Tuesday, January 14, 2014

OREOS: Our Family Rules

When our family was doing foster care several years ago, I wanted to come up with an easy way for kids who came into our home to know what our expectations and rules were. So I came up with an acronym for OREOS:

Obey - Obey all the way, right away, with a happy heart.
       Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Ephesians 6:1 (ESV)
Respect - Treat others the way you want to be treated.
      And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. Luke 6:31 (ESV)
Effort - Give your best effort in everything you do.
      Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men. Colossians 3:23 (ESV)
Organize - Take care of your things by putting them away.
       A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. Proverbs 10:4 (ESV)
Safety - Is this a safe choice? If not, don't do it.
     Doing wrong is like a joke to a fool, but wisdom is pleasure to a man of understanding.
     Proverbs 10:23 (ESV)

I found that almost all of my specific rules and instructions, like no jumping on the furniture or put your toys away, fell into one of these five categories. So any time we had a specific issue, we could point the kids back to our poster on the wall that stated our expectations and more importantly point them back to Scripture.

Whenever new foster children came to us - we would have an OREOS party after dinner, usually the first or second evening they were with us. We would give each child some milk and cookies and explain our family rules and expectations while they were staying with us. We included our biological children in the party because it was always a good reminder for them about the house rules.

Even though we are no longer doing foster care, we still use these rules in our home and occasionally have a cookie party with our kids to remind them our how we conduct ourselves in this family.


  1. Nice strategy! I love the book of Proverbs... it's such a great daily reinforcement! :)

    1. Thanks Chila! Hope you all are doing well! Miss you!!

  2. Love this - I will post on http://www.facebook.com/veritaswomensministry tomorrow :) Have you considered making it a printable?

    1. JacQueline -Thank you for sharing it with your friends. Making a printable is a great idea! I will have to work on that :)