Following the Rules

Every household has rules, be they written or unwritten. Some families have specific times for meals. Others don’t allow jumping on couches. Some are specific about the type of language they permit in their home while others choose to keep a specific night a week for family time, free from practices and commitments.

Our family, like others, has rules. As our children grow, the rules change and evolve. One of our more recent rules regards our dinner conversation. Part of the bedtime routine for John and Rosie is getting to watch a little TV before reading books, brushing teeth, etc. This is the only TV they watch during the day, so deciding what to watch is an important topic. Often, it will be all they want to talk about and debate. Lately, we have had to ask them to stop talking about what they are going to watch while we all eat dinner.

Yesterday, we went to the library and Ben picked out a few new movies for he and I. While eating dinner, we started talking about what we would watch after the kids went to bed. Rosie, our sweet, observant 3 year old, says: “Daddy, we don’t talk about TV at dinner time. It’s not time to talk about that. You have to wait until later.” I swear I’m not exaggerating or adding in extra words. She repeated verbatim what we have been saying to her, holding us accountable to our own rule.

Has this ever happened to you? Your child reminds you of your own rules. She looks straight into your eyes and questions if you are bound to your rule, or if you are the exception.

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