Enforcing the Rules

Recently I had a conversation with some friends who were having trouble setting guidelines for their kids. I thought privately that it might be a little late for boundary setting when your kids are already in their twenties, but nonetheless, setting rules should be enforced when older children are still living at home.

It is easy for kids to become complacent about their surroundings when they are doing nothing to contribute. It feels gifted to them. They need responsibility which comes through earning their way by helping the family and staying within set boundaries or guidelines that every understands and adheres to. Without these, it is easy for kids to slide back into their childish ways, not understanding that responsibility can be taken away as easily as it is granted. This is oftentimes hard on the parent, and in this case, consistency is critical for the long term success of the boundaries that are being set.

It reminds of a story about a new HR employee that was recently hired at a company. As she got on the elevator, a man got on at the same time and was not in the proper dress code. The new employee mentioned "Dressed a bit casually today, aren't we?" to which the man replied, "That's one of the benefits of owning the company."

Set your rules. Be consistent in your approach. Once the rules at home or at work are set, enforce them as necessary always understanding that rules are put into place for guidance, not punishment.

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