Teaching Your Kids the "Stop Rule"

Again, our good friends at the National Center for Biblical Parenting have provided us with a great tip for helping your kids to set and enforce personal boundaries in their lives. I have included their recent post below.

And as a reminder, Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller (authors of "Parenting is Heart Work") and the leaders of the National Center for Biblical Parenting will be keynote speakers at Johnson Ferry's huge Parenting Vision and Strategy Conference on March 11-12, 2011. Get this weekend on your calendars NOW.

And if THAT wasn't cool enough, we will host them for a brief event titled "Overcoming Bad Attitudes" on Friday night, September 17. You'll want to come hear what they have to say about dealing with anger and other challenging attitudes in your kids.

Anyway, back to the "Stop Rule" I mentioned earlier. Here's a great tip that Turansky and Miller recommend...


Teasing and playing around can be amusing, but usually one person wants to stop before the other. Angry words and tears often bring an end to what started out as fun. Incorporating a "Stop Rule" in your family will help children, and parents for that matter, know when to quit.

Stop-sign The Stop Rule is simply this: When a child wants to be done with a teasing or tickling game, that child just says, "Stop" and the other child must stop the game. Even parents need to stop when a child doesn't want to be teased anymore. In fact, a good way to teach this rule is for a parent to tickle a child and stop immediately when the child says, “Stop.”

Of course, to make this work, you as a parent need to be available to enforce the rule. When you hear one child say, "Stop," watch and see if you’re needed to step in to enforce the rule.

One mom told us, "I thought this idea was too simple, but one day I was so frustrated, I decided to teach it to my children. They liked the idea…and it worked! Now it has become a regular part of our family life."

The Stop Rule teaches children the value of their words. When someone is relentlessly teasing, your child will know that his or her personal boundaries are being violated and want to seek help. This is a helpful rule for creating boundaries in relationships between siblings or playmates and it teaches children adult solutions for solving their childhood problems.

For more on how to use rules to teach values to children, see the book Home Improvement, The Parenting Book You Can Read to Your Kids, by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN.

If this tip was sent to you by a friend and you'd like to continue to receive tips yourself, you can sign up at www.biblicalparenting.org.