Every family needs some rules…right? Well, we certainly decided we did! A few days ago I was reading this article
from the March 2014 issue of Better Homes and Gardens and it took me back to that decision to make our house rules. We had been talking about creating family rules for awhile and had even talked about some specific rules that would be good to do our best to follow. Aaron and I want to teach our children to be kind and treat others well and that all starts with how we treat each other here at home. We wanted a set of rules that we all could count on. We’d also talked about creating a special way to post our house rules so that they would be a constant reminder for us all. We were doing what we always do (tossing about ideas) when our friend Laura called with an offering. She had bought an old house and replaced the windows before moving in. However, Laura has never been one to waste so she called me to see if I wanted the old windows to “do something fun with.” Of course I said yes! And our house rules then began to take shape!
I took Laura’s old window and cleaned it up and painted it green with some left over paint from an old project. I sanded it off to give it an old weathered feel (yes I do like that look- I don’t like things to look “perfect”, at least not in our old unconventional farmhouse) and let it dry for a few days. Then I taped off the wood part of the window very securely with painter’s tape and used Martha Stewart’s black chalk paint (sold at Michael’s and also sold in a variety of colors- not just black) on the window panes. It takes quiet a few coats to paint over glass so I had to paint, watch it dry, paint, watch it dry, paint, watch it dry, and on and on. Then I took some small letter stencils and painted the words house rules on the bottom of the window with the same black chalk paint.
The fun part came last. We sat down as a family with a piece of chalk and came up with our rules together. We chose to phrase all of our rules in the positive so that we have a list of things we will do our best to do rather than a list of things not to do. (I also am a second grade teacher and this is how I do my classroom rules. It sets a positive tone and gives everyone a good goal to work towards.) We had fun making our list and Aaron and I kept the discussion on track by helping direct towards the kind of rules we need in order to have a home that we all feel happy to live in. We then signed our rules. We all know we will fall short at times, but posting what we are striving for is a wonderful reminder.
Our rules are now hanging in our laundry room/mud room which makes it one of the first things we see when we get home and one of the last things we see when we leave. From time to time we refer to them (when needed and even when not needed.) We try to keep them front and present in our conversations. Greer and Ella Rose are also quick to point them out to us if needed as well! This project has been a positive aesthetic addition to our home, but even more importantly has had a positive impact on our family- you can’t beat that!
P.S. We know you will ask so… a skadoosh shake your booty is a family celebration that involves booty shaking…what else?!
P.P.S I liked the fluidity of our rules being in chalk so much that I also painted a wall in my second grade classroom with chalk paint and my second graders and I made rules, wrote them on the wall and signed them. The idea transcends!