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How comfortable are you enforcing household rules?

My household has pretty common rules that I’m sure most people have. You know, no jumping on the furniture, shoes off at the door, cleaning up after yourself, putting the toilet seat down, that kind of thing. We also try to sit at the table at least five nights a week, though we have movie nights where we don’t follow that rule. More and more I find it hard to enforce the household rules though. We eat on the couch for movie night, so why not other times as well? It’s been so long since I’ve pushed for the household rules that now it just seems weird when I do try to enforce them. Instead of it seeming to be normal it feels strange and like I shouldn’t be doing it because I haven’t been for so long. I want my kids to be respectful of the rules when they go to other people's houses though. How comfortable are you with enforcing the household rules?

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I had a hard time enforcing household rules with my stepchildren for a while. I know that with their other parent, the rules are different from mine (a bit more relaxed), and I found it hard to set my foot down because I wanted to be seen as the fun parent too. But then I realized that having the two sets of rules will help them. Everyone has different rules in their house so when they go to friends' houses I hope they won’t be weirded out about any different rules in place. It was still strange at first, but once you do it more and more it really becomes normal. After a while, it will feel weird when you don’t enforce the household rules.

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I am now actually comfortable enforcing household rules but I was in a similar situation too. Do I slack sometimes and everyone gets a free pass and does what they will (still within reasonable limits)? Yes, that happens. But I also had these issues at first. However since I wanted to raise my children to have certain basic etiquettes and good habits, I had to try to get comfortable with enforcing those rules though it was not easy. One thing that helped me was talking with my children about how these household rules benefits everyone including themselves. For example shoes off at the door reduces the amount of dirt that comes in the house and whoever that has cleaning chores work less, not jumping on furnitures ensures that it lasts longer. When they follow the rules, I reward them which made them want to continue with that habit and over time it becomes part and parcel of them.

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