Five Parenting Rules I Am Willing to Break In a Heartbeat
Whoever tells you that parents are the wisest people on this planet are living in a fairy tale. We are not the wisest; we are just like any other human being: we make mistakes too.
All my life, I have been watching parents imposing a bunch of ridiculous rules on their children. I consider myself lucky for having parents who didn’t conform to the societal norms. I mean, yes, they disciplined time and again but their occasional strictness always made sense to me.
As a new parent, my goal is to follow my parents’ footsteps. Their parenting approaches were very different and unconventional. And we turned out just fine. When I look back in time with nostalgia, all I see are happy, warm and fuzzy memories. I want my kids to feel the same when they grow up.
Most of my in-laws think that I’m “too radical for my own good”. Well, the thing is, I care about my kids more than I care about people’s opinions.
And for the sake of their happiness, I am willing to break these five (silly) parenting rules:
Technology Is the Devil
Letting your toddlers watch Teletubbies or Thomas the Train on YouTube won’t damage their mind, for Pete’s sake! My cousin would panic if I let her tot watch typical kids’ videos or play Talking Tom on my phone.
Smartphones and tablets, or technology in general is not evil. Technology makes their little minds curious and curiosity is the mother of knowledge. I have tons of sensory games on my phones my kids enjoy. I have strict ground rules about when they can or cannot use the phone, though.
Television Is Not Evil Either
I simply can’t wrap my head around the fact that some parents won’t allow their kids to watch TV. What harm can possibly come from watching Stars Wars or Pokemon or SpongeBob? My parents were completely OK with me watching PG-13 rated movies when I was eight and I turned out just fine. I got good grades in school, got a decent job, married my high school sweetheart and now I have two gorgeous kids.
Point is, my addiction to movies and cartoons did not ruin my life.
Dumbest Bad Language Ever
Preventing your kids from using profanity is something every parent should do. I would be fuming if I hear my children utter those popular swear words. But it’s totally fine by me if Sarah or Ben call each other “silly” or “retarded”.
My mother-in-law visited our house last weekend and she overhead Sarah calling Ben a “retarded raccoon”. When she came to tell me all, all scandalised and sweaty, I laughed in my sleeve.
It doesn’t sound vulgar or hateful to me at all! Rather, “retarded raccoon” should get an award for the funniest phrase ever.
The Overprotection Dilemma
My tots are friends with Sam (name changed) in our neighbourhood. He is of the same age as my kids. One day, I let Sam and my kids ride a wagon in my backyard. Sam’s mum saw it and she snapped. Apparently, wagons are dangerous!
My kid wagon has seatbelts, brakes, comfy seats and a controlled wheel turning mechanism to prevent tipping. I am quite confident that it won’t cause any accident on its own.
This is just an example. I know parents who won’t let their kids play outside, share food with friends or interact with the people of the opposite sex. Loosen up a bit! Let them make some mistakes. That’s the most effective way to learn the most important lessons in life.
Treating Them Like a Kid All the Time
Treating grown-up children like a baby is the worst and most ridiculous parenting rule I want everyone to break.
Give them a little space; don’t make life-altering decisions for them without involving them in the process, share thoughts and opinions with each other, talk about important grown-up topics with them. It’s time. And your kids are way smarter and more understanding than you give them credit for.
The Bottom Line
Imposing unfair rules on your kids is very counterproductive. I fully agree that sometimes you have to be strict to discipline your kids. I do that too. But disciplining and becoming too controlling of our kids are two very different things. There is a very fine line between being caring and being obsessive; I hope you see the line clearly before it’s too late.
Alvina Emmy is a mum of two and blogs at Parentloves.com