So, I insist on courtesy. Some days the children can do this themselves. Some days I can. Some days I need to remind them of the standard, some days they need to remind me. Some days I need to help them reach it, some days they help me. And some days I need to fill in the gap for them and be the courteous one as I model and reinforce the standard, knowing that tomorrow we’ll get back on track.
When I say I insist on things I don’t mean that I make a demand and my children just jump to. I do mean that I am working to enforce a standard that doesn’t change and my children are aware of the standard and meet it to the best of their ability knowing that the expectation is there. One way I do this is by setting our standard through the use of principles. Principles are ways of guiding someone through life while providing guidelines for the moment. Here are some of ours:
- Love God and Love others
- Treat others the way you want to be treated
- We do not hurt with bodies or words
- Family gets our best or no one gets the rest
- Leaving successfully is part of coming again next time
- Do not make work for other people
When situations arise where a principle applies we go to it. This helps us all guide our choices and our actions and keeps us focused on relationship. After all, in our house, life is about relationships and things get done along the way.