10 House Rules for a Connected Family

Michael J. Fox said, “Family is not an important thing. It’s everything.” He’s absolutely right! If we are truly grateful for our family, I believe we will craft it wholeheartedly rather than haphazardly.

That is precisely why I wrote this list when Adrienne and Addison were preschoolers. This embodies our family vision. It has empowered us to stay on course together, operate a more peaceful household, and to reconnect after conflict.

I know from personal experience that when a family adopts a thoughtful code of conduct, the kids are more secure. I remember vividly the day as a tween when I realized that I’d never get caught,  because no one was paying attention. It rattled me! Kids naturally want boundaries, they crave the belonging  offered by a family with high standards.

Some of these are practical, for the day-to-day of sharing a home and a schedule. Many of them speak to character development and foster loving communication.

1. We are slow to be angry and quick to say sorry. We always use please, thank you, and all other kind and gentle words.

2. We speak truth because lies damage our relationships.

3. We behave like “you are more important than me.” We know adults deserve special honor. We know family = treasure.

4. We know parents want us safe. We ask before we go anywhere. We don’t keep secrets. We share about our day.

5. We act like Brendtros and children of God wherever we are, to bring honor to both names.

6. We know our parents look for ways to bless us and we look for ways to bless others.

7. We are happy to be in a healthy house. We ask for snacks, eat what is offered, say thanks, and clean up.

8. We do what we are told. We do it in a timely manner. We don’t argue or whine. We know no means no.

9. We are careful with things, no matter who owns it. We ask to borrow. We choose to share. We enjoy tidy spaces and we clean up after ourselves.

10. We brush, bathe and get beautiful without reminders. We love being clean and ready on time.

While this list doesn’t apply solely to the kids, it causes them to make an equally thoughtful investment in their family. Please adopt or tweak these as you like. We hope it empowers your family to unite and thrive. Blessings!

Written by Melissa Brendtro