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May 10, 2011


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I think that you can just go with the bar's rules. Seems to cover 99% of it.

Isabel Kallman @AlphaMom

First of all, I get a thrill when you post. Whee!

Craig and I came up with a "family manifesto" last year. It's our version of life principles and values that we want our son to learn. We actually had poster designed to hang that displays it. Here, take a look: http://alphamom.com/parenting/creating-a-family-manifesto/

Had we done a list of our behavioral house rules, the poster would have been too big to hang. heh.

And, yeah, I've said some "if, then" rule doozies. I try to forget those.

Leanne Koh

my mom: "you can date a black guy, just don't have babies with them. they'll turn out ugly."


My dad's mantra was "my house, my rules." He'd repeat that phrase so often that sometimes we could swear he'd mutter it in his sleep.


Oh yeah, my parents had big time rules. One hour of television a week UNLESS it's (a) christian/educational, or (b) early Saturday morning and they were trying to sleep.

My response was to watch TV every possible minute that my parents weren't home (which was a lot). First thing they did when they came home was to feel the TV to see if it was hot. To this day, I get a panic when I hear my landlord's garage door open. I feel like I should be furiously trying to cool the TV and getting rid of that blue dot that used to persist in the center of the screen.

My daughter is 3.
E: "Dad, why is Ursula not nice?"
Me: "I don't know, honey. Maybe she had a rough childhood."
E: "Maybe it's because her parents didn't let her watch shows."


Peanut is gregarious.

The rule in my house was "Dad is always right, unless mom is right, to which Dad was already was in agreement."


Our brood can't watch TV during the school week. I find that I end up having to follow this rule, too, since we live in a small house. Hence my blogging.

No soft drinks ("Cokes," as we call them down here). I don't want Michelle Obama to be mad at me.

My little ones are 4, 2, and 1. I have a feeling the number of rules they get later will drastically increase, but it will still remain below the number I had growing up.


I have very simple rules:

1) Don't ask me again when I've said 'no' once.
2) Don't fart on me. Unless I fart on you first, then fair is fair.
3) Don't play with the dog's weiner.
4) Raise your voice to me and get nothing but broccoli for a month.


When I was a teenager, my mom told me I could not have a boyfriend until I was 35. My dad gave me his rule for whom I should marry, essentially, in list form. "First choice, Vietnamese; second choice, Chinese (because their culture is similar to ours)." End of list.

These days, I tell my kids, "you best not bring home no baby mamas/daddies." My kids are 6 and 9, hopefully by the time they start dating that rule will stick. Other than that, I'd like to think I'm pretty flexible and benevolent. Any rule can be bended depending upon the circumstances.


My Chinese mother had about 8 million rules that were so strict, it was mind blowing. My sisters and I used to joke that her rules were like Hammurabi's Code. Of course, our mom didn't understand the joke so that only made her madder and so she made MORE rules.

As the mother of a two year old, I don't have many rules for her now. I'm always curious to see when she grows up whether I'll be more like my mom or the exact opposite.

Why do I get the sinking feeling that I'll be just like her?


"Listen to me. Do as I say! Always!" LOL


I heard myself saying the other day: "No picking your butt while we're out in public!!!"

Can't believe those words left my mouth.


'No singing at the table.'


Just yesterday, I made a rule for my daughter's Girl Scout troop - no smelling each other at meetings.

My daughter had given me a hug, and then announced, "Mom, you smell like fish sticks!" Another little girl immediately ran over to sniff me and agreed. I announced the rule before the whole table could get in on the action.

Bradley at AmateurParent

I can't remember any rules, particularly arbitrary ones that made no sense (ala international parent conspiracy from Pete and Pete), but I sure do remember breaking a lot of them and suffering the consequences.

And...more often than not, when testing boundaries, the typical response: "because I said so." Have you had to use that one yet? I know it'll be in my arsenal...the ace up my sleeve...but I hope I don't have to use it for many years to come.


My mother now lives with ME! HaaHaa, my house my rules!

Pamela Jordan

I feel comforted somehow knowing you are battling the same homework situation with the Peanut that I battle every night with my little bugger. It's such a challenge to keep him focused on finishing himself rather than relying on me. Ice cream is the nightly reward for completion without my help!


They need to do an expose on southern parents. I grew up in the RURAL south. Not only did we have rules to keep from burning the single wide down it also helped keep from getting bitten by a rattle snake.

As with most southern families the dad ran the show. Mom set the rules, for the most part, and it was dad who laid the hammer down if they were broken.

And as an added bonus my dad developed 'the look'. That man, rest his soul, had a gaze that would turn the blood of the most harden criminal ice cold. Woe be it to the individual that look was directed at because your day was about to go sideways, quickly.

Fortunately for me I inherited that look from dad and have mastered its use. I don't have many rules, just the look. I don't have to say a word, just glance at them and the response is always the same 'ok, daddy'.


Ironically, my two brothers and I grew up in a house with very few rules. My parents weren't hippies or anything but we grew up in Corona, Queens and were free to roam the streets until about 5PM then come home, do homework, eat dinner, watch TV, then bed. I fondly remember watching the Tonight Show and SNL (and we moved out of that apartment when I was in the 4th grade). How we amounted to anything substantial in the world is beyond me.

My guess is that our kids are going to turn out to be whoever they're going to be regardless of the rules we think will mold them to be better people.

With that said, rules for our children include to always show respect to other people (say excuse me, thank you, please, and be aware of the effect of your actions whether physical or mental). My wife and I curse like sailors but not once has a curse exited my young daughters voicebox. Although, is the word "taint" a curse?


Funniest rule I've implemented with my 4 1/2 year old son is - you can only dance naked at home (he enjoys dance parties, as well).

I grew up with hardly any rules, I was a pretty easy kid. But, the EXPECTATIONS negated the need for rules. I was expected to do my homework, get good grades, listen to my parents, keep my room clean, etc., etc.

It's funny, I often criticize how my parents parented, but I think they may have gotten that one right. I've got a million rules and they are only followed at Bear's desire.

Sal Casley

Pretty basics, actually:
1. Take care of your teeth.
2. When you hear "let's eat," that means you really have to eat.
3. Take care of your teeth.
4. Sleep early. Don't forget to brush and floss your teeth.
5. Go home early.
6. Stay clean. You don't want to ruin your image, do you?

Yes, Mom's really strict with the family's hygiene, especially on the dental aspect. There are a lot more of these rules, with the "take care of your teeth" part repeating.


That bar sounds awesome. How can I find it and get in?


I come from a long line of Rule Makers. When I was growing up, the list of things my sister and I could do was quite short--much shorter than what we were not allowed to do. I wasn't allowed to ride a bike for fear I would be killed (I learned when an uncle felt sorry for me,) AND my parents wouldn't let me get my driver's license until the day before I started college because they thought I would wrap the car around a pole.

While I have many rules and I am nowhere near the cool mom I was certain I would be, my main rule is currently, "Don't embarass me or the family." My girls are six and eight now and they seem to understand. There are about 100 other rules I have that confound them on any given day.


Most important rule was "Never pass up the opportunity to use the bathroom". I hear the Queen of England thinks that is an important rule also - LOL


For me it wasn't so much the rules - dad was very fair. It was the truisms.

"The hard way is the easy way." - This seemingly self-contradictory phrase pretty much defined life at my house.

Work it through, though. He was right. Weird thing: most of the rules are.


My parents were very strict and had a million rules for me. I always said that I'd be completely the opposite type of parent. I'd let my kid do anything. After all, kids are supposed to be kids.

Man was I wrong.


I always hated the no singing at the table rule. Never made sense. It wasn't like they paid attention to us at dinner anyway.

I have rules. I try to make them all make sense though. Rules with a good reason behind it. Not just because something annoys me.


My parents were always telling me to stop asking why and to just so what I was told. It got to where I genuinely wanted to know something scientific or to have something explained to me from a tv show and I was too afraid to ask. I'm still afraid of why.

When I was raising my niece my only rule was don't lick me. Creepy kid would slobber on me because she thought I was hilarious. Well, that and you have to try whateverfoodwe'reeating once before you claim to dislike it.


Various rules of our house include: if you fart or burp say excuse me while laughing about it, no TV during the week because it turns my son into a total asshole about doing anything else, do your homework before you can go out and play. There are various unstated rules like brush your teeth and change your underwear every day.

My parents had all kinds of rules - a really strict curfew, no dating until I was 15, and my favorite: no pink pants they "make boys think of flesh" W.T.F.

Lena P.

My parents were hard-ass religious parents.

1. No dating until college.
2. No alcohol until college.
3. No sex until marriage.

Needless to say, I broke each every one of those rules multiple times!


My parents had their share of rules, nothing crazy. Our house rules are similar to the bar's rules above. They serve the purpose of encouraging kindness, coolness and generally helping our boys and us not lose our shit.

My Dad wouldn't allow me to date boys who drove vans or station wagons. He actually made a date and me stay home one night because the guy had to borrow his mom's van. Ironically, the boy I was the naughtiest with drove an MG.


this is seriously a HILARIOUS blog. thank you so much for sharing it!



The first rule of Bumblebee Sweet Potato is, don't talk about Bumblebee Sweet Potato.

Everything else is negotiable.


I think if most parents just stuck to the rules from the bar, the world would be a better place and their kids would turn out just fine.


My kids are studious to a fault. (Doesn't come from either Rigel or I. I mean, c'mon - look at us.) I remember a few years back, Kira was stressing about not getting an 'A' in English, and after the third night crying about it I sat her down and said, "Look, the rule is, you have to get a 'B' or lower. If you come back with an 'A' I swear you're grounded." I wasn't serious, but she didn't know that and it made her calm down.

ray lee

I grew up with immigrant Chinese parents. I think there are about 100,000 rules in my household. I think one of the craziest ones ever, was that I had to read the encyclopedia for 3 hours a day, everyday. I did this for 3 years, from 3rd grade to 5th grade. I felt like I lost so many hours of my childhood.

For my kids, I'll probably have half that amount... (50k just sounds like a good number), much like many of the ones our friend Amy Chua had with her daughters.

-ray leeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee


As of last week: There shall be no more toy boats in the potty.


We couldn't say I hate u

We couldn't smoke. Drinking was ok

We couldn't call each other pigs.

My rules?

In family mtgs u must tell the truth.

I make rules. I set consequences. No bartering

I can change my mind.


For school:
1. Drink water
2. Wear your hat
3. Two challenging jobs each day

For home:
too many to list. :-)


I really do wish people would take off their hats indoors, open doors for each other, and just be generally respectful, it makes people nicer... as for rules, we are pretty relaxed except for TV and sugar, both of which make my middle one crazy


No drinking from the toilet!


No licking other people's feet.


it's not a rule but it's an expectation of my mother that no matter how old you are or how intelligent you are, you should know EVERYTHING. i remember when i was 5 years old she asked me for the definition of a word i didn't even know and she scolded me for not knowing. "you go to school in america and you don't know this word? you should know everything!" i was 5 years old!


I knew I was someone's mom when I heard myself say, "No feet in the refrigerator!"

alice, uptown

Rules? I've just spent a week watching my brother with his 4-year-old daughter, my niece. My mom was along for the whole ride -- and I felt like I was 4 again, being cajoled into being in a good mood or else I would be punished. Or is that how you discipline 4-year-olds? What is the message we're really giving -- apart from my brother repeating every last parenting technique my mom used -- she went in for bribes, whether in cash, opera glasses (how someone got me to believe they were better than sucking my thumb is beyond the adult me), or simple threats, i.e., I'm going to crack your skulls together. Or, my favorite: "I'm going to break every bone in your body," says mom.

"How many bones would that be?" I used to ask. 206, to be precise -- the number probably saved me a lot of punishment, because my mom fell for that trick every time.


oh yeah! that's what i like too..

Venita Michelle

I recently married a man with two kids. At first, of course, I thought I would be the most amazing, fun step-mom. Turns out parenting is a lot harder than I orginally thought. The most crazy rules I've had to implement are: no biting the dog, no wiping boogers on the dinner table, no sitting on your brother's nose while he's sleeping, and no rubbing your face in dog crap for a laugh.

Rift Games

I love that bar rules. Simple and clear. I think I will start setting up simple rules at home too and put it on the wall. That would solved lots of small matters!


"NO sitting on my face when im lying down :("


Please explore what means "parenting virginity" :D ?

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