Rules (not) there to be broken

2016-08-31 06:00
Ad. Kuni Ditira Photo: Supplied

Ad. Kuni Ditira Photo: Supplied

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IF you listen to our children, they hate house rules.

When asked which were the house rules they hated most, they mentioned washing dishes, waking up on Saturday mornings to clean the house or tend the garden and not having a cellphone in the bedroom. House rules are there to teach discipline. We have rules and some of it promote decency and how to behave as a human being. Others are legisla­ted so that they carry the force of law.

I recently visited an American friend, stayed at her flat and later went to her parents’ house.

I noticed that she did not make her bed. She got out of bed, returned at night and just went back into that “hole”.

My mother used to say, “You are not a snake getting in and out of a hole without making your bed”.

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

Some parents say your bedroom is your space and it is up to you to clean it or not. If it is not tidy, they just close the door.

This does not help as there will be creepy crawlies lurking under the bed.

Now, when asked what were the house rules that they liked, the children mentioned the following:

  • As they have siblings, they must pass the remote to the next child after watching an episode on television.
  • If you all have treats and you keep yours to eat alone later, you must share.

My friend Lettie and her friend take turns to take children to school. Every child wanted to sit in the front seat and it became a headache.

When it was Lettie’s week, she decided that they will take turns as who shall sit in front.

By the way, my grandchildren know that in my double-cab bakkie, they sit in the back seat. But they refuse to do so when they are with their parents.

Fortunately for me there is a warning sign in my bakkie with a message that reads, “The safest place for children below the age of 12 is the backseat.”

The question is: Will it be fun not to have rules? Why, for instance, should we make our beds? Who came up with that stupid rule in the first place? Would it not be nice just to use paper plates and cups and throw them away after use?

At university, we did not wash our jeans. We did not want it to fade and it was hard on the hands. Tekkies were also not washed.

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