15 House Rules for Your Kids to Help Them Grow

I’ve put together a list of 15 house rules for your kids to help them grow into productive adults. These fifteen rules can be modified for your family, but the following tips are a great place to start. Teaching young children (and older children) how to follow rules is one of the first lessons that a parent must teach their children. With that in mind, let’s dive right in.

15 House Rules for Your Family

Here’s my list of fifteen house rules you can use in your home.

1) Dinner Time is Family Time.

A family meal is a time of day when everyone is gathered together for an important purpose. It is a time to eat together, talk with others, and enjoy the benefit of a sit-down meal. While it may be tempting to accomplish more in the evening, dinner time should be a quiet and respectful time for everyone to enjoy a meal together. Children should be taught to take their shoes off before entering the kitchen and to be quiet when walking through the house.

2) Take Turns.

It’s human nature to want to grab the remote and flip on the television or have total control. Taking turns is one of the most important lessons to teach a child. The television is on the shared family living room and everyone should take their turn enjoying the entertainment. Your children should learn to enjoy other activities and spending time instead of focusing on the electronics, but the television is a shared item and everyone must take their turn.

3) Use your manners.

Manners are important in all situations, but especially when eating with others. Children should learn to wait for others to be served, say “please” and “thank you” when receiving a meal, and not to talk with food in their mouth. Any time your children eat with someone other than their immediate family, they should be taught to observe and follow the etiquette of that person/group.

4) Clean as you go.

Kids should learn to clean up their messes as they go, instead of letting the whole house become a disaster. If a child leaves their room, they should leave it in clean order. If the dishes are done, put them in the dishwasher. If the toys are picked up, put them away. Children should be taught to complete what they start and not to leave a mess for someone else.

5) Knock on Doors Before Entering.

Before walking into a bedroom or bathroom, children should learn to knock on the door before entering. It’s common courtesy to give someone a moment to dress or finish any activity before entering their private space. It’s especially important for children to be taught to knock on the door of their parents’ bedroom prior to entering, as it shows respect and awareness of the parent’s privacy.

6) Use Your Inside Voice.

The raising of your voice is known as yelling, which is a sign of anger. Children should be taught to walk away and calm down before using their voice in a manner more appropriate for their age. Teach your children to use their “inside voice” when conversing with others and that raising your voice is not an effective way to communicate with others.

7) Keep Your Hands to Yourself.

Children should be taught to keep their hands to themselves, as it’s not okay to touch others without their permission. While you may not want to apply this rule with your young children, you should start teaching them to listen to your instructions as soon as possible. Not only does it help to keep them safe and out of trouble, it makes for a happier family environment for everyone.

8) Learn to Say You’re Sorry.

When a child has hurt someone or done something wrong, it’s important to teach them to apologize. Saying “I’m sorry” is a sign of strength and helps children learn that it’s okay to make mistakes. Apologies go a long way and will teach your children to become more accountable for their actions. Sometimes children need a little help learning how to say they’re sorry, so practice with them.

9) Understand Property Rights.

People own things and your children need to learn that they should respect other people’s property. The general rule is “If you don’t own it, don’t touch it.” Your children should not go into other people’s houses without permission, or take things that don’t belong to them. This can include toys, games, and clothing. Basically, don’t touch what isn’t yours.

10) Always Tell the Truth.

It’s very hard to trust a person that lies. We can’t really trust a person who lies to us, but we can’t really trust a person that lies to themselves either. Children should be taught to tell the truth, even when it’s hard or it’s a lie. Instead of making up stories, teach your kids that it’s okay to say “I don’t know.” If they don’t know the answer, they can tell you they don’t know and you can work together to figure it out.

11) Be Respectful of Others.

One of the most important house rules that you can teach your children is to respect others. This includes your friends, family, elders, and even strangers. Respect can be taught. Children should be taught to not hit, swear, talk back to others, or argue. They should be taught that everyone has feelings and everyone is unique. Respect yourself, your family, and your friends by following this rule.

12) Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help.

Some of your hardest lessons will come from when your children need help. Children should be taught that it’s okay to ask for help when they need it and to use the resources available to them in times of need. Rather than learn the hard way, teach your kids to ask for help when they need it. Overall, you should teach your children to ask for help when they need it.

13) Be Responsible for Your Actions.

Another important rule to teach your children is that they are responsible for their actions. This is the hard lesson that makes the difference between a child that has learned how to grow up and a child that will never be able to take care of themselves. Children should be taught that they are responsible for their actions and that they should never blame someone else for something they did. This helps children grow into adults that can be counted on.

14) Practice Good Hygiene.

Your children should practice good hygiene. This includes brushing their teeth, washing their hands, and taking a shower. Teach your children to be responsible for their body and always give them time to clean up after themselves. This will create a sense of responsibility and can go a long way in helping your children learn how to present themselves to other members of the household – and the world at large.

15) Respect Your House Rules.

Respect is important in all relationships, especially with your parents. Children should be taught to respect the rules of your home and to respect the fact that the rules are put in place to help them. If the rules aren’t working, don’t be afraid to change them, but tell your children why it was necessary. Family rules vary, but they should always be respected and should be respected by everyone in the family.

Closing Thoughts on House Rules for Kids

Having a set of house rules will help ensure that your children are following your instructions and that the rest of your family is living in a peaceful environment. Children who are taught good house rules and how to follow them will grow into adults that have a higher degree of success.

Make sure you have the rules written down somewhere your child can see them. You may even want to create a poster that you can hang in your child’s room. The more they see the rules and understand their purpose, the better they will be able to follow them. Make it fun by putting their favorite characters on the poster and maybe even provide them with color markers so they can add their own touch.

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Kenny Kings

Kenny Kings is a chapter book author who is helping Paul Bellow fill the Hoosier Chapter Books blog with great content. You can find out more about Kenny Kings on the Kenny Kings bio page. Kenny Kings does not have children of his own, but he has more than enough nieces and nephews. With the help of the editorial team, he's been contributing to our blogging efforts to help families everywhere while promoting our chapter books. You can contact him at kennykings@hoosierchapterbooks.com.