Instead of dos and don’ts – set the rules together. How to create safe frameworks and rituals in the family?

Family time
How to introduce your own home rituals? (Phillip Goldsberry / unsplash)
How to introduce your own home rituals? (Phillip Goldsberry / unsplash)

The new reality requires new rules. For everyone, not just for children. Perhaps you’re once again asking your child if they brushed their teeth? Or perhaps you’re once again fighting over the same thing? Think about areas in which you could use some new home rules. They will help regulate the rhythm of the day and create a sort of framework within which everyone can move safely. Rules established together, that are understandable for everyone, will help reduce tension at home and support you in everyday situations. This is one of the most effective ways to maintain order in a group, not only at preschool and school, but also at work or during workshops with adults.  It is important that each of the rules is well discussed with the child, that it is clear to them where this rule is coming from, what it means to obey it and what constitutes its violation. Together with your child, you can even do role-plays depicting the discussed situations, ones that show compliance with the rule and ones that illustrate its violation. It will take you some time to go through the rules, but it will be more effective than ordinary dos and don’ts. 


You can write down the established rules in the form of a Charter of Principles of Your Kingdom/Home. Even if your child can’t read yet, you can still refer to the pre-set rules. Remind them what you talked about and what you agreed on. Remember, of course, that a child can also refer to these rules when, in their opinion, you don’t comply with them – after all, they are the rules of your home. For inspiration, you can use the principles proposed in the series of classes entitled “In the Kingdom of Feelings” – they all relate to maintaining mutual respect and creating a safe space for expressing feelings and emotions.  


Daily Schedule 

If your everyday life begins to be a bit chaotic and you have the impression that you have fallen out of rhythm, a simple schedule organising the day can be helpful. To eliminate the need to remind each other that something should be done, hang it in a visible place. Discuss with your child what it means to take care of oneself. Now that they don’t have to go to preschool or school at a specific time, sometimes even the time for brushing their teeth may seem indefinite to your child. 

A day in bullet points 

Prepare a daily schedule for each of you showing when it’s time for specific activities. The starting point can be basic activities such as brushing teeth and meals, making the bed or going to bed. You can also include other relatively fixed points of the day, so that one look at your schedules will be enough to know what to expect and what to do. You might find this template useful, on the basis of which you can prepare an “effigy” and the daily schedule for each household member. 


All source materials are prepared by the team of Kulczyk Foundation’s Education Department in cooperation with teachers and experts – pedagogists, psychologists and cultural experts – and verified by an experienced family therapist Kamila Becker. Kinga Kuszak, PhD, Professor of Adam Mickiewicz University, Faculty of Educational Studies, provides content-related supervision over Kulczyk Foundation’s educational materials. All materials are covered by the content patronage of the Faculty of Educational Studies of Adam Mickiewicz University.

The article was published on 02.04.2020 on the website of Instytut Dobrego Życia (Good Life Institute)

Authors: Dorota Szkodzińska (Kulczyk Foundation) and Anna Woźniak (Instytut Dobrego Życia)