5 Top Tips For Setting House Rules

Setting house rules and providing consequences for your toddler when they step out of line will help your toddlers behaviour, build your toddlers confidence and give you a happy, peaceful house hold.

When your little angel turns in to a monster over night, it means that your toddler has entered the terrible twos. Some parents get let off lightly and only see a small change in their toddlers behaviour, other parents are not so lucky.

Other parents will see tantrums, shouting, screaming and will only hear the word "NO" for the next few months (and it can last for a few years for the very unlucky ones amongst us).

Getting a hold on your toddlers behaviour is very important and will have a big impact on your toddler. The reason your toddler is acting up so much is that they want to test boundaries and see what they can do and what they cant.

One of the most important things you as a parent or carer can do is provide your toddler with rules and boundaries and consequences if they step out of line. These boundaries of behaviour help your toddler understand right from wrong and will limit the amount of times you tell your toddler off.

How to set house rules for your toddler

  1. Firstly you need to identify what your toddler is doing wrong or the behaviour you would like to change. So for example:
    • is your toddler snatching toys away from others?
    • does your child refuse to put their toys away
    • does your kid run and scream around the house?

  2. Secondly, you need to put your house rules in writing and display your house rules somewhere that is visible to everyone. If you have a young child who cannot read, you may want to draw pictures to help them understand.
  3. When writing your house rules, you should write in a positive manner, so for example, instead of writing "no shouting in the house", you should write "talk quietly in the house" or "use indoor voices when inside the house".

    This way you are explaining to your toddler what they are allowed to not, not giving them a bunch of things they are not allowed to do.

    Depending on your toddlers age and comprehension, you should aim for 4-5 rules and add more once your toddler has got to grips with these.

  4. Thirdly, sit your toddler down and explain the new house rules to them.

    You should use simple sentences your toddler will understand and explain the consequences if they don't follow the rules. I would recommend giving a warning, then follow this with a warning if your toddler still does not obey the house rules.

    Don't expect your toddler to understand the house rules straight away. They are learning, so expect to hand out a few warnings and time outs.

  5. The best tip I can give you is to stick to your guns and follow through with discipline every time your toddler does not do as they are told.

    If you give up once, you are back to square one and your toddler will know that if they push you enough that you will just give up.

  6. Remember this is for your toddlers own good
  7. It is far easier to change and modify behaviour whilst they are young. Waiting until they are in school and then a teenager will make it almost impossible to change your child's behaviour.

    Also if you allow your toddler to push and challenge boundaries for to long, you will find you are constantly telling your toddler off, saying no and with holding privileges which will not help your toddlers confidence or the bond between parent and child.