What is a Household Agreement? Well it is a positive and fair way of introducing parenting discipline!
A Household Agreement will help to make the child feel safe as they will understand what is expected of them and what will happen if they do not keep to it. It enables you to be clear about what you expect from your child and therefore act more fairly and stay in control of the situation. Agreements help you to ‘choose’ up front what to use as consequences if the agreement is broken. Clear guidelines can be an alternative to nagging, all you need to do is then refer to them when things go wrong.
Top Tips for your Household Agreement
- Have a family meeting and set the rules, together. Everybody should be allowed to say what they want to be included in the agreement.
- They should be non-negotiable once they are set.
- Make them clear ‘DO’ rules (‘no hitting’ = hands to yourself’; ‘eat properly’ = ‘sit at table during the meal time and eat with a knife and fork’).
- Maximum five rules at a time.
- Everybody should stick to them.
- Keep to them with consistency.
- Everybody signs the agreement.
- Keep the agreement displayed visually for everybody to see.
- Consequences if broken! eg: no television, access to the internet that night, etc.
- Keep revising the rules.
Make the children part of ‘creating’ the ‘contract’; they can write it up on the computer OR find 5 stones and draw the rules on them and sign on the back OR get arty with glitter and pencils.
Examples of Household Agreement
- No physical contact without mutual agreement.
- Stay at the dinner table during all meal times.
- Talk face to face – no talking/ yelling through walls.
- Tell the truth.
- Respond politely when spoken to.
If these rules are broken then: No internet for that night; No television for that day; or no mobile for that day.