Cardinal Rules of Parenting.

The big girls had their dance recital this weekend.  This has meant hours and hours of practice for them.  On Saturday, instead of driving there and back a hundred times, Isabelle and I just decided to stick it out at the Century Center and do all the wild and crazy stuff there is to do in downtown South Bend.   When I was all out of ideas, we went back to check on the girls.   There were some seriously grumpy parents waiting and waiting while their girls took their turn rehearsing.  Belle was in her glory, marching around the theater making friends with all of them.  One couple in particular was exceedingly grumpy, and said something mean to her.  I was shocked.  They didn’t think I was watching, but I was, and the dad locked eyes with me.  I think he about fell through the floor because he was “caught”.  I can’t imagine why or how two grown adults could be mean to a 4 year old bubbly, happy, cheerful, friendly girl.  Perhaps they thought she should sit down and knit a sweater while we waited.

This got me to thinking about my parenting.  Sure, I could have kept Belle right by my side, but I had my eye on her every second she was doing her “marching”.  She wasn’t yelling, screaming, hurting anyone else or herself.  I do things differently than a lot of parents, and maybe someday some of it will get me in trouble…I’m not sure.  Here are some of the cardinal rules of parenting that I break on a semi-regular basis, and why I do.

  • I let my girls go barefooted outside in the summer.  Toes need to feel grass and squish mud.
  • I let them ride their bikes with no helmet.  This one has gotten me in trouble more than any other rule….talk about death glares from parents…sheesh
  • Occasionally I allow them to leave the restroom without washing their hands.  Builds up a great immune system
  • I let them eat something that has fallen on the ground after the 5 second rule…same reason as above, PLUS, I hate wasting money on dropped food.
  • I let the girls go to school in the most fantastic mismatched clothes you have ever seen.  They consider themselves colorful and exciting.  So do I.

I don’t know why I enjoy breaking these rules on a semi-regular basis.  It’s the rebel in me I guess.  Not too fitting for a mother of three, plus a pastor’s wife!smile_wink

5 thoughts on “Cardinal Rules of Parenting.

  1. Mandy says:

    I break those rules as well. The only rules that I’m a stickler about are:
    * Not hurting others (physically & feelings)
    * Please & thank you
    * No running in public places, unless it’s a park etc. (too easy to get lost)
    * No bad language. They aren’t allowed to say hate, stupid, dumb, shut up, butt, or poop.
    Sometimes not following rules that other people have imposed aren’t really rules at all. They are guidelines, and sometimes not very good ones.

  2. Brittany says:

    Amen on the barefoot thing! I used to love to play outside barefoot! Those were the days!

  3. Susan says:

    I just love reading your blog. You just say it how it is. I think you fit the role of a mother of 3 plus a pastors wife beautifully.

  4. Julie Schneider says:

    Well fellow rulebreaker, I’m right there with you! And, I can tell you from being at the next step….entering the teen years…enjoy it while you can. All too soon those sweet, fun loving adventurers begin to worry about what their peers think! Darn it! Aly use to purposely rematch her socks because she just thought pink looked better with yellow, I couldn’t agree more! Then one day, she burst into tears on the way to school because of a flower on her shirt..apparently cool girls didn’t wear flowers anymore? Who knew? So, enjoy, enjoy for as long as possible!!! I think a little dirt is good for the complexion! 🙂

  5. We are way too much alike! And I too have been shocked at some of the judgmental attitudes/comments of other parents at my “free-spirited” child who takes after her mommy. Thanks for a little “me, too” moment reminding me it’s all good!

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