Skip to content Skip to footer

Establishing Family Rules

For many families, rules are one of the most common challenges they face. From blended families, single parents and a multitude of other challenges, setting family rules can seem an impossible task. Not only do rules provide healthy boundaries, it offers consistency, trust and a renewed sense of connection as a family unit. As families are busier than ever, it can become a challenge to maintain rules for your entire family. Especially during periods of physical separation, it is crucial to determine and stick to family rules.  

What are family rules? Family rules are not a dictatorship, or even a list of dos and don’ts. The purpose of a family plan is to establish a culture within your family. These rules will help to set a tone or define how your family will act. A family rule is not one person telling everyone how to act, behave or think. Instead, they are a code that helps your family contribute to each other. These sets of rules will help each person become better and grow more resilient.

 Why should I establish family rules? From a night-time routine, to electronic screen time and chores, there are many crucial reasons to create family rules. These rules may stay the same throughout, like no running in the house, or may change over time, such as a bedtime, curfew or age-appropriate responsibilities and freedoms. Rules are not only necessary for your family to live healthy lives, it can help your family grow together.

establishing family rules

How can I motivate my family to keep these rules? As you consider the dynamics of your family, think of how your family best communicates, their strengths and motivations. Although these rules are meant to help you, it is important to make them work for your family. In order to do this, it may require incentivization and loads of affirmation initially to establish a new pattern of rules for your family. In the start, be ready to face some resistance, but stay strong. As the parent, you have the potential to help them develop healthy patterns in their lives with these new family rules. 

What do family rules look like? As you consider what your family rules should be, think of how you want your family to live. Are there certain characteristics you want them to exemplify? These rules will help your family set a core belief system for each other. For example, practicing saying please and thank you, opening the door for others and picking up after yourself creates healthy habits that can shape your family for the better. 

So, how does your family establish family rules? First, you must understand that every family is unique. What works for one family may not work for the next. As you set your family rules, keep in mind your family’s culture, belief system and values. Your family rules will help your family not only connect, but rules will also help your family grow. Rules are a positive, healthy way to maintain your family’s growth. Write down the traits that define your family. These positive traits and values set the standard for your family to grow. 

Like every family, there will be times when these rules may be hard to follow. What’s important is that your family embraces this new culture you are building together. For some, it may look like adapting to fit your family’s busy lifestyle. As a family, use these rules to help your family grow together. Over time, these rules may need to be changed, but that doesn’t mean you should change your values. Understanding how to help your family means settting rules but also means adjusting them as needed in order to help your family grow. 

We are so glad you found this blog. We hope to be a resource and tool on you and your family’s re-entry journey. To learn more about TYRO or what we do, visit our website,