by Sarah Williams of HRM Parent
My 5 year old daughter and I were strolling the aisles at Winners on Sunday afternoon when something caught her eye.
“Look Mommy, that says I love you” she shouted.
She’s in grade primary and is near obsessed with reading everything she sees now, so was more than delighted to have spotted some familiar words in among the piles of home decor.
We went closer for a better look and I’m so glad we did. Turns out what she saw was one of those trendy wall hangings with different sets of words or quotes on them. They list famous street names, cities, notable dates or French cafes. I’ve seen them before, but never one that really resonated with me like this one did.
Flashback for a second to earlier that day, when that same daughter was a force to be reckoned with; stomping around in a terrible mood, not being nice to her sister and yelling at all of us before melting down in a flurry of tears and a heartfelt monologue that will surely make for a future blog post about how tough it is to be a kid.
But for now, just know it wasn’t a good morning and her message was clear that some one-on-one time was in order. She needed a few things for her room anyway, so after a quick snack and chat at the coffee shop we headed off to Winners, and that’s when we saw it. This simple wall hanging that found us both hugging each other right there in the middle of the store.
It was called “Family Rules” and while the rules are pretty simple in theory, seeing them listed out like that just made so much sense. Part of me even wondered why we hadn’t already done this ourselves long ago. It was in the cart and on our wall before we even had the rest of our treasures unpacked.
My daughter read them out to everyone at dinner that night and we all agreed to try our best to follow them. Even though we always say, “I love you”, help each other and give lots of hugs and kisses, somehow having it on our wall as a daily reminder seems to have made it more official.
Case in point, the next morning when our younger daughter wasn’t sharing the grapes at breakfast, it was easier to point out that “share” was on the list of rules versus trying to reason with her that sharing was a good thing to do (she’s only 3). Mind you, it was with a bit of reluctance that she pushed the grapes back into the middle of the table but hey…it still worked!
Bottom line – the fancy wall hanging aside, does your family have any guidelines or rules that you live by? Are they actually written down and did everyone have a chance to contribute and/or agree to them? Are they posted somewhere for all to see? If not, why not give it a try. It could be some very worthwhile time well spent.