Mom’s Top 10 Rules for Kids

Here’s a Momservations® classic first posted in 2009 as part of a periodic summer series of most popular blog posts (read as I’m gone camping or out of my mind right now).

Momservation: If you don’t respect yourself, why should anyone else?

Remember Rule #8 kids...

I find myself saying (or maybe yelling if I’m invoking rule #4) the same things over and over to my kids. Like, “You gotta own it, Whitney!” when I want my 8 year old daughter to start taking responsibility for her actions. Or when my 9 year old son, Logan, once again doesn’t think the consequences of his actions quite through, “Just ’cause you can, doesn’t mean you should!”

Then once, I was walking behind a 6th grader at my kids’ school and I hear him tell his buddy, “Yeah, the only rule my dad has is: Respect yourself and others. That pretty much covers all other rules.” I thought that was the best rule I ever heard.

So, I decided to come up with the Clif Notes version of my expectations for my kids, just so it would be clear and I wouldn’t have to keep repeating myself (at high decibels). It’s posted on our kitchen bulleting board and now I can just yell, “Rule number 6 please!”

Without further ado:


Mom’s Top Ten Rules for Kids

  1. Respect yourself and others. This pretty much covers all other rules. But just to be clear…
  2. Own it. Quit throwing other people under the bus and take responsibility for your choices.
  3. Just ‘cause you can, doesn’t mean you should. “Seemed like a good idea at the time” should be reserved for tombstones.
  4. Lying only throws fuel on the fire. Mess with the fire and you’re going to get burned.
  5. Change is inevitable. So quit your complaining and learn to adapt.
  6. Don’t be a hater. Ugly attitudes don’t look good on anyone. Let it go – don’t waste energy on carrying a grudge.
  7. Remember the Mom Test. If you wouldn’t say it, do it, or suggest it with Mom standing next to you – think twice.
  8. Do no harm. Keep all hands, feet, arms, legs and other violations of space and privacy to yourself.
  9. Do something. Don’t just sit there – be helpful, thoughtful, considerate, generous, a friend, anything! Everyone’s got something to give.
  10. Enjoy the journey. It’s not the destination that counts, but how you get there. So you might as well hang on end enjoy the ride.


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