Families are unique. Each family must create a way to co-exist beneath one roof in a way that allows each individual member the opportunity to feel loved, supported and respected as a member of the family. The more members in the family the more this mission can become a challenge as resources must be shared and each member of the family given a voice and contribute to the day to day tasks that are a part of running a successful household. As such most families have come to realize why families need rules.
From the strictest to the most relaxed of parenting styles there comes a time when each parent realizes the value of rules in the house. Enforcement of a rule may assist a family to maneuver through disputes about toy possession, to keep a child from being hurt by a stronger sibling, or to keep a sense of order to the small community unit that is family.
Rules offer a sense of constancy and stability to a household. Everyone knows what is expected of them and that lends a certain peace of mind to each family member. Rules allow a more automated approach to the house. When well defined rules are in place it becomes less necessary to have parental involvement in each dispute or action of the day which is freeing for parents.
When a child is offered a routine of good habits to follow they are able to enjoy greater success throughout their day. The child knows what is expected and that their needs are valued. Even though a rule may not go their way in a circumstance they know over all that they can be heard, have an opportunity to contribute to the well being of the family unit and are able to feel safe and secure in their home. What a tremendous loving gift to give to a child.
In addition rules create an opportunity for discussion and also keep sibling rivalry down because a parent is not placed in a position where she must choose the interest of one child over another. The rules can be a third party entity on which to rely and avoid the perception of favoritism toward one child over another, which helps to create a more thoughtful, healthy family dynamic.
Families need rules for the same reason that society needs rules. Because when one human being gets together with many other human beings there are bound to be conflicts at one time or another. With a healthy, realistic, age-appropriate and consistent set of rules in place family members are able to work through these conflicts quickly and with the minimum of emotional or physical pain or trauma.