Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Blended Family House Rules

We have three children, and we have to parent them all very different because of our family situation. It is hard sometimes, and I think we have made some mistakes in the way we do things. We tried so hard in the beginning to make it a smooth transition for the kids, especially our eldest daughter who was 12 at the time and quite sensitive to change. But now we have managed to create routines that work for the kids but not us.

Before I moved in with my dearest husband, I didn't do routines with my daughter and I just did what worked for us each day. But running a house of two occupants is very different to one with five. My lack of routine and staying up late with our older children is not working for this household so we have decided on a few house rules.


1. All chores are to be done Saturday morning before we do anything else, if we need to be out by 11am everyone needs to get up earlier to do it.

2. During the week, bedtime will be set and if the kids are not in bed by that time, they will have to put themselves to bed.  Waiting around for 20 minutes every night whilst they fluff around with the bedtime routine is painful.

Other House Rules
3. We each have jobs that we have to do and each person is responsible for getting them done. No longer will it be my job to chase everyone up to do their bit.

4. Mr Blended will cook and organise dinner every Friday and it must include vegetables.

As you can see in the image on the right, these were our only house rules when we moved in together, and designed this canvas to hang in kitchen wall. They were all about virtues whereas now we need specific rules and routines.

Although I am not a routine person, having some structure to our family life is the only way I can see it working where everyone is happy.

Do you have house rules?

24 comments:

  1. I'm not a routine person at all and luckily our son seems to thrive in the chaos - pretty much the only house rule we have is that I cook, hubby cleans. I can see though, that as Dex gets older I'm going to have to do get into more of a routine to make things go smoother.

    I hope everyone settles into the new routine quickly for you.

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    1. I am not a routine person either Kyla, but turns out that doesn't work so well for me with three kids. Fingers crossed it works otherwise we will just keep tweaking it.

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  2. Sounds like its painful but necessary. The Chez 'Abulous routine just kind of evolved organically.
    Good Luck
    Mumabulous

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  3. Whatever works for you is the right thing!!

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  4. I am definitely more conscious of maintaining a routine than Mr Bond is, I like knowing what is happening and when (particularly bedtime) but for the next few weeks I can afford to be a little more flexible. Come December when Baby Bond arrives I will be even more pro-routine.
    It's all about getting it to work for you, I hope the new program makes things easier on everyone :)

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    1. I think the more people involved the more you need the routines and certainties. Fingers crossed it works

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  5. We really don't, but we'd probably be better off if we did! We tend to wing it, which can be pretty chaotic.

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    1. Ahhh yes, that is why we are trying this new approach. Since hubby started Friday night cooking, I so look forward to it and enjoy that he has a greater understanding and appreciation of me cooking every other night!

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  6. I'm a little terrified of this. My partner and I are talking of moving in together in the new year. Although he has no children, I have Munchkin so I think some rules will definitely need to be in place. Thankfully at only 2, Munchkin should be easy to adjust and adapt to the rules. xx

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    1. It has been fairly easy for my little one who was 2 when we moved in, just harder on the teenagers as they already have established routines and rules. Good luck with the move - it will be an exciting time for you both!

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  7. Every family has to have a structure set in to place. Even those that say oh no we are very open. But once they see that the clock says 8pm all kids must be in bed. That is structure and rules. It's ok to have "free unstructured time" at times but its all about rules and routine.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Salwa for your comment. I think our house needed a little routine, we will still be flexible and relaxed but just add some certainty into the mix.

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  8. Eleise I am new to routine, & I love it!!! Kids love it too, that without knowing that they do!
    Good luck with your new house rules. I think I'm going to have to implement the Friday night rule at our house.
    Prue x

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    Replies
    1. We have been doing the Friday night rule for about a month - I love it! Mr Blended is actually quite a good cook which I am enjoying.

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  9. I grew up in a blended family of 9 children and rules were vital to keep the place running. I like your rules, they seem fair and reasonable :) Kim from @workingwomenaus

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    1. Thanks Kim. Wow 9 children, that would need some serious routines!

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  10. When our blended family became one there were six of us and animals. So house rules were the only thing that worked. We also had Saturday morning chore schedule and this is how the kids earnt their pocket money. I would write up the chores on Saturday morning and everyone had to complete 4 of them. First person up of course got the easy chores - I used it as an incentive to get them up early on Saturdays when there was so many people going in many different directions for the day. Hope your work for your blended family

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    Replies
    1. I just read your comment to Mr Blended he said he loved it, but we would all have to do it. That is because he is first out of bed! This is a really great way to encourage earlier mornings and getting the chores done.

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  11. These all sound very fair and reasonable - best of luck with everything xx. #teamIBOT

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  12. Sounds like you have everything under control as well as you can. Blended families, single parent families have additional stresses that just come left of field. It takes stepping back to see situations objectively, standing by your partner so that parenting, discipline and live is metered fair,y, and a great sense of optimism and humour. I take my hat off to you.

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  13. Replies
    1. We certainly are Sarah. https://twitter.com/ablendedfamily

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  14. We have four kids--two are mine, two are his. We have morning and bedtime routines that caught on quickly, but everything in between is flexible. I think routines are really good for establishing order, but it's possible to orchestrate every moment, which is too much, and I think squelches relationships. If it resembles the military, you've gone too far.

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    1. Hi Sarah,

      It is hard to find a balance, we are still finding our feet and trying to work with routine and be flexible. Thanks for dropping by, nice to hear from another blended family!

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