Setting House Rules For Toddlers
Setting house rules is very important as it provides your toddler with boundaries and guidelines. Your toddler needs these boundaries put in place from an early age so they grow up knowing what is acceptable, what is not acceptable and what will happen if they break these rules. Setting house rules helps to improve your toddlers behaviour.
How to set house rules for your toddler
When setting house rules for your toddler, it can be difficult to determine when you should start. The main rule of thumb for establishing house rules for your toddler are:
- Ideally begin setting house rules as soon as your toddler is able to move around and comprehend simple instructions such as “no don't touch that” or “can you get that toy for me please?”
- If possible introduce house rules at a time where there are no major disruptions such as a new baby or moving house. This means you can discipline your toddler consistently if they misbehave or flout house rules.
Examples of house rules for your toddler
Many parents want to know exactly what house rules to give their toddler.
But to be honest, there is no hard and fast rule to answer this. As parents and carers, you need to work out what you toddler is doing that you want to change and design your house rules around that.
So for example, if your toddler keeps hitting others, you will want to introduce a house rule that says you will treat each other nicely.
Below are so examples of house rules for toddlers:
- No shouting/use your indoor voice
- Don't run/walk nicely in the house
- Wash hands before food
- Clean up your toys/help to keep the house tidy
- Share with your brother/sister
- Use nice manners
- Put dirty clothes in Laundry basket
- No hitting/Treat people nicely
- Listen to each other
Wording house rules for your toddler
You should word your toddlers house rules in a positive way.
So for example, instead of saying “no shouting in the house” say “use your indoor voice inside the house”.
This way you are not boring your toddler with all the thing they cant do, you are telling them things that they can do instead.
Help with toddler house rules
Setting up house rules for your toddler means you are going to be telling your toddler a lot of things that you do not want them doing.
To minimise the amount of times you have to tell your child “no”, you can help by:
- Child proofing everything - and I really do mean everything. If your toddler cant reach it, they cant break it, ruin it, draw on it etc
- Draw pictures to help your toddler remember - You cant expect your toddler to walk past the house rules and read them, so draw some pictures as a visual reminder for your toddler
- Make your house rules bright and colourful as a constant reminder to your toddler
- Grow your toddler house rules as your child grows - Add in more rules as your toddler grows up. Put your toys away in your toy box may not be as applicable when your toddler is fourteen.
Your toddler also will not be able to comprehend more then a few rules to start with, so give your toddler a chance to get to grips with the most important 4-5 house rules to start with and then add some in when they are needed.
Why not check out tame my toddlers behaviour for more tips and advice on dealing with the terrible twos.