Rules for How Children Should Behave in the Home


The rules you decide on for your home will depend greatly on the ages of your children, your parenting style and the way your household runs. However, there are some basic rules that will fit most homes. Whatever style you decide on, be consistent in enforcing the rules, and be clear on what the consequences will be for broken rules. Also, in addition to being clear, don't make the rules too complex, or have a huge laundry list of improper behavior, for that matter. Stick to what's most important to you and what your child can understand.


  • Even very young children can handle chores. A toddler can help pick up her own toys and a preschooler can help set the table for dinner and make her own bed. As kids get older, they can handle more chores. First Things First states that chores are important for kids to learn that families need to work together and that each member should contribute in some way. Older kids can take the garbage out, sort laundry or help care for younger siblings.

Be Respectful

  • Requiring your child to act respectfully in the home is very important. This means he shouldn't talk back to or argue with his parents or those in charge. It also means not hitting siblings or taking or breaking things that belong to other members of the household.

Conserve Electricity

  • Healthy Guidance suggests that a good rule for kids of all ages is to be mindful of electricity used. Tell your children that lights must be turned off when not in use. Electrical appliances should also be switched to the off position when kids are done with them. Explain to your kids that leaving lights, the television or other electrical devices running when not in use is wasteful and pointless, and can be dangerous. Remember to set a good example yourself with this rule as well.


  • If your child is already in school, get her into good habits early. Set a rule that homework must be completed after school before your child plays or watches television or turns on a video game.

Rules When Home Alone

  • Once you decide at what age a child can be left a home alone, for instance, when he's 10 years old, be very clear on what the rules are when in this situation. KidsHealth suggests that parents explain to kids what rooms are off-limits, and what the rules are regarding television watching when your child is unsupervised. Consider putting a ban on friends visiting while there is no adult present, as well. Something else to consider is whether you want to put rules in place while your child is home alone as to what snacks and drinks are acceptable.


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