Family Rules and Consequences Chart

A family rules and consequence chart should be standard in every household. It should be clear to both the child and the parent what the consequences are of bad behavior. For example, if your child knows exactly what punishment is waiting for them if they break curfew, they’ll be a lot less likely to do it. In general, having a clear layout of consequences is very likely to decrease the amount of bad behavior by your kids.

Growing up, we had clear consequences for breaking the rules. Whether it was my curfew or not doing chores.

I’m going to separate the family rules and consequences into separate charts by age range. Obviously, the punishment for an 11-year-old is not going to be the same punishment for an 18-year-old. Depending on where your child is in their life, the consequences will change.

An important detail of having rules and consequences chart is adherence. Do not make exceptions. Every time your child does certain bad behavior, you need to administer the consequence. The more consistent you are with the consequences, the less likely they are to break the rules.

Creating your Own Rules and Consequences

The rules and consequence tables I’m providing below are just examples of what my parents used on me as well as what I used on my kids. The exact rules and punishments should be tailored for your children.

You know your children better than anyone and are aware of which consequences are the most effective. The same applies to setting rules. Use your values to create standards that your child should be held to.

A good rule of thumb is to have some educational rules, some social rules, and some behavioral rules. This will make much more sense once you see the examples I have laid out below.

Be sure you are not being a tyrant with your kids. Don’t set unrealistic expectations with your family rules and understand that either the rules or consequences will need to change over time. Parenting is not an exact science and you will need to change your strategy over time.

Also, be sure to adjust your rules as children get older. Curfews should be slowly getting pushed back as your child gets older (and ultimately eliminated by the time they are 18). Our goal as parents is to teach our children the framework to become productive adults. Every rule you have should have a productive purpose in your child’s life.

Family Rules and Consequences Chart

Family Rules and Consequence Chart for Teens

Teens are where you are likely to see the most trouble as a parent. Teens often act out by breaking the family rules. These are also the years where some mistakes can affect them for the rest of their lives. Bad grades in school, for example, could affect your teen’s ability to get into a good university.

Feel free to trade out the rules for your own family rules. These are just the rules I had as a teen and the ones I set on my own teens.

Family RuleConsequence
Keep GPA above ______Removal of Phone
Breaking CurfewGrounded for a week
Bad Behavior at SchoolAllowance suspended for a week
LyingAdditional Chores
CursingCurfew Pushed up 1 hr

This consequence chart above is just an example of what works for me and my family. Family rules and consequences are highly subjective and should be tailored to your specific family. I’ve found that this set of rules makes sure my teen is keeping their grades up, getting their chores done, and having a responsible social life.

Punishing teens can be difficult. They have a lot more ways to get around our punishments now that they are older. Be more vigilant that your punishments are actually being enforced. Things like sneaking out and lying are not uncommon during that age.

Family Rules and Consequence Chart for Elementary School Students

Setting rules when your child is young is crucial for normalizing them before they reach their difficult teenage years. As long as your rules are fair, feel free to start enforcing your chart as early as 5 years old.

Be sure your consequences are not too strict. Remember they are still a child and deserve to have fun before the world becomes more difficult for them. Keep your punishments shorter. Timeouts are a great tool to use during these years.

Family RuleConsequence
Lying20-Minute Timeout
Cursing20-Minute Timeout
Bad School BehaviorRemoval of Screen Time
Temper Tantrum15-Minute Timeout
Poor Grades+30-Minute of Studying

As you can see the consequences are more short-term. Some of these consequences are aimed to decrease their chances of breaking the rule next time. In the instance of poor grades, the consequence is that they will have an additional 30 minutes of studying per night. Although this is technically not a consequence, they will see it that way.

At this age, it can be easy to let things slide like ignoring them when they have a temper tantrum or yelling at them when they lie. Family rules and consequences charts are most effective when the parent sticks to the consequence every single time. Being consistent allows the child to internalize what will happen if they do not follow the family rules.

Family Rules and Consequence Chart for Tweens

Previously known as a preteen, a tween is a child between the ages of 9-12. They are not yet teenagers but may have begun acting like one. During this age, the rules and consequences are highly subjective.

Depending on the negative behavior your child engages in, you’ll want to punish them accordingly. It seems like each tween has a niche of bad behavior. Some tweens are quick to let their grades slip while others will completely rebel.

No one knows your children as you do so use your knowledge of them to give them the most appropriate rules and consequences.

Here are some of the most popular consequences for that age range:

  • Removal of cell phone (either completely or during certain hours)
  • Grounding
  • Stricter Curfew (requiring them to come home right after school)
  • WIFI restricted hours (a great tool if you learn how to use it)

If you are looking for some ideas for good family rules, check out this video:

Final Thoughts

Having clear rules and consequences is an easy way to keep your kids on a healthy path towards a successful and productive life as an adult. Be sure that your rules make sense and are fair. The same applies to your consequences.

The more closely you stick to your chart every time your child breaks the rules, the more effective having a family rules and consequence chart is. Also, be sure to set some rules for yourself that your child can see, they are less likely to object if they know you have rules too.

If your child is young, set up the chart somewhere public so that they can see it every day.