As a parent, I try not to have too many rules or too many absolutes.  But this is hard.  If I am not careful I can have a long list of don’t jump on, off, or over the couch, don’t bring blankets in the kitchen, don’t slam doors, take my phone charger and not put it back, don’t don’t don’ts.  And don’t hear me wrong.  We have a lot don’ts in our household mostly because while we are training our children to be kind and respectful and responsible, we also have the duty to train them up not to be wild animals.

But those are all actual, physical don’ts.  But there a few verbal don’ts in our house too.   Three phrases (to be exact) that absolutely are not allowed in our house…

1.  ”I hate you.”  For obvious reasons I do not allow this phrase.  Not in joking and not in a burst of i-didn’t-mean-it-anger.  We can hate things but not people.

2.  ”Not fair.”  I cannot stand this phrase (which bless my poor mother, I said my fair share of when I was a kid).  I simply cannot take my children accusing me of treating them unfairly.  Life is not fair and the sooner they learn this fact, the better.  I recently saw a picture that said, “Fair is the place you get cotton candy.”  I really wanted to get this for my kitchen.

3.  ”I don’t have anything to do.”  This is a statement of ungratefulness in my opinion.  I started hearing this recently when I asked for tv and video games to be turned off.  I got so mad, my kids had to endure quite a lecture about all the blessings then have inside and outside of our house.  I told them that the next time one of them says this, I am going to march up to the playroom, pick out a toy that they love and give it to someone who will love it more.  I hope I have the guts to follow through with this.  I will let you know :)

I am not expert in raising kids, my kids are far too young for me to be giving out parenting advice.  But keeping these statements from my home help me stay sane and I think they teach our kids the values of our family.  And for goodness sakes, there is no place in the kitchen for a blanket, if you are that cold, put on more clothes.