I made this poster a couple of months ago after learning in a classroom management course the benefits of making a classroom rules poster and what are some of the ways to make sure that they are followed. I don’t consider our home any less than a school. There is a huge overlap between the two. I knew that our home really needed a “Our Home Rules” poster, so that everyone in the home know their priorities better, know what’s acceptable and what’s not ‘visibly’ and what they should be striving for to become a better person, a better family member and a better slave of Allah. I’m so glad that we made this poster, it holds us to account, motivates us, sets goal for us and gently reminds us from time to time our expectations of ourselves.
HOW TO BEGIN
One of the key strategies to make the ‘Home Rules’ work is to include your children in the making of it as much as you can. And there is something crucial that comes even before you start the project. The why’s. Why are you doing this? Why are rules important? What is the outcome of having one? And most importantly, what happens when you don’t have one? Discuss all of this with your children. A good old simple example is to begin asking kids what they think if there were NO rules at school, or if there were NO rules on the road! It gets them excited, they will start throwing all the wild consequences that comes to their mind. And bingo! That’s what we want. We want them to realise that rules helps us function effectively and makes sure everything goes orderly.
Next, get them to brainstorm with you while making the rules list. Let everyone think loudly. You will be surprised to see how your children can come up with some really realistic rules. Appreciate them for their inputs. If you actually read our home rules you will see that not all of them are really “rules”, rather some of them are prompts (for example, remember Allah much). Next, when you all have agreed upon a list of rules and written it down on a paper it’s time to get arty and crafty! Obviously that’s the kids favorite part of the project. Now that it’s all ready find a perfect place to hang it or stick on the wall where everyone in the home can easily see and read it.
OUR POSTER IS READY AND LOOKS AMAZING ON OUR WALL, ARE WE DONE?
It would be ridiculously unreasonable if you and I thought that this poster is some magic paper that’s going to turn things around the home overnight. And that by simply making this poster the kids are going to become angels. Absolutely not.
It’s one important step in getting closer to a less chaotic and orderly home, but it’s not “the step”. You will have to work through it bit by bit patiently. To make all this delusory free for you let me tell you that there are some “rules” still hanging on our poster that we are yet to work on. Yes. So remember to be patient and gentle on yourself as well as your children while still being consistent.
Don’t let that poster catch dust. Come back to the poster once a week together as a family and read through all the rules you have made loudly. As you read though one by one, praise the child who has been really good at following that rule. Make sure you praise all your children. I also like to highlight the rules which we seem to be neglecting and encourage everyone to try their best to stick to it. Reviewing your rules will be a good reinforcement and make this poster meaningful, purposeful and practical.
May Allah bless our homes with peace, tranquility, love, mercy and righteousness. Ameen.