8 Great Family Rules to Help Any Home

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Every home should have its own set of family rules. Family rules simplify explanations, clarify expectations, and create a safe environment for your children and their friends. We have our list of family rules taped to the refrigerator. I copied this list down a long time ago from somewhere, and these rules have served our family well over the years.

FAMILY RULES LIST

1. Tell the truth.

2. Treat each other with respect.

  • no yelling
  • no hitting
  • no kicking
  • no name-calling
  • no put-downs

3. No arguing with parents.

  • We want and value your input and ideas, but arguing means you have made your points more than once.

4. Respect each other’s property.

  • Ask permission to use something that doesn’t belong to you.

5. Do what Mom and Dad say the first time.

  • without complaining or throwing a fit!

6. Ask permission before you go somewhere.

7. Put things away that you take out.

8. Look for ways to be kind and helpful to each other.

We have also made it clear to our children that the family rules follow them wherever they go. These are not just rules for them to follow at our house. They are family rules. Our children represent our family wherever they go, and we expect them to behave accordingly.

(Updated 12/26/2008: Thanks to commenter G.H. below, I have located the source for this list. It comes from the book New Skills for Frazzled Parents: The Instruction Manual That Should Have Come With Your Child, by Daniel G. Amen, p. 67.)

          

What do you think about having a list of family rules? Do you have a similar list in your home? How has having such a list been helpful to you (or not)?


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Related post: To Spank or Not To Spank
 

59 Comments

  1. Sharon Gamble says:

    Here are some of ours: For husband and wife, talk about any expenditure over an agreed upon amount with the other. Honor your commitments in the order they were made. When explaining an argument with a sibling, explain what YOU did wrong,not what they did wrong. We had two kids, so one daughter got to “win” on the odd days of the month (the 1st, 3rd, 5th, etc.) and the other daughter got to “win” on the even days. “Whose day is it?” became a common phrase in our house and solved a multitude of dilemmas from who got to pray at mealtimes (they both wanted to) and who got to use the family car (big surprise here – they both wanted to) I’d love to hear other family rules, too!

    I agree, Ray! Rules make it easier to know what is expected and to understand what is valued in the home.

  2. Leslie says:

    It’s also very important, in the case for young children, to keep the number of rules to a minimum. 8 is a good number. Too many rules and no one can remember them all. Too many rules and no one is having any fun, either.

    Our family rules are very similar to yours. My real struggle comes with enforcing the rules and being consistent.

  3. John says:

    In my family (kids aged 7, 5, and 3) we use three rules:

    1. Obey quickly.
    2. Always tell the truth.
    3. Don’t hurt your siblings or anyone else on purpose.

    It’s not perfect, but they were easy for the kids to remember when they were younger.

  4. Ray Fowler says:

    Sharon, Leslie and John,

    Great comments – thanks!

    Anyone else?

  5. Our first child is just about to turn one (I can’t believe how fast it has gone), so we don’t have any rules as yet. These suggestions are really helpful in setting up own family rules…thanks.

  6. Ray Fowler says:

    Nath (Nathan?),

    Congratulations on an important milestone. It’s been a long time since we have had a one-year-old in the house. Those are great days, and yes, it does go fast!

    All the best,
    Ray

  7. Lynn Puetz says:

    My husband and I both had children before we were married and this is a constant struggle for us. Our children 10 and 4 have grown up very differently. My husband’s 10 year old has rules at his mother’s house that differ from the rules at our house. My four year old has been raised in a strict household where listening doing what he was told and manners have been the main focus. Separately they are terrific children both unique and special in their own ways yet when they are together our home turns into a free-for-all. They fight they scream they don’t listen the list is just never ending. What was a peaceful quiet environment becomes a battle zone. My husband’s reaction to this is just that they are kids and that they will grow out of it and that they themselves need to find a way to live together. Yet I can’t help to think that the upheaval that takes place when our children are together is unraveling 4 solid years of strict discipline for my 4 year old. My husband has made it very clear that he doesn’t want to impose rules on his 10 year old because he doesn’t feel that it is necessary since he is not often in our home. There has to be a place where we can meet in the middle. I have suggested on numerous occasions that my husband needs to sit down with his x-wife and review the rules she has in her home. Hoping that we could then apply those same rules to our home. My thoughts on this was that it would provided constituency for his son between the two of our homes and be a stepping stone to creating rules for our own home. This has yet to happen and after almost three years of marriage to a man I love more than anything I am left with no answers and a problem that continues to grow. My husband’s need to not be the bad guy has left me in a constant state of refereeing our two children when they are together. Does anyone have any suggestions?

  8. Ray Fowler says:

    Lynn – Thank you for sharing your situation. One of the challenges of any marriage is the coming together of two people from two different family backgrounds. Many marriages struggle with the two parents having different views on discipline in the home. Of course, it is an even bigger challenge when it is two families with previous children coming together and trying to work out these issues.

    I agree with you that consistency is key. It is very difficult for children to keep having to adjust to different sets of expectations. I think it is important enough that you should keep talking to your husband about this in hopes of establishing some types of rules for the home.

    Without knowing what the rules are in the ex-spouse’s home, I don’t know if that is a good place to start. But I would encourage you and your husband to start somewhere. Perhaps some of the rules from the list in this post could get you started.

    I hope that helps. Does anybody else have any suggestions?

  9. Christi says:

    My husband and I are getting ready to add children to our home. We are going to be house parents for a girls home. We already have a 7 yr old daughter and 4 year old son. I home school them both and we are looking forward to this new journey. HOWEVER, I am fearful of losing what I currently have with our children as well as wanting to build relationships with the new girls that come into our home. The age of our children will range from 2-17. Any ideas or suggestions? This is a children’s ranch that is just getting started so we are going to be the first parents! I’m open to anything you have to share!

  10. Ray Fowler says:

    Christi – Wow! What a big change for you and your family. And a big responsibility. I have never been a house parent before, so I am not sure what boundaries need to be set in order to provide a healthy family atmosphere for your children as well as a loving and caring atmosphere for the girls at the ranch.

    If you have not worked out these issues yet, I would recommend you talk immediately with someone who has already done this or is doing it. If you’re not sure who to talk to, I would recommend calling Sheridan House Ministries in South Florida. They have a residential program for young people with troubles, and they could advise you much better than I can. They may also have ideas of other ministries you could call for information.

    God bless you and your husband for taking on this new ministry, and I pray God will guide and direct you through this time of learning and transition.

  11. G. H. Cohen says:

    I think the Fowler “Family rules list” originated from a parenting book by Daniel G. Amen, MD

  12. Ray Fowler says:

    G.H. – Do you know the name of the book? I have been trying to track down the source for these rules for quite some time. Thanks!

  13. Ray Fowler says:

    I just ran a search on Daniel Amen at Amazon. He has a lot of books dealing with psychiatry, behavior and the brain. I found two parenting books, and judging from the comments, I believe the list must come from this book: New Skills for Frazzled Parents: The Instruction Manual That Should Have Come With Your Child. As soon as I find a page number, I will be sure to add the proper credit to the post. Thanks again, G.H., for pointing me in the right direction.

  14. Ray Fowler says:

    Woo-hoo! Playing around with Amazon’s online reader, I was able to find the page number. It is in chapter 10 on page 67. I will go ahead and add the information into the post. Thanks G.H.!

  15. Christi says:

    I am curious to hear suggestions to what the consquences for breaking these rules would be. We are foster parents and have two biological children. The state suggests NO TIME OUTS, I always agree in discussion to the childs level but I also think there should be more.

  16. Ray Fowler says:

    Christi – I think it’s best to start out with verbal corrections. Keep a positive atmosphere and make sure the child understands the rules. If they just slip up once in a while, verbal corrections should be all you need. If the child consistently breaks the rules, then you may need to move on to loss of a privilege. We have also used timeouts and spankings for continued misbehavior, but I understand those may not be allowed by the state with foster children. I hope that helps!

  17. Troy P says:

    I have really enjoyed and picked up some great ideas from your web sight, thanks. My wife and I adopted 2 children (boys) from Ukrain about 8 years ago. it has been a struggle to say the least but we have learned alot in those years about how to handle different situations. right now i am trying something new. we are haveing problems with one of them stealing money from us. so we are setting up court. I have come up with a list of house laws and minimum and maximum consequences. if they are accused of breaking a law we will have court and they will have a chance to defend themselves. then the judge (my wife or I) will pass down the judgment. I am hoping this will give them a chance to see why what they did was wrong and that consequences are allways going to be associated with doing something wrong. we let them have 1 day to prepare for the trial (this gives them time to settle down and think about it ) we are trying to make this kind of fun for them as well as teaching them right from wrong in the process. the boys have a disorder called RAD, it is Reactive attachment disorder. basicly they didnt get the love and affection they needed as baby’s and didnt form an attachment to adults because of it. they dont trust we will give them what they need (Love, as well as material things) so we have to throw everything we knew or thought we knew about parenting out the window and start from scratch. the boys have come a long way, but i am sure we will always have some sort of situation to deal with. thats called being a parent.

  18. Ray Fowler says:

    Troy – Thanks for sharing about your situation, and thank you for the wonderful ministry of adoption in these two boys’ lives. Parenting is never easy, but the rewards are great. God bless!

  19. nadya says:

    my family such are bad family like to use bad word!something i get mad wif my mom and dad!they don understand the kid at all!my family is are bad family you KNOW!i hope you all can give some tip for my family!thank you!

  20. Ray Fowler says:

    Nadya – Nadya, I am sorry things are not well with your family right now. I will be praying for you.

  21. sandra says:

    i am mother deaf. my daughter almost 14 year old in april 9th. she is hearing and very good sign language. she have hard time with me bec she wont listen to me what i tell her what to do with clean up the kitchen, clean the cage,toilet, living room, and etc.. i need write the list rule for her help looking the board the rule. she refuse go church with me. what i can do for her name jessica. i am stress so much. i need your help. she is ADHD.

  22. Ray Fowler says:

    Sandra – Parenting teens is always a challenge. I always encourage parents to follow the three C’s:

    1) Clear rules,
    2) Appropriate consequences,
    3) Consistent application.

    Make sure your daughter understands your rules or expectations. Make sure she understands what the consequences will be if she does not do what you tell her. Then be consistent in following through every time. At the same time love her, pray for her, and encourage her. And be sure to affirm her when she does follow the rules.

  23. Lisa says:

    Daniel G. Amen in his book Healing ADD The Breakthrough Program That Allows You to See and Heal the 6 Types of ADD has this list of family rules.

  24. Lisa says:

    Continued… on Page 282-283

  25. Tasha says:

    I have a 5 yearold daughter- my husband of 1 week has a 3 year old daughter. I am seeing problems of favor. His daughter is very tiny and very cute- problem is she knows it. My daughter has been an only child only grandchild etc for 4 years. He seems to be much harder on my daughter than he is on his own. I try to treat both girls equally however I am starting to find myself favoring my daughter to balance things out. We both have the same weekends with the girls but mine lives with us full time- his is the every other weekend and once a week visitation. What can I do to help my new family blend easier?

  26. Ray Fowler says:

    Tasha – The most important thing right now is for you and your husband to communicate, communicate, communicate. You need to give each other the freedom to share your observations and feelings about the children with each other without getting defensive or into arguments. These are the early days of your new blended family, and so it is very important that you and your husband set healthy patterns of relating together that you both feel comfortable with. All the best!

  27. Heather says:

    I have 3 kids, ages 6,3, and 2 and they seem to listen to everyone else but me, but i am the one with them all the time. I cant seem to get through to them. I have tried just about every thing suggested by friends and family. I have taken things away, tried time out and even spanking but it never works. What am I doing wrong?

  28. Ray Fowler says:

    Heather – Kids at ages 6, 3 and 2 is a challenging time for any parent. The most common reason kids tune their parents out is that we get into the habit of repeating ourselves. Whenever we tell our kids to do something more than once, we are actually training them not to listen to us the first time. The trick is to get their attention first. “Joey, look at me.” Once you have their attention, tell them what you want them to do once. Now if they do not follow your directions, you know it is not distraction but disobedience.

    The next step is consistent consequences. If your child responds to your direction, give them positive feedback. Tell them how much you appreciate their cooperation. But if they do not, you must apply a consequence every time. Otherwise you will be teaching them that it is okay not to follow Mom’s directions.

    I hope that helps. Try it out and let me know how things go.

  29. Lisa says:

    I need some advice on what rules to set my step son,I am a single parent and i have two biological children living at home, a couple of weeks ago my stepson asked if he could live with me as he was having problems at home, i agreed but it seems he is treating my home like a hotel, when he lived with his mom he had no real rules, he could go to bed when he liked, go to school if he felt like it and stay out till all hours. He is 14 years old and he knows that i enforce rules with my own children, but i dont want to seem like the wicked step mom, i really want to give him a stable, loving home but worry about what rules i need to give him, ive not delt with a teen before so this is all new, your advice would be greatly recieved.
    Thank you

  30. Ray Fowler says:

    Lisa – Although kids think they want absolute freedom, deep down inside they need the security of appropriate boundaries. I would encourage you to set house rules for your stepson and then lovingly enforce them. It is important to be consistent from the beginning. He will resist at first, but he will respect you for it, and it will help him in the long term. All the best!

  31. GREAT MATERIALS ON FAMILY RULE SETTTING.
    A LOT OF DYSFUNCTIONALITY COMES FOR LACK OF RULE SETTINGS
    DR THOMPSON AKWO NTUBA

  32. Mindi says:

    I have a situation that I need some advice on. I have 3 children ages 6, 4, and almost 2. My 6yr old is severly disabled. My 4 yr old had been diagnosed with ADHD and Bipoler disorder. My 2 yr old has speech difficulties. My husband pays a ton of attention to our daughter (the 6yr old) however the only attention he generally shows the boys is negative. We have been married for nearly 7 yrs and I have been trying to get him on board with possitive reinforcement and spending quility time with his sons. However every time I try this. We end up fighting. Can anyone help me!?

  33. Ray Fowler says:

    Mindi – You have a very complex situation that cannot be resolved in a blog comment. Please talk to your pastor and get a referral to a good Christian family counselor who can help you and your husband navigate these difficult waters together.

    Blessings in Christ,
    Ray

  34. Young men think old men fools , old men lnow young men are.
    The bible is very clear in ephesians on the roles and relationships between parents and children, there is a lot going on today that boarders on the lack of knowledge in this area , hosea 6, 8 says my people perish for lack of knowledge .
    FREEDOM GOES WITH RESPONSIBILITY, SO MUCH FREEDOM TODAY TODAY IN THE HYANDS OF THE IREESPONSIBLE OF YESTERDAY.
    DR[REV] THOMPSON AKWO NTUBA

  35. Mary Weaver says:

    I believe rules are important. I love my daughter and 3 grandsons. Twins 8 and a 4 year old. She is divorced and has shared custody with the boys father. She is having a difficulty time with all three of them.
    Not listening, fighting with each other, yelling at her, calling her names.
    I live out of town and will be going there next week. Any suggestions I can bring with me to bring back harmony to this house.

  36. Ray Fowler says:

    Mary – I believe the simple rules from this post would help alot. I would encourage you to print them out and have your daughter put them on the refrigerator. Have her go over the rules with the kids, and then she must lovingly and consistently enforce them. All the best, and have a nice visit with your daughter and grandkids.

  37. jonathan says:

    Im having trouble with raise three kids a six four soon to be five and two soon to be three year old there are two girls 6 and 4 one boy 2 none of them are my kids but im triyng so hard to be the good father they need but they just wont listen and it seem like all me and my girlfriend do is argue all the time because of it please any insite on this problem would be helpful. I dont want to lose or ruin this relatinship.

  38. Lynne says:

    I am a 33 year old mother of 7 kids. 16 son, 15 daughter,14 son, 12 step son, 4 son, 3 son and 10 month old daughter. As you can i,agine, my hands are full. I went from owning my own very sucessful real estate business to being an at home mom. My attention is primarily on the younger 3 due to the high demand of toddlers and the baby. The older teenagers also need my attention, but I feel spread thin. They dont have much enteraction with their father, which hurts them, and not enough time with me. My 15 year old daughter is the one having the most problems. Shes very disrespectful. Questions me all the time. For instance, she is grounded for 2 weeks for back talking the assistant principal..yeah, pretty bad! Earlier tonight I noticed the home phone missing. I went and knocked on her door and told her to give it back to me, shes grounded and she knows shes not supposed to have it. She walked around her room ignoring me. After repeating myself with her, she said, “tell me why 1st, then I will give it to you. I finally got it but she rolled her eyes in disgust. I am fed up with her and dont know how to be effective with her. She doesnt take me seriously and has a severe entitlement issue. Please help!
    And one more thing. :) Being that summer is here, my husband and I are petrified with the 4 teenagers being home. My husband works long hours, and with the small children, the way our home is layed out, having kids stay up late, going up and down the stairs while the little ones roon is at the botton by the stairs, we are wondering the best approach with the teens as far as maintaining school bed times throught the weekdays? No over nighters during the week? I want our kids to have fun, but also have to maintain some sort of structure in our home. Any advise would be greatly appreciated!! Thank you!

  39. Nay says:

    Hello, I stumbled across your site by chance and I am very glad I did.
    My husband and I have two boys ages 18 and 9 and the two of them don’t get along very well at all.
    I know it’s typical for challenges but these two have even said they hate each other and it breaks my heart.

    Are there any tips in raising two boys so far apart in age?

    thanks in advance

    ~Nay

  40. Jessica says:

    Thank you for posting these rules i was looking for something to help me set rules in my home, these are perfect!
    I have a 9 yearold son with ADHA, ODD, and possibly bi-polar disorder. I have a 5 year old son, to be suspected of having ADHD, but I am not going to jump to that diagnosis because he is still young. I also have a 7 month old daughter. My boys fight alot, so I have recently put them in seperate bedrooms and things have gotten alot better. i am working closely with there school and teachers to keep them in line and so far so good. I have bookmarked this page and will be visiting more to see what else I can learn. thanks!

  41. Travis says:

    My wife and I have 3 basic rules and they are posted.

    1. Be good to each other
    2. Always tell the truth
    3. Take responsibility for yourself

  42. melissa says:

    Really, time outs are not allowed by the state? Thats ridiculous! maybe theyd rather you raise these kids to be criminals! I mean seriously! I understand not spanking, but come on! Time outs are a great way to discipline, if used properly!

  43. Shelly says:

    What are some reasonable consequences for my 9yr old daughter? My mind is blank except for grounding and taking away privileges, toys.

  44. Thomas says:

    I understand the simplicity of a low number of rules (such as 8 ) but that simply does not work with a teenager. My wife and I have a 1 year old, and 3 year old (both boys) and a 15 year old (girl). Now, individually either boy is generally great, but together it is a constant fight (unless they are getting into something they arent supposed to together). So, a low number of rules for them is great. Don’t take things from people, don’t hit, don’t dump food on the dog… but for the teenager it just wouldn’t work. I have a list of 8 basic rules ranging from cell phone usage to going to parties and school. As a teen, in most cases not all, any wiggle room you give is going to turn into a canyon. For example, she is out with her friends and is supposed to be home by 8pm. We tell her if something happens, call and let us know she will be late. Well, 815pm rolls around and she calls. The wiggle room, we didnt say to call BEFORE 8pm if she was going to be late. Obviously, this was not a valid excuse and punishment was implamented, but still. You have to spell everything out for a teenage to understand, and even then they aren’t going to listen (in most cases). I sincerly hope my boys are better behaved at her age.

  45. Rosey posey says:

    Thank you for posting! These were great in helping me determine where I wanted to start for my family. I have a 5 yr old and a 2 yr old and I am very excited to implement these rules. Thanks again.
    God bless

  46. sun23 says:

    oh my gosh thx so much it ‘as really helped with a class project. again thnx sssssssoooooooo mmmmmmmmuuuuuuuccccccchhhh. i luv u peeps!!!!!

  47. 64rox says:

    oh this is so awsum like tots like OMG baby!!!!!!!

  48. Laura says:

    Interesting that “Tell the truth” was the first rule on the list. My mom agreed with this. I think one of the only spankings I ever received was because I told a lie. Trust is the bond that keeps relationships together. This is a helpful list, so I’ve posted it to Athenians, the Christian news aggregator. You can check out the discussion it generates at http://www.athenians.info/stories/8-great-family-rules-to-help-any-home

  49. Mario N says:

    HEllo, My daughter just started High school, she is 14 and will be 15 in a few days. My concern is Boys. I have already made it clear that she is not allowed to have a boy friend. I explained to her that recreational dating did not honor God. I see how many teens want to date, yet they have no desire for marriage until they are much older. Dating becomes recreational and fun, often times leading to more intimate relationships.I also explained that when she gets older and is ready to begin courting that she could then begin to pursue a relationship. My other concern is school dances. She wants to go to Prom and winter formal. I am uncomfortable with the way teens dance these days. I do not feel I she allow her to go to a dance because of the temptations to sin and the sensual nature of how other students dance. Knowing that boys would ask her to dance. What should I do, How do I approach these things and talk to her. Please help.

  50. Hiya,

    A big thank you from Holland, Europe. I have two girls, (2.5 yrs and 1 yr). My oldest is a yeller. She really screams about everything. I hate this. Setting up family rules is I think and hope the way to change this.

    So thank you for the post. I just made 12 family rules (some don’t apply yet due to there age, but we have to start at one point)

    Greetings,
    Jedidja van de Geer
    Wormer, the Netherlands, Europe

  51. LowlandGirl says:

    I recently ran across these rules while looking for something to soothe my aching household. This was the first article I clicked on, and I don’t believe that I need to move on. I realize this was written in 2007 or so, that the actual rules come from a book by a man named Amen, and here we are 6 years later; but I needed to let you know that I appreciate this post more than you know. As some have mentioned on here, I am in the process of (3 years in) trying to happily blend a family. I have a daughter who is 8, my husband and I have been granted full custody of his 5 year old daughter, and we have a 17 month old son together. It has been crazy! The youngest girl has come into our home (in September 2012) from a small apartment in which she really never left 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – unless she was with us – and from a household in which there were drugs moving in and out, and parental neglect by the mother. This is a little girl who was taking care of herself by the age of 3 (she would get food for herself which mostly consisted of Lunchables, Special K bars, and water; and dress herself every day, etc.). Although both of our girls were only children in a single house until recently, they have strikingly different behaviors about their new situation. With the oldest, my daughter, I made the mistake of pretty much doing everything for her during the first 5 years of her life and so she has become a more needy and clingy child. She whines quite a bit and acts out to get her way. The 5 year old is quickly forming detachment issues and has been caught lying several times, and then we have our son who is the baby, is extremely loved, but seems to get the brunt of mom and dad working out and dealing with older sisters problems – CONSTANTLY. My husband is the strict parent, and I am the one that yells to enforce the strictness, but doesn’t understand why they can’t have just one more minute of play time. We’re trying desperately to keep everything together. The girls are beginning to loathe each other, the youngest doesn’t like that she isn’t the baby anymore, and the baby runs around by himself (we’re always watching, just unable to interact) from about 5 in the evening until 7:30, because the other two can’t stop fighting and we can’t stop breaking it up. I’m hoping that by making a list of rules for all of the family to go by, it may just solve some of our issues. This list is perfect. Thanks again.

  52. Amanda says:

    I have a 12 (almost 13 in 3 months) year old daughter. My boyfriend lives with us and right now we are both at our witts ends. My daughter is constantly “Bored”, or blaming us for something that goes wrong or telling us we “take the fun out of everything”. She doesnt listen to me and my boyfriend will not discipline her. But on that note she says that she doesnt have to listen to him because hes not her parent. I dont know where she got that from because I have never said that didnt have to listen to him. And when I try to tell her no then she will keep asking. What do I do? She doesnt act this way if its one on one time with her and somebody else but when theres someone else around she acts out.

  53. Jessica says:

    Im recently engaged and my fiance has a 4 year old daughter who is an only child and has been babied and spoiled since day one. Im expecting my first child in February but am having some concerns based on my fiances parenting of his daughter. We have a wonderful relationship until it comes to his daughters behaviors and rules of the house. She will only eat noodles so we end up cooking two meals every night, she refuses to pick anything up so my fiance always ends up doing it for her (I refuse), when I try telling her to pick something up, quit whining kicking hitting etc, she runs and screams daddy then wants to hug and love on him so he doesnt discipline her. In the past I would comment on it and then shrug it off to not cause issues or overstep my bounds but now that I have a baby on the way I do not want to parent that way but dont want two sets of rules one for each child. When I have spoken to my fiance about it he gets very defensive because he doesnt have his daughter full time and feels that he is disappointing her beacause of it, so he doesnt discipline her because he doesnt want to upset her. Any suggestions to help?

  54. Brandi says:

    I am a mother of 7 children. The oldest is 20 and doesn’t live with us anymore. I have a 17 year old daughter, 15 year old daughter, 12 year old son, 10 year old daughter, 7 year old son, and an almost 5 year old son. My 17 year old is as good as gold. She is very respectful, responsible and well-rounded. My 15 year old daughter is pretty good but she does argue and is often hateful to everyone. The 12 year old son I feel I have lost total control over. He is constantly talking hateful, being rude and disrespectful to others, he is mean to his little brothers and sister. He yells and screams at everyone and just not pleasant to be around at all. The 10 year old girl I don’t really have much trouble out of, she does like to whine about things though. However my 7 year old son has recently started acting horrible. He has gotten to where he doesn’t want to listen to what anyone tells him and he will not go to bed at his set bedtime. Example: His 17 year old sister will go to read to him every night but sometimes he will scream and say he doesn’t want her to read the book, but if she gets up and starts walking out he will start to scream that he wants her to read the book. He has started being mean to his little brother and pitches fits. He was failing in his school work and I’m pretty sure he has a learning disability and not comprehending the Lang Arts part of school. The almost 5 year old is still little and has tried some of what the others are doing but the behavior is easily corrected with him. I’m not sure what to do anymore. The discipline in our house has gone out the window and I’m stressed to the max. I’m pretty much raising them on my own, their dad works out of town during the week and it’s just me. I know I’m out numbered and so do they. They are homeschooled children and so discipline is of most important for learning. Is there anything that you can suggest that may work in my home?

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