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10 Parenting Rules All Moms Should Break

by Julie Ryan Evans on January 29, 2013 at 9:57 PM

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.

More from The Stir: 5 Times I'll Parent Your Kid My Way

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?

 

Image via TheCulinaryGeek/Flickr

Filed Under: discipline, behavior

Comments

32
  • sarah
    -- Nonmember comment from

    sarah

    January 30, 2013 at 8:04 AM
    wow...you let your kid scream profanity in their room? mom of the year
  • JS0512
    --

    JS0512

    January 30, 2013 at 8:35 AM

    My kids are 2 and 12 and I break almost every one of them.  They're turning out just fine.  My parents broke several of them as well.  Every year on my birthday she would sign me out of school at 11 and we would go out to a "fancy" lunch and spend the rest of the day together.  She did this with all my siblings (there are 4 of us) as well and they are some of our fondest memories.  With four kids there wasn't a lot of one on one time.


  • Marth...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Martha Hp

    January 30, 2013 at 8:45 AM
    This is a very reasonable approach to parenting and will take the pressure off parents to be perfect while at the same time ensuring that children get what they need. The other guideline I would emphasize is to know what expectations are appropriate at every age and stage so that parents don't expect too much of children and pressure them to behave with the manners of adults. For a good timeline of what to expect see Smart Love: The Comprehensive Guide to Understanding, Regulating, and Enjoying Your Child (www.smartlovepress.com).
  • psych...
    --

    psychofab

    January 30, 2013 at 9:31 AM

    My mom used to take me out early for a "doctor's appointment" then we would have a movie day. It didn't happen often, but it was always soooo much fun. If I ever have kids, I plan to do the same.


  • justa...
    --

    justamom903

    January 30, 2013 at 10:15 AM
    I do all of these except the profanity one which I don't see as terrible BUT depends on the age. Hell honestly tho I've heard one or two I let slide LOL
  • mrssu...
    --

    mrssundin

    January 30, 2013 at 10:15 AM
    No problem with a child having a swear slip up. But I doubt any parent lets their child scream swear words for hours on end like some idiot posted said. Goodness.
  • holly...
    --

    hollykins

    January 30, 2013 at 10:18 AM

    Done!


  • Krist...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Kristi Elliott

    January 30, 2013 at 10:35 AM
    I have broken all of them. My daughter got stuck on the work jacka***, so we had to teach her donkey instead (she grew out of it quick but, it was so cute)
  • Tammy...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Tammy Marzolf

    January 30, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    When my son turned 12 he asked permission to be able to use "the A word" at home.  We discussed it being an at home word, he can't call an adult that name, and it cannot be be "A-hole". He went to town for 2 days, now I barely hear it.  To me, it's  a pretty tame bad word and maybe taking the taboo out of one word would encourage him to use better words on the hole.  So far, so good.


  • Bonni...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Bonnie Jean Toomey

    January 30, 2013 at 11:07 AM
    This is great advice -this is the first time in history that many of us are entering parenthood without ever having held a baby, much less been around them, families are so spread out now. It doesn't mean though that moms and dads should ever drop their standards - but as in everything there is an exception to the rule, especially if the moment is exceptionally calling for it. Bonnie J. Toomey, Parent Forward
1-10 of 32 comments

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