When Luke was born, it seemed like we couldn’t leave the room for one minute without a fight breaking out between Sydney (four at the time) and Sabrina (two at the time). Usually it was just yelling. Sometimes it got physical. When Sydney through a stapler at Sabrina's head when I'd left the room to answer the phone, we knew it was time for some more drastic measures.
One of them was to initiate our Family Rules.
The first thing I did was purchase a canvas (I picked one from Red Envelope) with our family name at the top and the rules we aspire to live by. This canvas print is now hanging in our kitchen.
Any time our kids break one of the rules, we remind them, “What do our family rules say about xxx?” Then a logical consequence follows. No anger or yelling. Just a reminder of the rules we live by in this household and that every member of our family needs to follow them.
Even Mom and Dad!
However, I got a kick out of this dysfunctional version too: