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Rules of Everyday Family Life: The Development of Social Rules in Mother-Child and Sibling Relationships

by Lauren Tapiz


Rules of Everyday Family Life: The Development of Social Rules in Mother-Child and Sibling Relationships

Lauren Tapiz
Truckee Meadows Community College
Introduction To Psychology
Cindy Owings, M.A. Instructor
Why This Is Important To Me:
This topic is of importance to me because I have two children of my own and I am the person who is suppose to teach them how to be respectful in and out of our home. When my kids are not around me and they are with other people I love to hear how respectful they are with others. I feel that the way a child respects or does not respect their elders or just people in general is a refection of you as a parent and person. So, when people say how well behaved my kids are it makes me feel good as not only a parent but as a person.
Purpose Of This Article:
To see what kind of rule was used and how often it was changed between mother-child and sibling over a 14 month period.
To evaluate how conflict was used to practice social rules.
To see the relationship between social rules and the quality of family relationships.
They wanted evidence that proved the children had an understanding of rules by evidence of verbal response and demonstration of appropriate behavior in certain situations.
Focused on rules that involved respect, love, and consequences for one's actions. (Moral rules)
Also rules that demonstrated table manners, and not talking when you are suppose to.(Conventional rules)
They used a naturalistic and unstructured observation method, also the same observer visited each family.
While observing, they video recorded the families for visual, only started recording 15 minutes after arriving to their homes.
Family conversations were recorded by tape and written down.
The first one they did was two home observations. They spent 75 minutes watching each home.
The second one they did they only spent 60 minutes observing each home. This was because they added other measurements they were observing.
The tape-recording and written down conversations were used to measure how and what social rules were being used to strengthen formal rules.
Moral Rules:
Rights: Rules of possession or ownership.
"Give me that back, I had it first."
Positive justice: Turns, sharing, and equity.
"Can’t you share that toy?"
Harm to others: Unkindness, teasing, or hitting.
"No hitting."
Past kindness/prosocial behavior: Previous acts of kindness or niceness.
"That was nice of you to help."
General exhortations about morality: No specific topic is mentioned, but a moral implication is.
"Be nice and behave yourself."
Social-Conventional Rules:
Rules of a game: Comments about a structured game (e.g. hide and seek). Does not include pretend episodes.
"I’m going to count and you go hide."
Destruction of property/dirtiness of the house: Comments concerning messes, cleanliness, tidiness, includes appropriate placement of objects.
"Put that away. It belongs in the garbage."
General convention: Comments concerning silly, funny, or odd behavior, requests or denial of permission, or appropriateness and correctness of a wide range of activities.
"No bouncing, no standing, no jumping, no fooling around on the furniture, understand?"
Miscellaneous conventions: Comments concerning independence (doing things on one’s own), gender-appropriate behavior, assignment of chores, proper use of money, references to an authority figure, role-appropriate behavior, politeness, and appropriate language.
“Don’t help him, he can do it himself.”, “Dad said I can’t mess with that.”, “No, no, girls don’t do that."