House rules: Pain or gain?

2016-09-07 06:00
ADV. KUNI DITIRA - Social Observer

ADV. KUNI DITIRA - Social Observer

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IF you listen to our children, you will soon realise that they hate house rules.

When asked which were the house rules they hated most, they mentioned washing dishes, getting up on Saturday mornings to clean the house or tend to the garden and not being allowed to have a cellphone in the bedroom.

My house rules may differ from yours, but house rules are there to teach discipline.

In life we have rules, some of which are founded on pure decency – how to behave as a human – while others are legislated to erase any doubt.

When I visited my American friend, Christine, I stayed at her flat and later went to her parents’ house.

I could not help noticing that she does not make her bed. She gets out of bed in the morning, returning to that “hole” at night.

With my grandson, one has to remind him time and again to make his bed. Like my mother used to say: “You are not a snake getting in and out of a hole without making your bed.”

At my house, there is a schedule to wash dishes.

When you grow up having somebody picking up your clothes as you go, you will never learn that you have to keep your space tidy – cleanliness is next to godliness.

Some parents decide that a child’s bedroom is his space and it is up to him whether or not it gets cleaned.

If it is not tidy, they just close the door. I believe, however, that this will just cause creepy crawlies to breed under the bed.

Now, when asked which house rules my children actually liked, they mentioned the following: After watching one episode on television, you must pass the remote to the next child.

My friend Lettie and her friend took turns driving their children to school. Every child preferred to sit in the front seat and it became a headache.

When it was Lettie’s week, she simply decided that they would take turns.

By the way, my grandchildren know that in my double-cab bakkie, they sit in the back seat.

For some reason, they refuse to cooperate as easily with their parents.

Fortunately for me, there is a warning sign with the following message: “The safest place for children below the age of 12 is on the backseat.”

Will it be fun not to have rules? Why should we make up our beds? Who came up with that stupid rule? Would it not be nice just to use paper plates and cups and throw it away?

At university, we had a glimpse of how that would be.

We never washed our jeans, firstly because we did not want them to fade and secondly because they were hard on our hands.

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