Ellen W. Schrier, LCSW, is a family therapist and the mother of three adolescent/young adult kids.

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4 responses to “My House, My Rules”

  1. Hazel M. Wheeler

    Thanks again, Ellen! I know many parents will appreciate this advice and find it timely.

    One suggestion I would add is that, when we are giving guidance to our young visitors, we might use a more authoratative voice, and give a request instead of asking questions. If we ask youngster “Would you like to pick out one toy?”, this gives them an opportunity to say “no” to us, especially if they are testing their autonomy, as toddlers and preschoolers often do. This can further confound the parenting dilemmas already present. Keeping our requests (“You may pick out one toy to use for now”) and our choices (“Would you like to use the car or the blocks?”) separate makes our authority in our own home very clear and offers guidance without the confusing invitation of “do you want to…?”. Children are very literal, and while we like to be polite, we should understand that they may not interpret our questions as courtesy, but as an actual choice.

    Do you ever notice how Mr. Rogers speaks with authority? It’s a marvel to watch.

    Thanks for empowering the mamas! We need this little boost of confidence…every mom wants to be in charge of her turf….some of us just feel we need a little permission when it comes to handling the children of visitors and other family members. It’s a year-round issue, but this is perfect timing.

  2. “I’m The Mean Aunt”

    […] In no way are you crossing any lines in laying it out like this in advance, so don’t feel guilty. You are not doing anything wrong by ruling your roost they way you always do regardless of who comes to visit. For more on this subject check out My House, My Rules. […]

  3. Robert

    I had a friend that lives in a small double that his parents owned ,They let him live there rent free, and he (used to be a pretty cool guy) he had a lot friends Well to make a long story his father died and his mother just signed over ownership of the house to him, and when that happen his whole personality and attitude totally changed for the worse
    all he did was go around saying MY House My rules I am the alfa male what I say goes.

    He end up losing all of his friends that he has know most of his life, him and his wife live in
    a filthy house with no job no income no one will rent the othe side for long they always end up leaving cause of his MY house My Rules attitude and it was that attitude that changed his life for the worse….

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