Refrigerator Rules

As soon as you have a child reach the age of about THREE, please feel free to cut and paste and ENLARGE and Print—and then FRAME—on the Refrigerator Door:





  When your child reaches about the age of five, you may add:


That’s it!  That’s all you need for rules in and out of your home.  No more never-ending lists because your kids are smarter than you are.

Hanging this list on the refrigerator is NOT ENOUGH.  You have to use it as your all time favorite advertisement for HOME HEALTH!

Here are some hints:  when someone violates one or more of the above rules, point at said list, raise your eyebrows, and wait.  If noted poor choice of behavior changes: smile, nod and life continues.  If noted poor choice of behavior doesn’t change, then ACT.

Depending upon the age of the transgressor of poor choice behavior, you may ACT on any of the following (please feel free to add to these suggestions):

  • point at kitchen stool and hold up 5 fingers (usually one minute per age of child) for minutes of thinking time.  Then at end of this time (set a timer, if you need to be reminded) you will discuss one or more of the rules: Respect, Responsible, Nice to Be Around as it applied to poor choice of behavior.
  • Tell child that they are now helping do your chores (so they are right by you) for the next ___minutes (1 minute/year of age).  And then discuss the rules (see above).
  • With an older child, everything stops.  Child may use her room, however, in ____minutes (20 maximum minutes) you and she will discuss the rules: (see above)
  • In your discussion about the rules you will not say much.  You will frame your questions around the ABC (Adventure Based Counseling) structure of these questions (in this order):




Please see next post for how to use these three simple questions to elicit your child’s engagement of cognitive and heart skills.

PS–once again, thanks to Nancy Thomas for the Refrigerator Rules.  Thanks to the Folks at ABC for all their tireless effort to get the word out.

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