1. When People Give us Good Advice, We Listen.
2. If You’re Doing It Really Hard You’re Probably Not Doing It Right
3. How Could You Make Our Baby Happy?
4. Little Kids Do What Big Kids Tell Them
5. Tyranny Will Not Be Tolerated
6. If You Can’t Work and Talk, Don’t Talk
7. Oh-Kay Mama
8. If a Toy Causes Unhappiness, it Goes Away
9. What are YOU doing to help our family?
So, some of them aren’t “rules” so much as “things I say all day long.” Take this one for example. You’re probably going to hear this if you are, say, standing leaning against the counter while other folks are doing the dishes, or laying on the couch staring at the ceiling for no particular reason.
10. No whinin,’ no cryin,’ no beggin,’ for food, and you carry your own coat.
This is the rule that begat ALL the rules. My mother-in-law said this to her kids. And she says it to mine. And I say it to them too, if they ever have coats, which is almost never.
11. Cryin’ Babies Go to Bed
You guys already know this one. It has a whole blog post.
12. Whistling is an Outside Activity
This one isn’t the end of the world. But, we just find that the comfort of our home and the productivity of its occupants is increased by there not being ANY whistling inside the house. They can go outside and whistle all they please. I think it’s okay to insist upon a certain level of volume inside.
13. Don’t Rush Off to do a Job I Gave to Someone Else
Kids don’t love getting assigned chores, right? Right. But, somehow, they DO love to rush off to do something I asked someone ELSE to do. Why? WHY? I don’t know. But having this rule keeps my kids from pushing, tripping, and elbowing past one another in their rush to do someone else’s job. They’re such weirdos.
14. Sit in a Seat That Someone Isn’t Sitting In
Another one that seems like it shouldn’t be necessary, yes? But it really, really is. There are enough seats on our couch for everyone to sit and watch a movie. There are enough chairs at our table for everyone to sit and eat dinner. But nothing looks better than a seat momentarily vacated by a sibling going to grab a drink. And maybe you’ve been bickering with that particular sibling all day, but NOW if you don’t get to sit next to him by squeezing into a spot that means you’re mostly sitting on top of your sister, you’ll JUST DIE. But then . . . so much unhappiness. So we have this rule.
15. Don’t Take Your Pants Off Without a Plan
And here it is . . . the rule that launched a couple dozen printables.
I think it’s good advice for kids and grownups alike, ya know?
We were getting a lot of: 1. Take pants off. 2. Realize you don’t have any pajamas in your drawer. 3. Kinda pull shirt down, come out to the living room where we have company over to alert mom to the pajama situation.
But NOW, we have a rule.
Acceptable plans around here include:
“1. Take off pants. 2. Get in bathtub,”
“1. Take off pants. 2. Put on pajamas (that are RIGHT THERE),” and
“1. Take off pants. 2. Use as floatation device.” But that last one only works if you happen to be wearing sailor pants.
16. What does God do to complainers?
17. Is that a tool, or a toy?
I don’t know about yours, but my kids are always messing with stuff they ought not be messing with. So we have this rule to help little kids (and big kids who need reminding) learn to distinguish between things that should be played with and things that should just be used for their intended purpose.
So . . . Scissors: okay for cutting paper. Not okay for putting in your mouth to make your cheeks poke out funny. Oven mitt: okay for moving a hot pan. Not okay for having a puppet show. Rubber mulch: okay for walking on, or falling upon from a great height. Not okay for filling your pockets or winging at your sister.
18. Don’t look at me when you’re talking to him.
This one is just tattling, disguised as not tattling.
We have a family rule that before you come to tell mom or dad, you must take up the issue with the person with whom you are having a problem. Or, if you see someone breaking a family rule, you’re to remind him and give him a chance to stop before you involve mom and dad.
But, unfortunately, that rule necessitated this rule, because a lot of the “reminders” ended up being shouted right past the offender, right to me.
19. What do we say when someone helps us? (thank you, not: I WANNA DO IT!)
This one has always been directed mostly at the one to three year old set. But I currently have a seven year old who is terribly offended at assistance of any kind and still needs reminders.
It is a fact of life that toddlers need help for many, many things. But most of them do NOT want that help. My toddlers all want to “do it aself.” That’s great. I love that. I’m a huge fan of encouraging independence, even in toddlers. But sometimes we just need the hand washing or unbuckling to happen this decade and there will need to be help. So, when the shrieking begins, I remind them of the preferred response.
20. Three times is the limit, for singin’ stuff, sayin’ stuff, and doin’ stuff.
Much like whoever makes The Fast and the Furious movies, my kids believe that if something was good once, it will be good fifteen times. But, I think WE can agree that that just isn’t true. Three times is plenty for that novelty song about a duck at a lemonade stand or that knock knock joke.
21. Unless it’s dangerous or destructive, you’re just tattling.
That’s two anti-tattling rules in this list. But, MAN do I hate tattling. So, there ya go.
Basically our rule is that the kids should make every effort to handle things amongst themselves. They are Team Kid and we are Team Grown Up, and they should be trying to take care of each other, and address problems between members of their team without involving us.
However, if it’s dangerous or destructive, I want to know about it.
22. No. No screaming.
I can’t abide shrieking. I just can. not. So, we don’t allow shrieks of anger or frustration or glee. You can BE angry or frustrated or gleeful, you just can’t scream about it.
So, if there is screaming, there is one warning, then there is a trip to the corner or the crib, depending on how old you are. It’s pretty effective . . . eventually. Even with really stubborn kids.
And, by popular demand, the Tierney Family Rules are now available in the Catholic All Year Digital Shop, as . . .
They have shipped from the printer. I have copies in hand. Ignatius has copies in stock and is shipping them out. I am assured by the folks at Ignatius that more than enough books to cover pre-orders should have arrived at Amazon warehouses. But, Amazon is saying 1-2 months delivery. I have no idea what’s going on. I have no control over it. But I really don’t think it’s true. It’s got to just be a glitch, and they’ll realize that they have the stock and ship them out this week. That’s what I think. Buy I’m not in charge of Amazon. If you want to cancel your Amazon pre-order and purchase the book from Ignatius, I’m sure Ignatius would be grateful, as Amazon pockets 40% of the list price.
And this deserves its own post, but the Fiat Conference was absolutely amazing, despite THUNDERSTORMS in Los Angeles! Thank you so much to our wonderful speakers, and vendors, and my tireless family and fellow organizers, and the amazing soul who generously donated a professional tent to be installed the night before the event. See you all next year!
Finally, the 2019 Liturgical Year Wall Calendars are now available in two designs, you can order them here.