As parents, it is so important to lay down the law, so to speak, when it comes to raising our kids. Rules and regulations provide structure and guidance for impressionable youngsters to learn from. Without any rules, kids would feel unsafe and not well cared for. While they may complain relentlessly, deep down these rules are meaningful to them and give them the security they need to feel from those who take care of them. They look to us for guidance. And when the kids are older, they will look back and appreciate the rules you set in place for their well-being.
That said, sometimes rules are meant to be broken… on specific and special occasions. As long as your children know this is an exception to the rule (no pun intended), then you can easily get back on track with your usual routine and parenting style seamlessly.
One example of when breaking the rules may feel OK to do is if you are on vacation. You can let the kids stay up later than usual, watch more TV, or indulge in some “junk food” they aren’t normally allowed to munch on. Vacation is a time to let loose and have fun, so lightening up on the rules while away is only natural. The kids will appreciate your leniency and fun-loving spirit. But be sure they know that once you return home, things will be back to normal.
On your child’s special day, it is perfectly fine to give them birthday privileges. This could be a day when they are free to sleep in late, have ice cream for breakfast, and be free of chores and other household duties. Birthdays only come around once a year after all, so this rule-breaking day is part of a birthday gift you can give to your child, provided they behave well all day. It will be something to look forward to each year along with presents and special attention.
If your child is under the weather, breaking the rules may be in order, just until they are back to feeling like themselves. If they are not up for finishing their veggies, that’s OK. Some chicken soup would be more soothing anyhow. If they are home all day from school, it would be fine if they watch a little extra TV or log in more video game hours than you generally allow. Let them fall asleep when they are tired rather than forcing bedtime at a set hour. Once they are well again, the normal rules will be back on the agenda.
Do you ever loosen up the rules? When do you do it? Do you think it is OK to break the rules sometimes?
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By: Melissa A. Kay