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Barnes children’s code of conduct

Our children are grown and they have matured marvelously – we are so proud of them.   But at times, like all kids, they’ve been rascals. Rules help them navigate in a world that needs boundaries.  I was hunting around in my old files today and found this code of conduct that Karen and…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
Our children are grown and they have matured marvelously – we are so proud of them.
 
But at times, like all kids, they’ve been rascals. Rules help them navigate in a world that needs boundaries.  I was hunting around in my old files today and found this code of conduct that Karen and I drew up for them when they were small. If it seems strict and out of step, I say, “check out the fruit and compare it with their peers; this stuff doesn’t happen by accident.”
 
RELATIONSHIPS
1. Speak respectfully to your family and friends (words like “shut up” are not allowed).
2. Don’t talk back to adults.
3. Express your feelings.
4. No bossiness or tattling.
5. If someone speaks to you, look them in the eye & answer.
6. Obey your parents.

RESPONSIBILITIES
1. Do your best at school.
2. Do your homework.
3. Do your chores cheerfully.
4. Don’t go past your boundaries.
5. Have good manners & be polite.

ATTITUDES
1. No sassyness.
2. No self-centeredness.
3. Don’t be negative.
4. Don’t complain.

MORALS
1. No lying
2. No cheating
3. No stealing

PUNISHMENTS
1. Spanking
2. Go to your room
3. Get grounded
4.  Nickel time (see my comment below)

5. Parents’ choice
 
RESPONSE
When we ask you to do something, do it “All the way, right away, & with a happy spirit.”

When we ask you “how do we respond?” Your response should be:”All the way, right away, & with a happy spirit.”
 
What rules have the rest of you parents found to work for your children?

Comments (16)

  • Our rules sounded pretty much like yours but as they became teenagers we added one and that was when we told them no to a certain requests that they had to trust that we were making the right choice for them.. Even though they believed the request might be pretty innocent, but we were looking beyond the request seeing that it could have put them in a situation where they could have to make a tough choice. Occasionally we had a few complaints that we were being unfair(-: but for the overall they respected our decisions, and now several years later our daughter being married and now beginning to raise her children she thank us for saying no at time because she said it gave her a out of some things that she didnt really want to be involved with and she said it easier just saying well my parents wont allow that instead of dealing with the peer pressure of her friends. I believe raising children can be one of the hardest things you might ever do and today even more difficult, there are so many worldly distractions to draw them intoand it seems so many less families living with Christ as the centerfold of their lives.

  • I’m stealing today… 🙂 Parenting is surely one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life, and sometimes all I can think about are all the mistakes I’ve made already! But i know God can – and will – redeem it all…

  • This was actually a great idea. We’d tell the kids, in ten minutes it will be “nickle time.” Nickle time is when any child can go in any other child’s room and collect a nickle from them for anything they find on the ground. With that threat, you should see the way they race around cleaning their rooms! Within ten minutes, every child’s room is spotless.

  • Every morning my kids read a list of “God’s Good Rules” that have scripture verses along with them. For instance one rule is “Put God and others first” with the verse “Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain – Psalm 119:36” or another good one is “No backtalking” with the verse “Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord, keep watch over the door of my lips – Psalm 141:3”

    There are 11 rules and my kids have all the Scripture verses memorized so it makes it easy when they break a rule I can say, “What would God want you to think about that?” and so they not only receive a consequence but through quoting the verse get some goodness into their hearts.

    Our punishments are similar to yours but I’m going to add the Nickel Time one because that’s a GREAT idea!! 🙂

  • Nickel Time is a great idea!! If we ever have children, I may very well adopt it – as well as quite a few other things from this post.

  • We’re instituting Quarter Time effective immediately! That’s nickel time adjusted for inflation. Thanks for sharing this.

  • I’m not sure if they were ever written down, but I do believe the rules of my household appeared quite similar!

    Gabe- love that you’re adjusting for inflation, that’s hilarious.

  • Due to the controversy of spanking, I’d like to go into some detail of the NECESSITY and context of spanking. 🙂

    First, Christians, contrary to popular opinion, it is commanded by God for deliberate rebellion/disobedience.

    When beginning early and doing it right, most spanks are no longer necessary after 5 years of age. We used them for deliberate disobedience, lying and hurting others.

    We would explain why we’d have to “spank.” Speak clearly the specific wrong. We would NOT SPANK EVER IN ANGER. The wooden spoon to the bottom, listening carefully for the sincere tears of brokenness and stopping at that very moment. Then we’d hold her, love her and have HER repeat back to us in her own words why we needed to spank her. Then she went on her merry way with a light heart.

    All this is only effective in close, loving relationship with the parents. She’s never been able to bear not having things right between us.

    And for anyone who wants to call DSS on me, she’s most nearly grown, a wonderful daughter and follower of Jesus. And we have a great relationship. 🙂

  • These rules are great and I am thinking we need more rules, especially with two teenagers in the house. I don’t think we are following through with rules right now with our kids, so will be adopting some of these. Our kids are so good when we are out in public, at school, etc. but I know we don’t expect enough of them as far as attitudes at home. I will be sharing this with my hubby and printing this out! THANKS for the guidance and this post!

    Seth Jr. turned out to be so wonderful, so trust these guidelines/rules were a huge part of his upraising.

  • Huh! As I read this post, I thought, Yeah, those sound pretty much like our expectations. However, I never thought of WRITING THEM DOWN! I am so excited to do this! Our first child can read and the next two are very into “rule-following”, so they will keep a check on each other! I think we are going to do this together as a family (with gabe and i adding in any necessary ones). And Deb, I love the idea of the scripture verses with it. I have been thinking about having our kids memorize verses but wasn’t sure where to start- we will start with these! kathy l, i agree with your spanking defense too!

  • I emailed Heidi and Jodi but if anyone else is interested here they are:

    God’s Good Rules – His Word says so….
    1.Rely on Jesus -Ephesians 6:10
    2.Put God and others first -Psalm 119:36
    3.Obey Mom and Dad – Proverbs 6:20
    4.Think before you act – Prov 19:2
    5.Work with diligence and do your best – Eph 5:15
    6.Tell the truth – Prov 28:13
    7.No backtalking – Psalm 141:3
    8.No interrupting – James 1:19
    9.No complaining, whining or arguing – Phil 2:14
    10.Respect personal space – 1 Cor 6:19
    11.Speak kindly – Psalm 49:3

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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