Saturday, July 9, 2011

Rule Breaker

Okay, so I'm not really a rule breaker.  I'm more of a parent etiquette slacker.  For example, Luna, 2, is enrolled in a music class for 2-year olds.  Tulip, 4, likes to come with.  Do I take her with knowing that she is going to actively participate in the class instead of sitting off to the side with a quiet activity or book of her own?  Yes.  Am I trying to scam the Parks Department into a two for one deal?  No.  Tulip is well behaved and it's "okay" for siblings to show up at this type of class.  Sometimes there are loose rules.

Here's another example.  Let me remind you that this class if for 2-year olds.  The children are supposed to sit on a square.  This is adorable.  It's adorable to see Luna learn this routine.  But she's two.  So when she feels the urge to march around me in a circle with her instrument instead of sitting on her carpet square to play her instrument, I don't dissuade her.  In fact, I think it's awesome.  The music has tapped into her urge to move and she's going for it.  That's why I enroll my children in music class, so they can appreciate music.  My kids like to move it, move it.  I have loose rules.  Shocking, right?  Because I'm a teacher and everything, right?  If my kids are having fun (i.e. dancing around to music coming from a radio or music in their own head) and they are not being destructive - then be free.  Really, is there anything more delightful to see than a child dancing with total freedom?  I let them go.  It's more fun for everyone to do this than for me to be the mom that says, "No, sit.  No.  Sit.  No!  Sit down!" 

Speaking of freedom, there are a few other etiquette situations that run loose in my household.  I let my kids have some naked time around the house now and then.  And I let them pee in the grass when we are swimming in our backyard.  I let them eat something that dropped onto the floor.

And sharing.  Sometimes, as a parent, I admit I don't get it.  I see a child with a ball and another child wants that ball.  Parent of the first child says, "You have to share."  Share?  Aren't you really telling your child to give away his toy?  Think about it, grown-ups.  When you and your date "share" an appetizer, aren't you both eating the same thing? 

"Want to share a popcorn?"
"Okay, I'll buy one bucket, we'll put it between us, and we'll both stick our hands in it."

Sharing is something you can do when there is enough to go around.  Sharing a toy is not really possible.  Try "trading" or "taking turns".  Or, if a child has chosen a toy to hold, she gets to hold it as long as she wants.  Unless it hurts someone else's feelings.  There are always loose rules.

Do any of you have loose rules when it comes to parenting etiquette?  (I know you do....)


  1. I really liked this post and totally laughed out loud when you said you let your kids pee in the backyard while outside...we call it watering the plants :). I so like the trading or taking turns. I need to use that more.

  2. another loose rule: while its generally not nice to sneak up behind someone and splash the side of their face, its allright if:
    1. you're in a lake and not particularly good at "sneaking" with multiple noodles and a life vest, and you have loud-whispered/announced the victim's name 6 ft away from them
    2. you're also not particularly good at blowing the water out of the noodle with your 4 yr old giggling lungs
    3. you get legitimately splashed in return and and swim (not very quickly) away, laughing and screaming, "swim away!!! swim away!!!"

  3. peeing outside? sign me up. Oh, boys have been doing it for years. My new "issue" with this is convincing them NOT to pee in front of their female friends. tee hee

    love ya, June! Thanks for keepin' it real.

  4. Absolutely agree! ALSO! Ivy is literally BEGGING me for a dance class/dance party every day. We must get our kids together so they can dance (naked too possibly?) together!