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Being Strict Doesn’t Work: 12 Ways Harsh Rules Will Backfire on Parents

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House rules are crafted with the aim of fostering the development of responsible individuals, ensuring harmony within the household, and essentially sparing parents from potential pitfalls. Yet, some rules, on occasion, may inadvertently backfire, giving rise to more undesirable behavior than parents would ideally prefer to witness.

Here are a few house rules you may want to rethink if you want well-behaved kids.

1. Device Snatching

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Taking away electronic devices in a bid to improve your child’s behavior may look like an idea, but it may not produce the best results. If the idea is to limit screen time, setting the rules for when the child puts it away produces better results than simply snatching it away from them.

It’s best to have a candid conversation with your child about the need for controlled screen time.

2. No WiFi After A Certain Time

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WiFi must be the modern-day necessary evil; parents love to hate it. Turning off the WiFi to keep children from browsing all night seems like a good rule.

However, if the kids actually need the WiFi for important things, it may cause more havoc than peace. Be considerate in the WiFi rationing, and let the children know that if it’s on, it’s not for entertainment.

3. Guilting Them When They Don’t Listen

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Kids push limits; they can’t help it. However, reminding them of their failure to follow rules and instructions only makes them more defensive and more disobedient.

The best way to help them keep this rule is to be present in the implementation of the rule in the first place to aid in prompt obedience, especially in the beginning.

4. Not Being Reminded Of The Rules

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Expecting the kids to remember all the rules all the time without being reminded is going to be hard for everyone and very stressful. Kids forget (especially littles), sometimes on purpose.

You will recap the rules once in a while or more times than you’d like.

5. Unfair Rules

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Denying them something one day and allowing them unlimited access to the same thing on another day will be very confusing for the kids.

Let the rules be fair and be seen to be fair.

6. No Rules for Grown Ups

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If the house rules only apply to the kids and not the parents, you will have a mini-hurricane where implementing them is concerned.

The house rules must apply to everyone, especially those that concern etiquette and treating others right.

7. No Playing Inside

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Rules against playing indoors will protect your glass coffee table and keep the house in order. Unfortunately, on the days when the outdoors isn’t ideal for playing, you will have a huge problem keeping them still. Try and create a safe space somewhere in the house for them to play.

8. This and That Rule Are Non-Negotiable

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If you have rigid rules that leave no space for negotiation, you will soon be dealing with passive-aggressive power struggles or outright disobedience.

Leave some wiggle room, especially as the kids grow older.

9. No Crying

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A child’s crying can be irritating, and when you’ve had a long day [or a long lifetime], you don’t want your headache aggravated by a shrill cry.

But this rule doesn’t help the child; it leads to the child bottling emotions and having difficulty expressing themselves in the future.

10. No Playing In The Mud

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Children need to be messy, and they need to explore and learn. Overly strict cleanliness rules can stifle their creativity and curiosity.

11. No Noise Rule

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Expecting absolute silence can be unrealistic and may lead to children feeling like they can’t express themselves, causing frustration and disobedience.

12. Clean Your Plate

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Children are perfectly capable of detecting and acting on their hunger cues. Encouraging children to finish everything on their plate can lead to overeating.


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