I met a woman recently who has two elementary age children. Like many kids that age, they get up early. They can also read. She and her husband have a rule that they are not allowed to come into their bedroom until the digital clock reads 7:00 (seven oh oh in kid-speak). Obviously, this rule is to be broken in case of emergency.
I think it is great to set parameters for kids. The parents run the house, not the other way around. Yes, the kids live there, too, and they should definitely know it is also their home and they are not just guests at their parent’s place. But, they also need to learn boundaries and respect for their roommates. Some I came up with when my daughter was young:
1. When I am on the phone, do not interrupt me unless 1. You are bleeding 2. The house is on fire
2. When we get home from work/school, if you will give me 10 minutes to myself to change my clothes, go to the bathroom, etc., I will be much more fun to be around for the rest of the evening.
3. When asking for something, if you will wait patiently for me to decide, the answer will probably be yes. If you whine and nag for an immediate answer, it will probably be no.
4. Speak to me with the same respect in which I speak to you. If either of us losees it (and we will), we need to apologize and do our best to make amends.
Of course, the seven-oh-oh rule also does not count on Christmas morning!!