Everyone grew up with rules at home, and when you were younger, perhaps you also broke - and rebelled against - a few of those rules set by your parents. These rules are set as guidelines for children and adults alike to adhere to and respect, for many reasons. Now, the question is this - what if parents themselves broke the rules they’ve made?
A couple of mothers, in fact, admit to have broken rules at home.
A full-time housewife based in Singapore with hubby and son, *Amy says, “When our son was much younger, we told him that we should always eat on the dining table together. He likes to watch TV while eating kasi and we didn't allow him because we want him to learn good table manners and appreciate family time.”
But still, the inevitable happened.
“One time, hubby was watching TV, and he ate at the living room. My son protested and asked why he could do that. We explained na lang na his dad did not want to miss the program,” she recalls.
For *Kaye, a full-time mom to two teenage girls, it was the sleeping schedule that got broken consistently before. “Hubby and I keep telling the kids to go to bed at 9:30pm. The latest should be 10pm, in order for us to get proper rest and enough sleep. Too bad I couldn't follow…” she reveals.
Take it from the expert Pilar Unidad-Tolentino, executive director of the Center for Family Ministries (CEFAM), has this to say: “Ideally, parents should also follow the rules that were set. This will lay down a good example for the children.”
She further explains why. “It is important that the parents avoid constantly breaking rules. Otherwise, children would give less importance to these and will think that violating rules is ‘acceptable’.”
This is just one reason why it is very important to “walk the talk” and set good examples to your children. “Children learn more from what they see and experience. Children are very intelligent and can see inconsistencies,” she warns.
True enough, in Amy’s case, she shares that her son is “very persistent in getting answers,” but good thing “no major rules” have been broken at their home yet because they’ve been very careful about it.
Dialogue is key Parents who break house rules undergo a dilemma, though - will their children lose their confidence, trust, and respect in them? “It does not necessarily result to loss of trust/confidence or respect immediately,” clarifies Unidad-Tolentino. “What’s important is for the parents to handle the incident properly. If, however, no exceptions were set and the parents need to break a particular rule, it would help to talk to children about it. It would send a wrong message to simply just go and break rules. This can result to confusion at the very least, or worse, resentment among the children,” she adds.
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And that’s exactly what Amy and Kaye did. With proper dialogue, things turned out positive. Amy reveals, “He accepted naman kasi it only happened that time.” They are now more cautious when speaking to their son. “Every time we tell my son not to do something, we are now careful kasi it's hard to explain minsan yung other exceptions sa rules so we're sticking with the basics muna, and eventually when they're older they'd understand na rin!”
Kaye, on the one hand, shares that age became an advantage for her to explain things. “I'm glad the girls are now teens; they understand me better. They are well aware that I couldn't follow that particular rule on sleeping hours since, being a housewife, I'm always the first one up in the morning and the last one to go to bed to make sure everything is in order. Since they’re of age, they get to help me around the houseThey clearly understand the many responsibilities that keep a full-time mom and housewife up and about.”