Most households have a normal set of rules that go without saying: talk nicely to each other, no hitting, share your toys, clean up after yourself, etc. But after observing my children for the past 13 years, I have come to realize that after being on this Earth for only a short time, they don’t quite grasp the concept of common sense in certain areas.
So, in addition to our normal set of household rules, we also have some unique household rules.
After observing my son walk right up to my car and lick it -- Yes, he licked my car -- rule number one was established.
Rule 1: We don’t lick cars … or trucks, motorcycles or bikes. We don’t lick any moving vehicle. Ever.
So far, he has been pretty good about not breaking this rule. But sometimes we’ll walk past a shiny red car and I’ll see that longing look in his eyes…
Rule 2 came into our lives after I overheard my kids getting ready for bed one night. My older son said to my younger son, “Goodnight, Jaden. I hope you don’t die in your sleep.” To which Jaden responded by immediately bursting into tears.
Rule 2: We say goodnight to each other nicely. And only good night.
My older son really didn’t think he said anything wrong. In his eyes, he really was saying good night nicely. He didn’t want his little brother to die in his sleep. I explained that sometimes less is more.
My older son just hit his teen years which means he has upgraded from kiddie shampoo to the very manly Axe shampoo. We have lots of bath products in our shower and periodically I’ll go through them and get rid of what we don’t need.
I noticed that there wasn’t any Axe shampoo and I questioned my son as to how long it had been gone. To which he responded that it had been gone for a long time and he hadn’t washed his hair in weeks.
Rule 3a: Wash yourself.
Rule 3b: If you can’t find something, ASK. If something needs to be replaced, TELL ME.
Since my kids are a little older, I trusted them to brush their teeth on their own. Then I realized that the toothpaste tube always seemed to have the same amount of toothpaste in it. Thus, rule 4 was born.
Rule 4: Swishing water in your mouth for 30 seconds does not constitute as brushing your teeth.
In fact, with this rule, I also have to give them exact steps on how to brush. Get toothbrush. Get toothbrush wet. Apply toothpaste. Immediately brush for 2 minutes. Rinse mouth. Rinse toothbrush. If they do these steps out of order, somehow the toothpaste magically disappears.
A few years ago, I got a voicemail on my phone from a college asking if Jacob would like some more information on the college courses he inquired about. Jacob was probably about 10 years old at the time. It turns out that my son, who is in a big hurry to grow up, filled in an online form regarding college courses … complete with all my personal info.
While, it’s a funny story to tell, it brought upon rule 5 which is actually a very serious rule.
Rule 5: We never give out personal information online or to anybody. Ever.
The kids don’t really understand what a dangerous place the internet can be sometimes and they don’t realize that there are real people behind computers and sometimes your personal information can fall into the wrong hands.
The night rule 5 was born, we rented an internet safety DVD and book from the library.
Well, there you have it – the very unique rules of living in our household. Having children can be a challenge at times, especially when you have to very carefully explain to them why it’s not a good idea to lick cars, but we as parents have to teach them that yes, in fact, your teeth will fall out of your head if you don’t brush them.
Do you have any unique household rules?
Heather Holtz is a fitness and health enthusiast who lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband and two boys. She blogs at Run Eat Play about fitness, food, and family.
See more of Heather's stories here.
Let us plan your weekend with the best family events and activities in Chicagoland.
Start the week right with deals, prizes, parent life hacks and more delivered straight to your inbox.
Need last-minute ideas for a weekend of family fun? No worries. We've got you.
Get the inside scoop on the people, places and things we are loving right now.
Resources, tips, inspiration and more for parents of children with special needs.
Score exclusive offers from our fabulous advertisers.