We all know that it is important to teach our children about rules, and how to follow them. As parents we do our best to help our kids grow into good citizens and responsible people.
But how do we teach our kids which rules not to follow? Because let’s face it, some rules are meant to be broken.
2 Rules We Should Teach Our Children To Break
Disclaimer : I am not an expert in anything. I have no degrees or PhDs in anything. I am simply a parent, and I used to be a kid.
1. Rules That Segregate
I think it’s fair to say that we should focus on rules that build community as opposed to rules that break them apart. Often, these are unwritten rules, and rules that adults won’t actually say out loud. The ones explained away as ‘just the way things are done’.
But the “just because” answer doesn’t make sense to a kid. So be ready for the questions…
However, rules (official or not) that clearly, hurt, segregate and separate individuals based on race, religion, class and/or gender should be questioned.
Allow your children to ask questions about rules they don’t understand or think are fair to others. Then work together to see how you can make changes, encourage inclusionism, and to actually show, not just say, that all people are equal.
2. Rules That Are, Well, Stupid.
You know it, I know it, and let’s be real, our children know it too. There are some rules out there that serve absolutely no purpose. Probably some Old Fart was feeling sanctimonious and righteous one day.
These are the rules that some well-meaning parents follow to the T in order to teach their kids about following the rules.
Some parents recognize these “stupid” rules as being total horse hooey so they completely ignore them. These are the rules that say you can’t take your child out of class for an afternoon to attend a special function, because there might be cookies. See? Stupid.
To the parents trying to follow that rule, I feel ya, but let it go. Break the rule. Go with the flow, lighten up. Let your kid get one more cookie than his or her classmates. Your child will appreciate that you put them and their feelings ahead of some stupid rule, and you will too.
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About Changing or Breaking the Rules
When the rules hurt, segregate, or are blatanly unfair and stupid, our children need to know that we can challenge them. And we should. So I leave my fellow parents with these four action steps for helping kids learn about the times when breaking the rules isn’t a bad thing:
Tell your children that that they can come to you for help in sorting out what is fair, and deciding what is important to them.
Lead your children by example how to be good citizens and how to do our best in making the world a better place.
Teach your children that the phrase “some rules are meant to be broken” is a real thing when you’re trying to do the right thing.
Show your children that they matter more to you than a bunch of stupid old rules.
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