“Old” Edgar Family Rules

This is a copy of the original “family rules” that I wrote up after Mom died. They seem silly now, but at the time they were especially important to me. I was very much overwhelmed with the awesome responsibility of being solely responsible for our family. I needed some structure that would guide me through those difficult times. These rules gave me that structure. They helped me by giving me a foundation. At a very fundamental level, they codified family activity for me. Some modifications were made after Kathy joined our family.


These family rules apply to everyone generally and are used as guidelines–not laws. Each situation may be adjusted as necessary; however, unless there is a good reason, we will follow them as closely as possible. Remember that we have all agreed to these guidelines. If anyone wants to change a rule, they should bring it up in a family council meeting.

FAMILY GOALS: Our goal is to obtain Eternal Life–individually and as a family. We can do that by being clean and remaining on the “…straight and narrow path” as described in 2 Nephi 31:17-20. We will work together as a family and support each other in obtaining this goal. Our family rules are taken from the scriptures and from the teachings of the church and are designed to help us reach our goal.

1.  General Rules.

            a.  We accept the commandments of the LORD as they are taught, and we obey them. We should seek to understand them by daily prayerful study and pondering of the scriptures. We study, pray, and obey. If we have any questions, we will ask Dad or Mom for the answers.

            b.  We accept the Articles of Faith as a true statement of our fundamental religious beliefs.

            c.  We accept and obey the Ten Commandments and the higher laws of God (when received and understood) as the LORD’s commandments and our standards of behavior.

            d.  We normally have family prayer twice daily–morning and evening.

            e.  We study the scriptures each day as a family (at least ten to fifteen minutes per day, usually right after the evening meal) and as individuals.

            f.  We keep ourselves morally clean.

            g.  We are careful to live the spirit of the Word of Wisdom.

            h.  We pay an honest tithe and live within our means. We pay our debts (financial and moral) in a timely manner. We are careful to stay out of unnecessary debt.

            i.  We love and honor our family. We are loyal to them and to their love for us.

            j.  We respect our home and personal belongings and take care of them. We show the same respect for other people’s property.

            k.  We are thoughtful, kind, and considerate to all humanity and animal life–regardless of their behavior toward us.

            l.  We do not hit each other. If we hit, we will be restricted to our rooms (alone) for an appropriate period of time.

            m.  We do not raise our voices in the home (unless there is a fire or similar emergency). If anyone raises their voice, he/she will be required to sit quietly alone, by themself for an appropriate period of time.

            n.  We use kind words (we do not use “bad” words). If anyone uses a bad word, that person will apologize in writing to the whole family.

            o.  We do not have any of our friends in the home when Dad and Mom are gone unless they have approved the visit. If anyone does, he/she will explain the reason why to Dad and Mom and they will decide the consequences.

            p.  Each day, all children must come into the house before dark or when the streetlights come on, whichever comes first. Anyone coming in later will be required to come in 30 minutes earlier the next day. However, children may be allowed to attend necessary school, church, or social functions, as approved by Dad or Mom.

            q.  Generally, only children thirteen years and older may have evenings out with friends (of the same gender). In all cases, Dad or Mom must approve evenings out.

            r.  We do not go on dates (with only one person of the opposite gender) until after our 16th birthday. We never stay out after 11:00 PM unless approved in advance by Dad or Mom. If anyone stays out after 11:00 PM without permission, he/she will not be allowed out on a date again for at least ten (10) days.

            s.  When dating, we are careful to have wholesome date activities that are in agreement with LDS standards. We avoid any place the Holy Spirit will not follow. We do not go to “R” rated movies (or worse), and we avoid “PG” and “PG-13” movies unless approved by Dad or Mom.

            t.  Anytime that anyone finds his or herself in a “bad” situation or in any kind of trouble, regardless of what it is or the time of day, he/she should contact Dad or Mom for help. Dad and Mom agree to do whatever is necessary to help and promise not to ask any difficult questions until all are safely at home and reasonably rested.

            u.  If we are not sure about something, we ask.

2.  Personal Rules.

            a.  Each person should take a bath/shower daily, but at least once every other day. We should wash our hair at least once every other day.

            b.  We should change our underwear at least once daily.

            c.  We should floss our teeth each night and brush them at least twice a day.

            d.  We should have a personal prayer at least twice daily–morning and evening.

            e.  We should study the scriptures daily.

            f.  We should always remember who we are and not do anything we would be ashamed to tell the LORD (or Dad and Mom) about.

3.  Other Rules (Homework/TV/Sabbath/Telephone).

            a.  Homework. We do our homework as soon as possible after school. We spend at least 30 minutes of quiet study time each day on school homework. If there is no specific school assignment, then we use the time to read.

            b.  Television.

                        i)  No one should watch more than two hours of television on any single day. Exceptions must be approved by Dad and Mom.

                        ii)  We do not watch TV or play video games until all our homework is finished. If anyone watches TV without finishing their homework, they will lose TV privileges for a period of time.

                        iii)  We do not normally watch television on Sunday. Some exceptions to this rule include church broadcasts and possibly Disney or public television station programs. If anyone wishes to watch another TV program on Sunday, they must get approval from Dad or Mom.

            c.  Sabbath Day.

                        i)  We strive to attend all Sabbath day meetings. In particular, we attend Sacrament Meeting to partake of the emblems of the sacrament and renew our covenants. We also faithfully attend all other Sabbath day meetings including Priesthood, Relief Society, Young Women’s, Sunday School, and Primary meetings.

                        ii)  We should be careful to play only “wholesome” music on Sunday. Each individual has the right to decide what is or is not “wholesome”; however, Dad and Mom reserve the right of final judgment. On Sunday, we must play music softly.

            d.  Telephone.

                        i)  Children should not talk on the telephone to their friends after 9:00 PM except for emergency reasons. However, anyone may use the telephone at any time for an emergency, or when calling Dad or Mom.

                        ii)  We must all make an effort to limit our telephone calls to a reasonable amount of time.  The telephone is for everyone’s use.

4.  Family Schedules:

            a.  General Family Schedule (School Time).

                        i)  “Out of Bed” times (School days).

                        i)  Elementary School children – 7:00 AM

                        ii)  Junior High School children – 6:00 AM

                        iii)  Seminary/HS students – 5:00 AM

iv) Family Prayer Times – Before breakfast and Dinner.

                        v)  Breakfast Time – About 6:30 AM.

                       vi)  Lunch Time – (at school)

                        vii)  Dinner Time – 6:00 PM

                        viii)  Family Scripture Study – After dinner each day.

                        ix)  Bedtime 9:00 PM – (see para 4d)

                        x)  Family Home Evening Monday night – from 6-9:00 PM

                       xi)  Home Teaching – Second Sunday each month

                       xii)  Temple Night – Fourth Tuesday each Month

                        xiii)  Kids’ Night out * – 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Tuesday 6-9:00 PM

                        xiv)  YM/YW Activity Night – Wednesday 7-8:30 PM

                        xv)  Dad & Mom’s date night – Friday Night

            b.  General Family Schedule (Summertime).

                        i)  Family Prayer Times – Before breakfast and Dinner.

                        ii)  Breakfast Time – About 8:00 AM.

                        iii)  Lunch Time – Noon

                        iv)  Dinner Time – 6:00 PM

                        v)  Family Scripture Study – After dinner each day.

                        vi)  Bedtime 10:00 PM – (see para 4d)

                        vii)  Family Home Evening Monday night – from 6-9:00 PM

                        viii)  Home Teaching night – First Tuesday each month

                        ix)  Temple Night – Fourth Tuesday each Month

                        x)  Kids’ Night out * – 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Tuesday 6-9:00 PM

                        xi)  YM/YW Activity Night – Wednesday 7-8:30 PM

                        xii)  Dad & Mom’s date night – Friday Night

(* Evenings out with Dad and Mom will generally rotate each week from the oldest child to the youngest.  Usually, there will only be one child per evening.)

            c.  “Out of Bed” times (School days).

                        i)  Elementary School children – 7:00 AM

                        ii)  Junior High School children – 6:00 AM

                        iii)  Seminary/HS students – 5:00 AM

            d.  Bedtimes.  Generally, everyone will go to his/her bed at 9:00 PM. The teenagers may read quietly or do other quiet activities in their rooms until 10:00 PM. On non-school evenings (including the summer), children may stay up until 10:00 PM.

                        i)  Through 12 years – 9:00 PM

                        ii)  Teenagers – 10:00 PM

            e. Other times.

                        i)  On Sunday, everyone will be ready for church and be sitting in the family room for family prayer 30 minutes before the block meeting start time.

                        ii)  On evenings out, children (up to 18) will be home not later than 11:00 PM unless otherwise approved in advance by Dad or Mom.

5.  Family Chores (click HERE to see more details)

            a.  In the morning, we make our beds as soon as possible after getting up but always before we leave for the day. If anyone fails to make their bed, they will be required to make both beds in their room on the following day.

            b.  We do not leave clothes on the floor. Clothes go in one of three places ONLY: that is, 1) folded in our drawers (or hung in our closets), 2) in the dirty clothes basket (if dirty), and/or 3) on our bodies. We do not put clean clothes in the laundry. If you misplace your clothes, you will probably be required to do extra laundry chores.

            c.  We clean up any mess we make. We help others whenever possible. If you make a mess and do not clean it up, you will be assigned an additional cleanup chore somewhere in the house or yard.

            d.  Immediately after each meal, each person will bring his/her dishes to the sink for washing by the assigned person. Anyone failing to do this may be given the duty of putting all the clean dishes away.

            e.  We follow the family chores chart as closely as possible.

            f.  If we do not do our assigned chores, we can expect consequences.

Click HERE to read my “A Single Parent” Page.