Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday Five: The Rules

Jan offers today's thought-provoking Friday Five on rules and expectations. As a parent raising teenagers, I'm reminded on a daily basis of the norms, spoken and unspoken, of family/communal life.

Here are her questions and my thoughts:

" 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
I grew up in a family full of women. My mother, aunt and grandmother raised me. We made lots of mistakes, certainly enabled some less than desirable behaviors, but mostly lived by the rules "Don't let the sun go down on your anger" and "Love makes room" and...
Put your napkin in your lap.

2. Unwritten and unspoken rules in family of origin
Don't be passive-aggressive. It's unattractive and unloving.
Call before you visit.

3. Formal rules in current family or workplace
Come have fun at the February staff Christmas party. (We work for the Church. Who has time for a Christmas party in December? Or January, for that matter?)

4. Unwritten rules in current family or workplace
In my workplace, all of our office doors are open, unless we're in a private meeting. Either way, always knock and pause before entering an office.

5. When was a time that you became aware of different rules in different places/families than your own?
The family into which I married lives by drop-in visits. That was new to me.
I learned to like it... (kind of...)


angela said...

I love that photo chart--is that in your home? It sounds like your family had some healthy rules--I don't know any families that don't do some sort of passive-aggressive. I usually try to ignore it and be balanced myself.

Jennifer said...

Yes, Angela, it is in our home.
It hangs out over our kitchen sink.

Jan said...

I so wish I'd been aware of "passive-aggressive (actions). It's unattractive and unloving." I learned that well and so did my husband, so that much of our early married life was lived out that way. What a good thing to be modeled. All those women in your life!

Hot Cup Lutheran said...

oh yes... the great debate... do we call first? or drop-in? i'm a caller 99% of the time...

open doors... cool. way cool. *knock knock* hey it's me hotcup, got a minute? let's go shopping! *heh heh heh*

Mompriest said...

love the photo in this post - love it's message! I am definitely a call before you visit person, regardless of whether I am the visitor or the one being visited...

Rev SS said...

Wow! I love the photo too! And, the no passisveo-agressive, and open doors.

And .. I'm also a call before visit person whether visiting or visited one.

Barbara B. said...

The "put your napkin in your lap" one made me smile! :)

Deb said...

I like those rules in your photo-- I am going to try to make an "In this Classroom" version!

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

I wish my family had had a rule against being passive aggressive!

Pam said...

Hi -- saw this today - first time I've seen your blog and am thinking about adapting it for use in my preschool classroom. I love it! What kind of attribution can I give it? Thanks!

Jennifer said...

Hi Pam:
Here's the link to the photo:

We purchased a plaque at a Hallmark store that cntained the same words. I don't know to whom to attribute it, beyond that.

Pam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pam said...

Years ago in Santa Fe, I found a decorated metal heart with these words.... (I love it!)

Be Free
Live Now

Give Hope
Show How
Share Love
Take Care

Stand Tall
Play Fair

Know Right from Wrong
Be Happy
Live Long

Jennifer said...

Love it!