Your kids are a source of great joy to you, and you’ll always be proud of them and admire them. And then again, there will be times when they will make you wonder just exactly what they were thinking. It happens most in their teenage years, but let’s be honest. When we were children, we did some stupid things. To expect our kids to be different is probably naive – they have our genes, and us as parents. Even great parents need some help sometimes.
As a parent, you can never be entirely sure what is driving your child’s decision-making. All you can do is offer advice, and have house rules. Some of these rules are obvious and easy to enforce. Some are a little trickier. Not least of these are the rules for your child’s bedroom. It’s often where you send them when they’ve been naughty. It’s also where they go when they want some alone time. Those two facts by themselves make it a complicated zone. So the following are some tips for bedroom rules you need to make, and how to enforce them.
- You Will Not Eat In The Bedroom
Some people question this rule. A few facts for those people. When you can’t see your kids, they will behave how they want. You can’t be sure what they have eaten and what they have left. Oh, and most importantly of all? Today’s tuna sandwich is tomorrow’s fly buffet and next week’s environmental health risk. Food plates must stay visible to you at all times, and be handed back to you before kids go to their room.
- The Furniture Is Not A Jungle Gym
Yes, I know, how many of us followed this rule when we were kids? But it still needs to be enforced. Bunk beds are not high bars. A box-spring is not a trampoline. A toy hamper is not a pommel horse. Many children want to be Superman, but jumping on and off beds is dangerous. Tell them that if they do this, those bunk beds will become two single beds with no further warning. If they keep to the rules, you will give them a bonus in their allowance.
- The Floor Is A No-Clutter Zone
No child is going to keep a scrupulously tidy bedroom all the time. Those that do are either sweet kids or budding supervillains. You can’t get too angry if things get messy from time to time. But one rule you can insist upon is that the floor stays free of toys, clothes, and other detritus. Point out to them that clutter left on the floor is a tripping hazard. If you, or they, break an ankle, life will be a lot less fun.
- “Lights Out” Time Is Non-Negotiable
Children will always want to push boundaries with their bedtimes. It’s part of getting older. Still being up when the clock ticks around to 10 pm is a rite of passage for many. But children need their sleep perhaps more than anyone. If they still have lights on when it’s past bedtime, they’re not going to get good quality sleep. The threat of being tired the next day is not Kryptonite for kids like it is for us. So you may need to enforce this rule by just plain taking out the light bulb for repeat offenses. Any other devices will be confiscated if needs be.