1. Parenting
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Establishing Rules for Kids and Preteens


Every household needs discipline, and establishing rules for your kids is a part of that. Rules help children learn self-discipline, and they help establish a sense of right and wrong.

1. Middle School Rules Tweens Need to Know

Middle school is a transition for any child. The warm and fuzzy school environment that your child knows from elementary school is a thing of the past. In order to prepare students for high school and beyond, middle schools have a number of rules that all students must follow. Be sure your child knows and understand the rules of his school. If you have questions about school rules, contact the school staff or guidance counselor for details.

2. School Dress Code Rules

Are spaghetti straps allowed at your child's school? What about short skirts, or t-shirts with beer logos? Your child's middle school may have certain rules about what the students are allowed to wear. It's a good idea to review the dress code rules with your child, so there aren't any surprises later. Some schools may send students home for the day if they're in violation of the code. Others may require students change their clothes before allowed back in the classroom.

3. Summer Camp Rules - What Tweens Need to Know

Summer camp is a time for kids to explore, grow and develop a sense of independence. But there are certain summer camp rules parents and kids need to follow. Make sure your child shows up for camp wearing the appropriate clothing and ready for adventure. Review rules on conduct and behavior with your child before camp begins, in order to prevent any unnecessary incidents.

4. The House Rules Every Tween Should Follow

Running a home and a family isn't easy, but it's a lot harder if your children don't know the house rules. Make sure everyone understands that they need to pick up after themselves, tackle their chores without being asked, and to show respect to all the other family members. Oh, and keeping your hands and feet to yourself is a must.

5. Establishing Curfew Rules

Your tween is growing up, and that means your child is learning how to make decisions and develop a sense of independence. But even preteens need to know what their curfew is, so that they can learn time management skills, and responsibility. Curfews should be early on school nights. Your child needs time to finish homework assignments, relax and get ready for bed. On weekends or during the summer months, you may decide to extend curfew a bit. Discuss curfew responsibility with your child ahead of any plans, and be sure to be flexible for those special events.

6. Summer Rules for Kids

Keeping your child safe through the summer months is a lot easier if you have rules in place before summer begins. Make sure your child knows where he is and isn't allowed to go alone, and what is curfew is. Also, make outdoor play a part of your summer rules, and educate your children about dangers they might encounter over the summer, such as dehydration, alcohol, inhalants and dangerous peer pressure.

7. What are Your Family's Cell Phone Rules?

Are your children allowed to text at dinner? Do you set a time when the phone has to be turned off? Many families establish cell phone rules for their children, in order to cut down on texting, or to make room for family time or bedtime. Share your family's cell phone rules, and help other parents establish rules of their own.
  1. About.com
  2. Parenting
  3. Tweens
  4. Behavior & Discipline
  5. Rules for Kids and Tweens - A Parent's Guide

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.