9Chapter Rules and Rule Sequences
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9Chapter Rules and Rule Sequences book
Most families have thousands of formal and informal rules that regulate and direct family life. For example, think of the mail each family receives every day. We might take notes about who goes to the mailbox and retrieves the mail. Where is it placed? Is it sorted and delivered to each person’s room? Can anyone in your family open the “junk” mail? Can parents open the children’s mail? Are there certain types of letters that do not have to be shared at all? Most of the rules that govern these processes emerge without any fanfare or even much negotiation, but they have the power to direct and dictate much of what we do. They might direct where one sits at dinner, what is watched on television, and when homework is done (if at all). The family rule system can also specify which towels to use in the bathroom, where to store holiday decorations, and who should replace the empty toilet paper roll.