I have many rules and many sets rules. I have the rules that I had as a child growing up, I have the self imposed rules I had when I was single, I have those rules that I have imposed on my children and the rules that my husband imposes on the children. We have the rules we all have to live by, otherwise known as laws. Sometimes we follow them and sometimes we break them. Sometimes we skirt around them and sometimes we ignore them.
When we were growing up we had the normal, general rules such as being respectful to our elders, being nice to others and obeying our teachers. We learned to cook and clean and take care of ourselves and each other. One of the weirdest “rules” we had was that when there was a thunderstorm we had to go to bed. I remember being told that we had to be quiet during thunderstorms so we wouldn’t get struck by lightening. We were told if we went to bed and burrowed under the covers we’d be even safer. I remember many a summer day and night laying in my bed, covers pulled up to my chin, or even over my head completely if it was a bad storm, scared to death and sweating like a pig so the lightening wouldn’t “get me”. It wasn’t until years later I found out that the whole reason for this “hiding” from the lightening was that storms scared our mother and us being the rambunctious rowdy kids that we were only made her nervousness worse so she wanted peace and quiet during storms to calm her nerves so the only way for her to get it was to scare us into being quiet. Pretty ingenious when you think of it!
When our girls were little, not really little but like 8 and up, my hubby had some rules for them concerning electronics. He would make them sign an agreement and he’d make them read the users manual from cover to cover before they could touch it. Whether it was a boom box, VCR, camera, or whatever, they were not allowed to use it or even touch it until they had completely read the manual and signed their agreement. Sometimes he would even make them write a report on it to make sure they understood entire process. The kids always treated our electronic equipment with much respect with the exception of the time that #3 accidently cut the cord of one of their boom boxes in two with a pair of scissors while #2 was “watching” her. It was still plugged into the outlet when she cut the cord in two! Thank God those scissors had rubber grips or they both might not be here today! There was actually a hole in the blade of the scissors from the electrical current. And there was smoke/ash residue on the outlet cover!
The only other rule that I can think of that may have been a little unusual is that the kids had to try whatever we put on the table to eat. They didn’t necessarily have to eat all of whatever we made but they did have to at least taste it. They also weren’t really allowed to eat “boxed” or “canned” prepared foods like boxed mac n cheese or canned soups. Hubby always did most cooking from scratch and really did not even allow those boxed/canned things in the house. I think our kids were teenagers before they realized that there was such a thing as canned soup! One of Hubby’s favorite things to cook and eat is soups so he always made them from scratch. It was so funny having other peoples kids eat at our house because they were so used to eating boxed prepared foods they didn’t know how to act when they had made from scratch food.
I remember once that one of my best friends had asked us to watch her kids one day because she had something she had to do. She brought boxed Kraft mac n cheese for them to eat for lunch. We had told her we would feed them but she assured me that they were very picky eaters so they would eat fine if we just made the mac n cheese for them. Well, of course, hubby could NOT just let them eat plain boxed mac n cheese so he “jazzed” them up. He just put salt and pepper and some “real cheese” in it and they wouldn’t eat it! He was truly upset. He really didn’t understand that most people did not eat like we did. That most of them ate a lot blander foods just like they came out of the box with no extra seasoning or anything.
The upside is that our kids are pretty fearless in their eating habits and are willing to try a lot of different things and have a much better appreciation for food than most young people we know. I think we did pretty good. They are all decent, well rounded adults who treat others with respect and are hard workers. And they still love us and know they can always come home!