ice cream sundaeWhen it comes to parenting, many of us often lament how we wish the job came with a rule book. Wouldn't it be nice if all you had to do was follow a set of rules, and you'd automatically produce nice, loving, productive members of society?

Unfortunately the gig isn't quite that simple. Sure, there are "rules" that are just understood, or passed down from generation to generation as to what "good parents" are supposed to do. But even those aren't right in every situation, and as the saying goes, "rules are meant to be broken." Here are 10 parenting rules every mom should break at some point.

1. Always set a good example

It's okay for you to make mistakes, and it's, in fact, helpful for kids to see that you do. They learn it's okay not to be perfect.

2. Kids need their sleep

Sleep is important, but some random late night snacks or midnight dances in the moonlight on occasion will forever be memories.

3. More than 30 minutes of television a day will rot their brains

Not every day, but sometimes on a cold, rainy day, there's nothing wrong with snuggling up on the couch and vegging for hours in front of the TV.

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4. Your children's needs should always come first

A hard one for most moms, but it's really okay once in awhile that you don't want to play Candy Land for the bazillionth time because you just need to relax and collect your thoughts for a few minutes.

5. School attendance is a must

Again, not regularly, but every once in awhile, keeping them home or signing them out early to spend a carefree day with you can be just what you both need in the midst of a busy year.

6. Don't give them junk food

If most of their diet is healthy, every once in awhile, a big ice cream splurge or fast food meal isn't going to kill them. It can also help them from feeling so deprived and binging on all of the bad stuff when they're able.

7. Don't let them talk back to you

They need to learn to do so in a polite way, but they shouldn't just have to accept what you say at face value. You want them to challenge and think for themselves, and if you're always throwing "because I said so!" at them, that's not nurturing those skills.

8. Potty mouths aren't allowed

If you have open and honest discussions with them about such "bad" words, they'll become less alluring. Let them know there's a time and a place for such words, and if they want to go scream them in the bedroom, then they can (as long as grandma isn't visiting).

9. Don't compare them to other children

Not in a bragging, obnoxious way, or to make them feel inferior to their friends, but I find it incredibly helpful to talk to other moms with children the same ages as mine and discuss various developmental and emotional issues they're going through. It helps me know where my kids are in relation to others and sometimes gives me ideas on what we need to work on.

10. Always be their biggest cheerleader

They're not always going to be right, plain and simple, and to take your kid's side just because it's your kid doesn't teach them anything. Telling them when they're wrong and when you're disappointed with them is okay. Also, everything they do doesn't have to be the most amazing, special thing ever.

What parenting rules do you break?

 

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