21 Essential House Rules for Kids to Help Them Grow

House rules can be different from one family to another. But generally, there are essential house rules for kids you can apply in your family to help your kids grow into responsible adults. See the list below.

One of the most important aspects of having kids is deciding how you will raise them. 

It’s important to lay down some guidelines for your children while they are still young so that they know what to expect in their daily lives. 

House rules are a great way to create boundaries, allow your kids to develop independence, and teach respected values. 

The fact is, your children want to know what is expected of them and they will respond positively to rules that are fair and consistent.

You may ask “when is the good time to apply these rules?”

The answer is, it’s always best to start basic. 

If your child is still very young, or if you are expecting a baby soon, it may be wise to wait until they are older before creating house rules. 

It’s important that the expectations are age-appropriate. For example, telling a five-year-old to pay attention at the dinner table won’t do much good if they are not capable of keeping their attention on one thing for longer than 5 minutes.

Preferably, you should set up some rules before your kids are teenagers. This way it will be easier for them to adjust to new house rules as they get older.

It’s also important to be clear about why these rules are being set in place. 

For example, you don’t want your kids thinking that the reason they have to eat with small utensils is that you have nothing better to do or that you are trying to make them more like everyone else.

You should tell them that it’s for their own safety and that the knife set you bought them for their birthdays can only be used with adult supervision.

In the section below, we will discuss 21 essential house rules for kids to help them grow healthily.

House Rules for Kids: Essential House Rules for Children

This article will answer what are some house rules for kids that you can apply.

1) Do not touch the stove or microwave unless Mommy or Daddy is with you. 

Stovetops can get extremely hot, which can burn little hands. Microwaves can hurt little bodies if they are exposed to radiation for too long.

2) If you say something, you must take responsibility for your words. 

This means that your kid will clean up any messes that you make or unload the dishwasher after dinner.

Related Article: Creative Punishments for Kids

Teach your kid to say “I’m sorry” or “Please forgive me” when they don’t abide by this rule is a good place to start.

3) Always be honest. 

house rules for kids
house rules for kids :honesty

As a parent, you should always know that you can trust your kid to tell the truth no matter what the cost. If your kids lie, it will only lead to bigger problems down the road.

4) Keep your body parts to yourself. 

No one should be touching your kids in any inappropriate way and you need to teach them through this rule. If they are, tell your kids to let Mommy or Daddy know immediately.

5) Do not hit your brother or sisters. 

This includes scratching or pulling hair while playing together at home or on the playground at school. Hitting is hurtful and completely unacceptable under any circumstances.

6) If you don’t want to do something, say “no.” 

This means that your kids will not force his or her little sister to play with the same toys or push her off of her seat at the dinner table. 

Tell your kids that they can always find another way to get their needs met without hurting someone else.

7) Have your friends ask to come over. 

Even if your kids want to be around your friend all the time, you need some alone time in order to recharge their batteries for when they are with your kids again. 

Tell your kids that it’s not fair to have a friend over for an extended period of time without asking permission first.

8) You must wipe off any toothpaste residue on your face and in the sink. 

Toothpaste can be very sticky and difficult to get rid of on surfaces, so it will help if your kids remember to wipe everything down after brushing.

9) You must always come back home before dark. 

Even if your kids want to hang out with their friends longer than expected, your kids need to make sure that you get home before the sun goes down. 

The same rule applies to going out in public places, such as the mall.

10) You cannot go into anyone else’s room unsupervised. 

If your kids do not have access to their own phone or when they are sent to bed early, it doesn’t mean that your kids should snoop around and invade your privacy.

11) No hitting the dog with a toy or your hand. 

house rules for 12 year olds

Dogs can be frightened if kids are too rough with them, which could result in an injury. 

Tell your kids to ask permission before petting any family pets and always follow their rules about how they like to be handled.

12) If there is something that you want or need, be sure to let your parents know. 

The parents might not always have the answer, but certainly, you will do your best to help your kids if at all possible.

13) Wash your hands before eating and after going to the bathroom. 

It’s important that everyone in the family knows how clean their hands are at all times by practicing good hand washing techniques.

14) Share your toys with other children. 

Your kids might think that they like a particular toy, but if another kid wants to play with it too and your kid says “no,” then they won’t know how to share appropriately. 

Tell your kids that they should share generously and take turns playing with all of the toys at home.

15) Leave your dirty clothes in the laundry basket. 

This means that your kids need to learn to separate whites, light colors, and dark-colored clothing when doing laundry. 

Putting all of their clothing in one load can cause some items to bleed onto others, which will make them look duller than before they were washed.

16) Always ask permission before opening the car door. 

Tell your kids that you might already know that they need to use the restroom or that their stomach is hurting. 

But, you will appreciate it if they ask permission before opening the car door, especially when the car is moving.

17) Stop playing video games when someone asks you to. 

If there’s something important on TV that you want to watch together, make sure that your kids put their video game down first. 

Playing games for too long can result in some wild dreams and paranoia, so it’s good to take breaks every now and again.

18) Wash your hands after touching any pets. 

Not only is this important because the fur on most animals can be dirty, but it also helps prevent your kids from being allergic to them.

19) Always help out around the house without being asked. 

Tell your kids that mom or dad might have been doing everything for them this entire time because mom and dad love them so much. 

Now that your kids will start getting older, it’s a great idea to learn how to do things for themselves and others.

20) Be polite to your guests when they come over. 

The same rule applies to extended family members, so it’s important that your kids treat everyone with equal respect.

21) You must tell the truth at all times. 

Lying will only make things worse for your kids in the long run, so it’s much better to be upfront about everything and expect the same in return.

At What Age Should Kids Start Learning House Rules?

It’s best to teach children early on in life how to behave properly. The earlier kids learn rules, the easier it is for them to adjust when they get older.

These are only a few of the many essential house rules that every child should know. For example, you can’t leave dirty dishes in the sink overnight or eat snacks before dinner. That’s the kind of thing that every parent should teach their children.

There are several essential house rules that children should know, but there are also some things that it’s best to leave up to the parents. Spanking or punishing your child in front of someone else is one thing you might not want to do.

Kids will learn house rules at some point in life, whether that is early or later. Parents should try to answer any questions that their children might have about the house rules they’ve applied at home.


In order to ensure that your kids will grow up to be responsible and productive members of society, it’s a good idea to teach them some house rules while they are still young. 

Kids who grow up with structured lives will have an easier time adjusting when they get older.

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