House Rules For My Foster Kiddos Ages 6 to 12

Around six years of age, kids start to become more independent and that's why my rules become a lot different at this time. From 6 to 12 our rules are a mixture between 'little kid rules' and 'teenage rules'. I encourage my kids to behave well, by rewarding them for positive behavior. Here are our basic rules for kids ages 6 to 12. Just as with teenagers, younger kids are allowed to 'negotiate' the rules, and are able to work with me to change the rules as they think are fair (they should get a bit more allowance for washing dishes the day after a holiday party when there are many more things to be washed- fair enough, right? I'd agree). Without further ado, our 'Older Kids Rules'

Kids 6 to 9, aren't allowed to play out and run around without supervision. With that being said, kids 10 to 12, are. They are allowed to go out and play at the playground or attend school events without me present. We do have a few rules. Our week day curfew is 7:00. And our weekend curfew is 9:00.
-I need to know exactly where they will be (and if they are walking to a store or to the playground, they need to tell me which roads they will be taking). If I find out they are lying, they are not allowed out for one week.
-They cannot be late. If they are late for curfew one night, they are not allowed out the following night.
-They cannot be failing any classes. If they are failing, they can earn their curfew rights back by raising their grades.

I do allow our kids to go online, but for kids younger than 13, they are only allowed on the 'family laptops' which stay in the living room and kitchen where I can supervise them at all times. We do have rules.
-They are not allowed to use social media. No facebook accounts, twitter, youtube, or anything similar until they are 13. They are also not allowed to be on chat rooms, forums, or 'older kids games' (where there are people who use curse words while playing).
-If they are going to watch youtube videos they must approve them with me first (so I know that they are watching something age appropriate).
-They can play games on approved sites. We like Neopets, Runescape, and other kid-friendly game sites where all of the activities on the game are child-friendly.
-They are allowed to instant message and Skype with friends, but they must show me who they are talking to and must keep conversations appropriate.
-They are not ever allowed to use their real name or location online.

Each month my younger kids are allowed to earn things based on the grade they get at school. They are allowed to go through and pick out different rewards based on their dollar amount. If they get...
Mostly A's- they get to pick out something worth $50 to $75 at the end of the month.
Mostly B's- they get to pick out something worth $25 to $50
Mostly C's- they get to pick out something worth $10 to $24
Mostly D's- they get to pick out something worth $1 to $5
Mostly F's- they don't get to pick out anything.
I find this method motivates them throughout the month, because while they are working on homework they are also working towards something they want (like a toy, new item of clothing, or video game).

My older kids can earn an allowance. I tried to keep these chores relatively easy, to give younger kids a sense of accomplishment and to keep them motivated to do chores. Their chore options are:
Make your bed: $0.25 a day
Clean your room: $0.50 a day
Feed pets: $0.10 a pet (around $2.00 a day total for all the animals)
Put your laundry in your room: $0.10 a day
Take dirty laundry from bedrooms to laundry room: $0.10 a bedroom, per day
Pick up toys around the house: $0.75 a day

My kids are always welcome to have friends over. Friends can come over on school nights, but must be home at their house by curfew. We don't do 'sleepovers' on school nights. If my kids are grounded, they are still allowed to have friends over- but MUST get homework done with their friends. Sleepover rights for weekends and any days where there is not school the next day. These rights can be earned by:
-Being respectful to your peers and friends: If my kids are not kind to their friends while their friends are here, I won't allow them to continue to have friends over. This includes not stealing from friends, not cursing at them, and paying them back if they buy you food or something while in public. At school my kids cannot be bullying other children and any instances of bullying will prevent them from having sleepover rights with other friends.
-Being a good host: This means a lot of things, but basically I just want my kids to treat their guests with respect. Don't ignore them. Offer them food and drinks. Invite them to participate in activities. Don't be rude.
-Helping keep the house clean: If my kids are going to have a friend spend the night, their room needs to be clean. And they also need to clean up after their 'party' or 'sleepover' is finished (washing dishes from meals with their friends, cleaning up messes, etc).
-Being home by curfew with friends: If they are spending the night at my house with friends, they are still expected to be home by the previously agreed curfew.
-Following all other house rules: Friends are expected to follow house rules as well. If they don't, they aren't welcome over.

We have video games, computer, tablets, and TVs available. My kids can pick up any of these devices any time they want to. In order to earn the right to watch whatever show they want, play a video game, or use a computer or tablet they need to complete these basic tasks:
-Brush your teeth- pretty self explanatory.
-Finish homework, and yep- I do check.
-Have no detentions or suspensions at school (detentions and suspensions have all rights for electronics taken away).

If my child is suspended from school almost all rights are taken away from them on the days they are suspended. They do not have electronics, curfew is taken away, allowance cannot be earned that day, and the wifi will be locked.

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