Musings, Dad stuff, My boys, Stories, Words, Poems, Things?
Sunday, 12 May 2013
The Rules of Life.
The Rules of Life.
I think the boys like to test
One of the things that is
difficult as a Dad with limited time is that you have to be able to overcome
issues in a weekend that have been festering in the boys minds for up to two
weeks.This means that when I collect them from school on the alternate Friday I
get bombarded by all 3 at the same time as they get in the car. We have had to
put a rule in place about not talking over each other or at the
same time and another about not showing Dad the thing you did at
school until we get home. If we have to park and wait for big brother
to come out we take it turns to show Dad what we have in the school bag. It
took a while to get this under control because naturally the boys are very
excited when I collect them and are desperate to tell me all their news. Of
course there is also the competitive element of telling Dad the shared
It really is not easy
The point is
that we have "Rules". Simple rules but its often the case that the
rules at Dads are different from the other places the boys spend time.So rules
is a subject that comes up fairly often. Rules of the house are agreed by
everyone and if they boys want to have a rule for something then we discuss it
and if we all think its a good rule then we implement it. For example; At bed
time if you get ready for bed the first time of asking without moaning or
hesitating then you get to come back down and have an extra half an
hour. To sit with Dad cuddle talk or read whatever even finish
off your game if you really have too. But you have to have put dirty clothes in
the laundry basket washed face and hands had a wee and brushed your teeth,.If you have missed anything then you only get 5 minutes. It works really well
and it means I have never had an issue at bedtime with any of the boys .The real reward is having a chance to read to each other. I have been
encouraging the boys for some time to read to me at bed time as well as the
other way round. We usually take it in turns and they absolutely love doing
it. Bed times become special and something they look forward too.
So a couple of years ago my
middle son came up with the following; a real doozy of a question.
'Dad, Is there one special
One special rule? I
suppose always say please and thank you,
would be up there,
My friends Dad said there's only
one rule for life.
dear, this could be awkward. I don't want to undermine another parent but I
also need to ensure my boys
rethink comments from adults with out questioning them inappropriately or
seeming to undermine them. So I try to encourage them to think about things. Rather than always giving a
straight answer maybe encourage them to
find one. Maybe asking what they think and working an answer into their thoughts.
Not always successfully and sometimes it's easier to give a straight response but I try not to if possible.
'Oh I see! and did he
say what the rule was?'
'You know the thing
you always say about do the thing you have to do the first chance you get.'
'Well his is like that. He says; "Do it to them before they do it to you"!"
Oh right, Well I think I
know what he means, but that's not really how I would put it. How could we say it a little different
so it doesn't sound so rough do you think?
I don't know Dad, it depends if
you're trying to hurt someone or help them.
Well we wouldn't want to hurt anyone would we? He shakes his head, The truth is buddy that there
isn't one single rule. I might have put his rule a
little differently some times the way we say something can make it easier to understand. How about we change it just a little.
Well how about we say "Do it
FOR them before they do it FOR you!?
So it is about helping then, like
helping someone that wants to help you?
A word cloud to guide us!
I think that's a good way to put
Phew!.... So I got to thinking, how
many rules do you need? I worry that we have too many because I don't want to
stunt creativity or thought but I feel the
boys enjoy being part of the process of rule making and certainly the
structure they bring seems to help everybody. So we
had a chat and decided to come up with rules for Life!
WOW! really? well sort of. The boys
wrote huge lists including things like don't pick your nose and eat it! or Don't step on a stone in bare feet!?( I don't know
either !). In the end we put them all together and I edited everything and we agreed to a maximum of 50. Still a
big number and bearing in mind how many we started with, (I think around 260!)it seemed like a good number. I have tried to make them short and simple and over the years they have changed
a little but we've kept at 50.
So Ladies and Gentleman I give you!.....Da Dada Dada daa!
50 rules for life : as created by 3 boys and 1 Dad
(with judicious editing by Dad!)
mistakes with quickly
who's doing the best way to do it
bold have no regrets
early or on time
someone with nothing to lose
best you can afford
your Mum daily
an organ donor card
someone every day
difficult tasks Won't go wrong
Do IT the first chance you get
nothing when angry
water at every meal
rooms with confidence
30 mins daily
blood yearly after you're 18
pay and its wrong complain
o.k. to say "I don't know."
good to say "I'm sorry."
hope alive, never take it away
your bucket list on you
trade/instrument or better both
carefully or you may miss it
people in the eye
new friends, keep old ones
walk out on a row with anyone
work when done not before
bravery's just as effective as real
one new book every week
"NO" politely but promptly
"please" a lot.
"thank you" more
opening, not problem
less than you earn
the REQUIRED time at work
everyday with a good breakfast
a charity with time not money
all you meet like they were you
debit cards NOT credit cards
war on litter
sunrise as often as possible
wars choose battles wisely
blog/diary daily and keep it!
If you'd like to add any to the list let me know. The only "rule" is you have to remove one for each new one, it was tough, I really wanted " Always have clean polished shoes, but I had to drop it.If we adopt it I will mark it as c/o @twittername.