Every family has a different set of “rules” that govern them. With the ages of my kids now, some of our family rules are so set in stone that they are often not mentioned any more, because there is no need. But since my kids cousins have been back, suddenly I am confronted with what to do when they break one of my rules. Do I ignore the behavior? Do I punish? Do I state my rule and explain why I would like that behavior to stop?
Well, the third choice is what I go with. The one rule that my niece and nephews are learning around Aunt Jill is: No Physical Violence. This means no hitting or pushing your sibling when you are annoyed with him or her. The first time it happened I saw it and announced that I had a rule, a no physical violence, rule. It does not happen often, but I have had to remind them of my rule. This is all it takes and they apologize and continue playing.
I actually have this rule for any kids that come into my home or are under my care/supervision for one reason or another. The kids in my youth group I help lead all can recite in unison, “No Physical Violence” The hitting has drastically decreased since I started.
Simple, easy to remember and easy to enforce. That seems to be my kind of rule.