S/O what are your rules... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 12-01-2009, 05:26 PM - Thread Starter
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The thread on piercing and tattooing rules made me wonder about individual rules in households.

ie someone said ear piercing at age 12

I'm wondering about things like dating, makeup, shaving, opposite sex friends in kids bedroom, etc.

What are rules you have already set and have no intention of changing? Or things that other people think a big deal and you aren't overly concerned about?
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#2 of 8 Old 12-01-2009, 06:40 PM - Thread Starter
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I'll answer my own thread LOL

They can date when they can drive and can pay for it, 16 and have a job.

They can have sex whenever they feel they are old enough/capable enough to care for/financially support a baby. I have made it clear I am not raising a baby for them. I wouldn't kick them out or anything but once you have a child you are responsible for it.

Tattoos when you're old enough to legally have one.

Piercings only an earlobe until you are 18. Then just don't make me watch you chew on it LOL.

Drugs I hope to heck not, never in my house. And tell me if you tried something so we can talk through it before it becomes a problem.

Drinking not while driving or riding with someone who is drinking. Only an amount that allows you to continue to make safe choices. We allowed my oldest to have an ounce or two on Thanksgiving of light white wine. If you don't have to sneak around to do it it isn't nearly as fun.

Smoking My kids are so antitobacco its crazy. However, it will make me very sad if they choose to smoke from a health standpoint. But I can't stop them. No one in our family smokes nor are they ever around it.

Hair coloring couldn't care less. If you wanted blue hair fine. You want to shave it fine. Its only hair.

I do not censor anything my oldest reads or watches. The 12 yr old, I ask my 15 yr old if its appropriate or not. He is good about telling the truth on the sex and violence in movies/books. 9yr old has no desire to watch Saw or anything. He still likes Spongebob.

Computers are only in public places of our house. Not in bedrooms.

Thats all I can think of. I tell my kids "never do anything that you know will hurt you or someone else". That covers a lot of bases.
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#3 of 8 Old 12-01-2009, 10:09 PM
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I've never really had rules like that... values, maybe. I encourage thinking things through and we generally discuss things, and we always end up with a solution that works for both of us.

If something isn't a safety issue (make-up, dating, etc.) then really, I'll give my input if it seems desired but it's her call. For something that could directly impact her health or life choices significantly (drinking, drugs, sexual activity, tattoos) I'm a bit more direct about my concerns, but again, in the end it's up to her. I do talk to her about how to do these things more safely, and how to make it unlikely that she'll wind up arrested or with an STD.

She doesn't want those things to happen either, so we're on the same page generally.

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#4 of 8 Old 12-02-2009, 12:38 AM
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No hard and fast rules here, either. My daughter had her first boyfriend at 14 and went out group dates starting then. I am anti-tobacco because of the health hazards, and neither of mine smoke. I didn't want them to drink or smoke pot, but told them I would always pick them up if they did. My daughter shaved when the hair on her legs/underarms started to bother her. She has experimented with hair color since 4th grade.

My daughter told me she wanted to pierce her nose when she was 17 and I had no problems with it. My son was never interested. They both know how to protect themselves, so their sex lives are their business. If they want to drink a beer or glass of wine every once in a while I don't mind, but I won't provide alcohol for their friends and they must be in for the night.

My philosophy is this: I have been giving them the tools to become responsible from the time they were young. They had chances to earn more freedoms and their behaviors earned them. If they have earned my trust, why would I put an arbitrary number on when they are allowed to make a decision?
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#5 of 8 Old 12-02-2009, 09:14 AM
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I like to think of them more as guidelines than rules. Something set, but negotiable.

The youngest of my teens to have a girlfriend was in eighth grade. He used to go to her house often to hang out, watch movies, whatever. Her parents and I had a lot of communication. I didn't see that him having a 'girlfriend' differed much than having a 'girl friend' KWIM? We live within walking distance of a movie theater, so they've all gone on group dates to the movies.

They aren't allowed to have girls in the house when I'm not home. As long as I'm home, they are allowed to have girls in their bedroom. I make excuses to bring clean laundry in or whatever periodically. Just enough for them to know that I could interrupt at anytime, lol.

Of course they aren't ALLOWED to have sex, but when has that ever stopped a teenager? They know my feelings on the subject, but they also know how to protect themselves.

I say no smoking, no drinking, period, because it's illegal at this age. Drugs are always illegal. Not my rule, the entire country's rule.

All three of my teens wanted their ear pierced when they were like 7. I told them when they were teenagers. One out the three still wanted it done. He got his ear pierced at 14. Recently, after much discussion, he got his eyebrow done too. Tattoos they must be 18.

Hair color I wouldn't object too. Same with clothes and stuff. Hasn't been an issue yet.

They have a curfew of 9:30 on weeknights and 11:00 on weekends, but it is negotiable if there's a good reason.

That's about all I can think of right now!
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#6 of 8 Old 12-02-2009, 01:49 PM
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I'm alot like Dar, I'm not a "rule person", I believe in establishing core values. Basically my kids know that my values are about honesty, respect and safety. They know the punishment for lying will be far worse than it will be for the act they committed. I want them to respect themselves, their family and other people. And I want them to be safe. And when I say no to them I can usually go back to one of these values as to the reason I said No. My oldest is out of the house now, but my 17 yr old can drink at home if she chooses (in moderation.) She's also in an almost 4 yr relationship so yes they have sex but they are very responsible about being safe, so I'm comfortable with that, and yes they do sleep together at my house. I do curfews on occasion but that's because I always stay up till she gets home and I tell her it's about respecting me on those nights I want to go to bed early. Probably the only thing she does that I'm not happy with is smoking but I'm a smoker so I've set a bad example ughhh. So basically I'm not a rule type person and I also believe that maturity is more important than establishing arbitrary ages for things like dating, piercing, tats or whatever. That's just how I am, and it's worked well here but every parent has to do what they are comfortable with. Barb
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#7 of 8 Old 12-02-2009, 02:19 PM
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Piercings -- whenever they're desired and a reputable place will do them. My daughter still hasn't had the guts to get her ears done.

Tattoos -- legal age . . . maybe sooner if there's a really compelling reason.

Hair is always up to them . . . cut, style, color, whatever. Same with makeup and other impermanent things.

Dating -- whenever they want. I'll drive and would chaperone to the extent that I would any friends if they were under 12 or so, but would drop them off at movies or the mall or whatever around that age, same as with friends. My 7 year old has a boy she calls her "boyfriend" (and he feels the same).

Sex -- not up to me, but teenage partners can spend the night as long as it's okay with the partner's family.

No curfew . . . how late it's reasonable to be out depends on where you are and what you're doing.

Drinking . . . at home in small quantities, whenever . . . 15-16 to have a beer or glass of wine with dinner or something. If they drink at a friend's or party, they can always call me for a ride. No judgement, just be smart and get home safe.

Smoking . . . never. If I find out they're doing it, I will lecture them and do whatever I can to prevent it if they're under 18.

We don't censor reading/viewing/listening. Never have, never will.

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#8 of 8 Old 12-02-2009, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by mommaof3boz View Post
I'm wondering about things like dating, makeup, shaving, opposite sex friends in kids bedroom, etc.
We don't have rules for any of those things. My 13 year old started shaving this year. After she started school for the first time and changing for gym, she asked me about it so I told her the options and let her pick. No big deal.

Make up will be the same. I asked her on her last birthday is she wanted to go out and have a make up person give her a facial and help her learn to wear some simple make up. She looked at me like a had 3 heads and said that what she really wanted was lego.

Neither of my kids currently has opposite sex friends who come to our house, so it isn't a deal here. I'm not sure how we'll handle that when it is a boy/girl thang, but I suspect we'll be mellow. Most likely 'they can be in your room but the door needs to be open' or something like that.

I talk openly to my kids about sex and it's far more important to me that when they get to that stage of their lives they make choices from an emotional healthy place understanding the importance of protecting themselves than that they are a certain age.

I've made it clear to them that if they want to see a doctor for any reason including birthcontrol pills to just say so because I've got their insurance cards! I talk to them more about the emotional impact of making a relationship sexual.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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