The host of this week's RevGal's Friday Five writes "After a family vacation with our four children and three additional "partners," I am more aware of rules, spoken and unvoiced. Expectations are not always clearly expressed, but are still expected. . . . unbeknown to all unless one is not fulfilled! So how about writing about rules in your families and workplaces? Choose one or more for each category, especially if one seems odd or funny to you now."
1. Formal rules in family of origin
NEVER say "shut up" to another person, ever! (It was considered on the same level as swearing in my family.) Do your best. Do your chores. Go to college. Be honest. Always behave appropriately in public, you represent the family. Go to church.
2. Unwritten and unspoken rules in family of origin
Be a "good girl" - no sex, no drinking or drugs, no juvenile delinquent behavior. We're private people, so keep family stuff (including extended family) within the family. Know how amuse yourself, 'cause no one is here to cater to your amusement. When mom is in that certain mood (every mom knows this mood!) stay out of her way and don't bug her. Hugs and expressions of love for everyone in the family are a must at leave-takings.
3. Formal rules in current family or workplace
Try everything on your plate. Be kind and considerate. Read often, if not every day. Practice patience. Use your words (adults sometimes need reminding of this one too!). Mind your manners.
4. Unwritten rules in current family or workplace
Be understanding when someone in the family is not feeling the best. Education is extremely important, so take learning seriously, but have fun with it too! We're a naturally messy family, but try to fight back the chaos. Don't spend too much time in front of the TV or computer. Encourage dad in his diet.
5. When was a time that you became aware of different rules in different places/families than your own?
When I was in elementary school, I hung out a bit with a girl a little younger than me who lived just up the road from us. Her mom would scream, yell, criticize and belittle her pretty much all the time, even in front of me. In return, my friend would talk back to her mom, misbehave just to tick her off, and tell me how much she hated her. Up to that point, I had no idea that this kind of family behavior existed!