These house rules were adapted from Karen Purvis’ rules at “Camp”, and tweaked for a teenager within a year of aging out of the system. If they are helpful for anyone else, please feel free to take what you want and leave the rest. I provided them to my kiddo in writing, and when they are challenged, I can safely say, go look at the house rules, and I will honor what it says if I am not being consistent with them. Having them in writing allowed me to give them to my kiddo and let my kiddo read them and process them before we talked through them. We negotiated on some points and put them in writing too. My kiddo told me seeing it in writing made it real. This has solved and avoided many potential conflicts along the way.
- Be Safe! Emotionally, Physically, Sexually, Health, Financially, Spiritually, Educationally
- No Hurts! Err & Repair…Be Respectful of one another, others, and the environment
- Be Honest! Own your “stuff” and be responsible and accountable
- Have FUN! Enjoy the Adventure!
Respect closed doors — knock before entering.
Don’t keep drugs, alcohol, or other substances in your life.
Change clothes in the bathroom or bedroom only and with the door shut completely.
Bathroom door shut completely if using (shower, toilet, getting dressed, etc)
Wear shirt and shorts (more than boxers) in common areas.
No kids in my room — my space.
Anything I shouldn’t eat goes on your Yes shelf / my No shelf (or designated spots in the fridge). Midnight snacks or food when an adult isn’t around — use the microwave only.
Breakfast is mandatory, content is your choice.
No visitors to the house when an adult is not home.
No overnight stays for females. No sex, no nudity, etc, at any time a female is visiting.
No closed doors when visitors are at the house (except bathroom, etc).
Make your own choices with music, videos, etc, but when in the car or a common area, be respectful of the other person’s choices.
If you choose to have sex, use protection. No sex under my roof.
Date/pursue ladies that are in an appropriate age range for you. Right now, this means high schoolers.
High fives, fist bumps, handshakes, shoulder pats, are completely appropriate and freely given.
Side hugs are most appropriate for male/female hugs.
Ask first if you want to lean on me, sit closely, put a pillow next to me and lay on the couch, etc.
If I give you a boundary or rule and you don’t like it or have a better idea, ask for a compromise.
I want to know your friends, and if you’re going to hang with them at their house or be out with them, I want to have their contact info and their parent’s.
No overnights with the ladies.
Protect my privacy by not giving out my address or phone number to people or signups.
I will not give out your cell phone number.
I will be connected with you on every social media account.
I will NEVER take money from your bank account without permission.
Relapse back into gangs, drugs, stealing, or alcohol.
Making a move, aggressively or sexually, towards me, my animals, or my home/vehicle.
Harming yourself or someone else.
School nights: bedtime = 10:30pm, lights out = 11pm, Internet out = 10:30pm
Weekends: curfew = 10pm, internet out = 12am, lights out = whenever as long as you’re up the next day.
Internet on = 7am every morning
Cell phone turn-in = when the adult goes to bed or your bedtime
I will make sure you are up by 7:15am on school mornings, but wake up earlier if you want.
Weekly “business meetings” — checkin for things we haven’t addressed, grocery list/meal planning, schedule (haircuts, appointments, sports, church, etc.), school (projects, papers, exams, grades, assignments)
Allowance — what day each week?
Chores — what ones? when?
Use cloth towels as much as is reasonable (Don’t waste paper products)
When we run out of something, write it on the grocery list on the fridge.
As we cook and eat together, we’ll talk about healthy/unhealthy choices.
Weekly cookup participation expected — chopping, prepping, cooking, etc.
As we go along, we will have “do-overs” when situations come up that we don’t navigate well. Regardless of other people’s standards when you are with them, our house rules still apply. Check in when you get places and if plans change.
If I give you money for a particular purpose and it’s more than you needed, I expect change to come back.
Limit TV and screen time to 1-2 hours/day
No screens during mealtimes
Choose people face to face over phone/text/FB/youtube/etc.
3 hours of unplugged downtime each week — journaling, writing letters (paper/pen), reading books, drawing, building planes, Youth Ranch, etc. — something restorative for you
Things I want for you and believe for you
I want you to find music and TV/video that builds you up and doesn’t tear you down or tempt you.
I want for you to choose sexual purity until you are married, starting where you are today (not ignoring your past, but focusing on what’s ahead).
I want for you to learn boundaries and authentic, meaningful relationships with ladies. I want you to experience connection with females that doesn’t require having a physical relationship to get positive attention or friendship.
I want you to find 3 men from church that can serve as your accountability, and who can provide some of the “man things” that I won’t be able to provide.
I want you to feel safe here at my home and to be able to find healing.
I believe we have HOPE and that God wants us to have JOY in this life. You don’t have to believe it, but I want you to know I believe it for you.