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    Your Children, Your Family Rules

    By Kristen Houghton     

    If you and your husband are going on a couples-only get-away this summer, there’s a lot to do. You may be boarding the family pets, having the mail stopped, and bringing your children to their grandparents or other family members. Or perhaps you have someone coming to your home to stay with your kids and pets. Either way there are certain rules that you should expect to be followed, by your children and their temporary guardian. While you may want to be exact on some rules, create some “bendable” ones too. Write up a list of age appropriate “do’s and don’ts.” Discuss them with your children and with the adult in charge.

    Let’s go through some unbreakable rules first.

    If your children are limited to TV or computer time, the adult caring for them should be aware that this rule stays in place while you are gone and is unbreakable. Parental controls blocking programs and websites should be left on. If your children are staying at another house, ask that your wishes about inappropriate programs and sites be respected.

    Pools are great in the summer heat but here safety rules must be strictly observed. Let both your children and whoever is caring for them know that there can be absolutely no swimming without adult supervision. There should be safety equipment and a portable phone, with an emergency number on speed dial, directly poolside. Pool games are fun but the kids should be made aware that roughhousing in the water can be potentially dangerous. Anyone not adhering to this rule will not be allowed in the pool.

    Small children should be under the watchful eye of an adult at all times. Teenagers should have a cell phone and a place where they can be reached. A summer curfew, posted by you, should be enforced. The adult must be aware of where they are and who they are with when they are out. Checking up on them is not spying or means they aren’t trustworthy. It is a safety first factor.

    Now for the “bendable” rules.

    Summer bedtimes can be varied a bit since the excitement of being in a different house, or being at home with mom and dad away, is to be expected. Staying up an additional hour to watch fireflies can be fun as can just talking together and listening to the sounds of a late summer night. Watching a silly movie at night is almost a summer tradition.

    As far as food goes, you do want them to eat healthily and at proscribed times, but give a little leeway here. Some “junk” food is inevitable and so is a little night snacking. Summer and ice cream seem to go hand in hand and cheeseburgers and hot dogs can be a summertime staple!

    With your family rules firmly in place, get away and enjoy your vacation. Your kids will survive and so will you!

    Written by Kristen HoughtonRate this article:

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