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Children's Poems About Rules

by Laura Roberts

Why is it that mothers throughout the millenniums have struggled to teach their toddlers to follow simple conventions like saying “Please” and “Thank you?” Remembering rules may not come naturally to your munchkin, but you can help her to ingrain the patterns for behavior into her thought processes. Use well-known poems and nursery rhymes as a familiar medium to explore the lessons about rules.

Rules about Speech

Teach your child the “magic word” and the importance of truth through reciting centuries-old poetry. Rules For Behavior (unknown author) "HEARTS, like doors, will open with ease To very, very little keys, And don’t forget that two of these Are I thank you and If you please. Come when you’re called, Do what you’re bid, Close the door after you, Never be chid. Seldom can’t, Seldom don’t; Never shan’t, Never won’t" * * * Against Lying by Isaac Watts "O 'tis a lovely thing for youth To early walk in wisdom's way; To fear a lie, to speak the truth, That we may trust to all they say! . . ."

Rules about Social Interactions

If your little one battles with being kind and gentle to his siblings or friends, discuss these poems by Isaac Watts, the 18th century British hymn writer. Golden rule by Isaac Watts "Be you to others kind and true, As you'd have others be to you; And neither do nor say to men Whate'er you would not take again." * * * Against Quarreling and Fighting by Isaac Watts "Let dogs delight to bark and bite, For God hath made them so: Let bears and lions growl and fight, For 'tis their nature, too. But, children, you should never let Such angry passions rise: Your little hands were never made To tear each other's eyes. . . "

Rules about Chores

Make daily chore time enjoyable with a song mothers have been teaching their young ones for centuries. Sung to the tune of “Mulberry Bush,” this catchy rhythm and repetition will echo through your house while you and your tot plow through the weekly household tasks. "This is the way we wash our clothes Wash our clothes, wash our clothes This is the way we wash our clothes So early Monday morning. This is the way we iron our clothes Iron our clothes, iron our clothes This is the way we iron our clothes So early Tuesday morning. This is the way we scrub the floor Scrub the floor, scrub the floor This is the way we scrub the floor So early Wednesday morning. This is the way we mend our clothes Mend our clothes, mend our clothes This is the way we mend our clothes So early Thursday morning. This is the way we sweep the house Sweep the house, sweep the house This is the way we sweep the house So early Friday morning. This is the way we bake our bread Bake our bread, bake our bread This is the way we bake our bread So early Saturday morning. This is the way we go to church Go to church, go to church This is the way we go to church So early Sunday morning."

Rules about Bedtime

Does your munchkin prolong the bedtime process with endless requests for water and stories? Sweetly cut short that stalling with nursery rhymes about bedtime rules. "Wee Willie Winkie runs through the town, Upstairs and downstairs in his nightgown, Tapping at the window and crying through the lock, Are all the children in their beds, it's past eight o'clock?" * * * "Go to bed, Tom. Go to bed, Tom! Tired or not, Tom, Go to bed, Tom." * * * "Good night, sleep tight, Don't let the bedbugs bite, Wake up bright In the morning light To do what's right With all your might."

Rules about Science

Entertain your toddler with a lesson about how even the weather and time have to follow rules and patterns. "Red sky at night, Sailor's delight; Red sky at morning, Sailor's warning." * * * "The North wind doth blow and we shall have snow, And what will poor robin do then, poor thing? He'll sit in a barn and keep himself warm and hide his head under his wing, poor thing." * * * "Thirty days hath September, April, June and November; February has twenty eight alone All the rest have thirty-one Except in Leap Year, that's the time When February's Days are twenty-nine."

Resources

  • Kids Front: Rhymes for Kids
  • Favorite Nursery Rhymes from Mother Goose; Scott Gustafson
  • Read-Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young; Jack Prelutsky and Marc Brown
  • Setting Limits: How to Raise Responsible, Independent Children by Providing Clear Boundaries; Robert J. Mackenzie

About the Author

As a literature and grammar teacher, Laura Roberts began editing in 2002, gradually expanding her nonfiction writing to include new curriculum units. In 2008, Roberts began publishing her “Ask the Savvy Bride” column connected with her e-commerce wedding store. She holds a bachelor's in English education from Robert Morris University.

Photo Credits

  • BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images