Summertime and the liviní is easy. The kids are out of
school. Their countdown to vacation is replaced by the parentsí countdown to
Maybe the rules of behavior in your family have not
changed during the summer and maybe things have loosened up a bit. The kids are
tired of rules and the parents are tired of enforcing them. Here are two
legitimate ways you can institute for breaking the rules.
Bad Manners Night
Designate one night a week (or one a month) as Bad
Manners Night. It is a sanctioned time when everyone is allowed to wipe mouths
on their sleeves, burp, reach across the table for the food they want, and ask
for things by saying, "Gimme the ketchup."
An event such as this will stand in stark contrast to
all the other meals when you expect that the children will follow the examples
of good manners that you have been trying to teach.
At any other time, when the kids show poor manners,
all you need do is remind them to "save it for bad manners night."
Do you get tired of saying "no" ? How about reserving
a day on a regular basis when your previous "no" answers are transformed to
You set the ground rules first. More than likely you
will want to talk about safety, health, time expenditure, and affordability. If
you have to say no for one of these reasons, the answer remains no.
Set the day for a week or so away. One of the kids
asks, "Can we make a chocolate cake for dessert?" You explain that you canít do
it that day, but you can put the request in the Yes Day Box. All such requests
are written on pieces of paper and then put into the box.
Then, on the designated Yes Day, everyone sits around,
pull out pieces of paper, and each request is greeted with an enthusiastic
"yes." In succession, each "no" is turned into a "yes" and the entire family
enjoys their play with each other.
Have fun together!