest freezer out in the garage, with a padlock on it?  Ice cream could be kept out there.  Otherwise, you could just stop buying ice cream.  Tell them because they don't listen and follow the rules, there just won't be ice cream in the house for six months... or how ever long you want.

If they get into the kitchen and make a mess, then they will clean it up - before the next meal. They will be sent to the kitchen to clean IMMEDIATELY.  They may not watch TV, play video games, talk on the phone, or even eat the next meal, until the kitchen is cleaned up.  Period.  This is called "stop the world" technique.  Their world literally stops turning until they complete the work.

Cleaning up their toys/bedroom should be done daily, and it should be done before dinner, because then you have dinner to motivate them.  If they don't clean, they don't eat.  If you make them clean it up before bedtime, they get to push bedtime back later - so it's not motivating.  Sure they may make a bit of a  mess again after dinner, depending on your family routine, but at least the stuff gets picked up once a day.

I used to have bedroom inspections. Daily at first, then once a week.  I had a check sheet of everything they had to do - including dusting baseboards, closing drawers, closing closet doors, making bed, etc.  Every day, I'd inspect their room at a specific time.  If they passed, they got a small treat - two pieces of candy, or a chocolate chip cookie. If they passed all week long, then we went to the movies on Saturday or went roller skating or some fun family event. If some of the kids didn't pass, they didn't get to come along.  My DH stayed home with the errant child, or he took the kids for the activity and I stayed home - a double punishment, since the kids always wanted to spend time with Dad.  

Gregg Harris published the "Twenty-One Rules Of THis House" years ago - but it's still available.  A good resource, for Christian families.

Here are some rules we've used in the past:

1)in this house, we speak to one another respectfully. (if they were being snotty, I didn't listen to them.  If they continued talking disrespectfully, they went to their bedroom until they could talk nicely.  There were NO TOYS in the bedroom, so it was boring.  Only books allowed in there.)

2) in this house, feet belong on the floor (ie. we do not kick) (Kicking got them time out.)

3) in this house, hands are for loving touches (ie, we do not hit) (hitting got time out.)

4) in this house, we use inside  voices only.  (when the kids started shouting, I sent them outside, every time, no matter what the season.  They do not scream in the house.)

5) Coats go on hangars in the closet, not on the floor.  (they lost their coat if they threw it on  the floor, and had to do a chore to "earn" it back)

6) In this house, homework will be done by 6pm. (Dinner was at 6pm - they didn't eat if it wasn't done).

Do you see how each rule was clearly defined, and had an appropriate discipline or punishment right with it?  This is the key to consistency.  Print the rules and make multiple copies.  Post the rules all over the house.  Make the discipline "fit the crime".  If they make a mess, they clean it up.  If they break something, they will apologize, and they will replace it, even if they have to earn the money to buy it.

by on Mar. 11, 2013 at 11:11 AM

i have the same problem.i ha dthe house spotless after a  respite weekend .the kid swere home no more the i swear 5 minute san dthe house wa sD*E*S*T*R*O*Y*e*d!!!!pLEASE HELP U BOTH!!

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