There are two distinct ways to govern a family: 1) by rules, power struggles,
domination, punishment, permissiveness... and 2) by principles.
When the family agrees on principles, the focus is on impersonal guidelines
based on truth and integrity that applies to all in the family. For instance,
one of our family principles was, "Each family member is responsible to
choose a bedtime that guarantees enough sleep to live a healthy life and
fulfill obligations properly." This means everyone in the family (children
under four or five usually excepted), decides independently when to go to
When we first put this principle into place for our family, the children
stayed up later than we did. Then, because they were obligated to go to
school and becoming very tired during school, they soon began choosing
earlier and earlier bedtimes. It wasn't long before they were choosing to go
to bed about the same time we had told them to go to bed before the guidance
of the principle was put in place. There was a dramatic difference, however.
There was no fussing, resistance or argument. The family was at peace. What a
joy that was!
Examples of family principles:
Happy, non-stressed children will become successful adults.
- Over-scheduling and over-stimulation cause weakness.
- Criticism cripples.
- Issues must be carefully chosen else parents' influence
becomes ineffective when it counts.
- Childhood is intended to be a sanctuary in which the child
can naturally mature and joyfully blossom.
- An honored child is a happy, contented child.
- Tender, loving care of the emotional core is a crucial
foundation for the development of everything positive
in a child's life.