Family Rules

If you look at Etsy (or Pinterest) at all, you’ll have seen various signs, wall art, or sticky things that have a list of “Family Rules”.

When this first came out, I really liked the idea, so I started writing down ideas of “Mignano Family Rules”.

An I have quite a few–Ice cream fixes everything, If you blow it up or break it, you have to fix it or pay to have it fixed, no experiments in Dad’s good cookware, and if it has the potential to blow up, set fire to something, or cause the EPA to be worried take it outside and talk to an adult first—but the most important one is this:

We believe in love, laughter, and forgiveness. Always.

Because if you have that at the core of your family–I think everything else just kind of falls into place.

Love–Because you don’t have to like someone, but you do have to love everyone. It’s our job as Christians.

Laughter–Because it either solves or almost solves every problem or fight

Forgiveness–Because at our core, we’re all REALLLLLY effed up. But God loves us and forgives us no matter what. And if he does, then it’s our job to try our very hardest to offer that forgiveness to every one we meet.

What are your family rules? Or what do you want to be your family rules?

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Remember the tagline…

…”I have lots of opinions and I talk too much? In an effort to combat this, I blog.” Yeah. Remember that before you read this

For someone with no kids, I have a LOT of opinions on child rearing. Whether this is because my womb is currently aching for a child (I’ll say it again: baby fever is real y’all) or because I obsess over things that don’t really affect my life (yet) I have no idea. 

It also might be because in the last few years I have taken to reading a lot of “mommy” blogs.

I blame Nat the Fat Rat. It’s a gateway blog.

Moving on.

I recently read a Facebook post from an author of one of my favorite blogs. I’ve pasted it below (emphasis mine)*

One thing I haven’t mentioned in my posts lately about homeschooling vs. other types of schooling for Z is that it’s not all about Z. It’s also about cultivating the kind of family life we want. We want less rush, less stress, more time together. I think those reasons are just as valid as meeting Z’s individual needs. You can expect a post about this in the near future.

And here’s the thing. I don’t. 

I respect that every family has the right to make the decision that work best for their family, and that sometimes, those decisions are going to make you wickedly unpopular with your kids. That’s life.

But kids are not mini-versions of us. They have their own unique sets of needs and wants and–within reason–meeting those needs and wants is important. Even when it directly violates our needs and wants (individually or as a family). 

Because that what love is. It’s sacrificing yourself for others. And it’s wickedly hard and goes against every innate desire we have as humans(brokenness is just supppper fun y’all)

I really believe that a lot of the problems that people experience with kids is the fact that they are simply not listening to what the kid is trying to tell them. We have this weird belief that children come to us as blank slates and we (parents, teachers, family) get to fill up the slate. To an extent that’s true. Kids are brand new people and aren’t (usually) born with the knowledge of why pulling the cat’s tail is wrong. 

But how the learn, what makes them happy and fills them with joy–that’s something we don’t get to decide. That’s something that they’re born with. And it makes me sad–and more then a little angry–when I see the world not respecting that.

Kids are individuals with unique personalities and needs. Parents don’t get to decide what how they learn or what sings to their soul–they do. And we–as a society–need to respect that and them more.

Now, I know a lot of people are going to say “They’re kids.They don’t have all the information/aren’t mature enough/don’t know enough to make these kinds of decisions. Part of being a parent is making decision for the family that you think are best.”

My response to that is:

“They’re not just kids, they’re people. Shorter, younger people but people nonetheless. Part of growing up is making mistakes. As long as they’re not harming themselves (physically, spiritually or emotionally) show them that you trust their instincts enough to let them do what they think is right for them. If they fail–AWESOME! Failure is great because it means that you’re trying. Teach them through example that their instincts are worthy of being trusted, that failure can be good (at the very least it’s humbling and teaching) and that above all–you value their thoughts and feelings.”

So I guess that’s my bullet point for the night y’all. Kids are people. It’s time we started treating them with the respect they deserve. 

*Note: I’m only doing this because it’s a FB page about her blog, which is public. I would never post something word for word from someone’s private page. Privacy is important kids!

**I’d also like to note: I really really like this blog and it’s author. She does a great job of parenting her kids in the way that she thinks is best despite what the world says, and she’s never mean to people who are mean to her. I just happen to disagree with this philosophy.