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5 Things I Don’t Let My Kids Do

Parenting is a tough gig.  Working 24/7 in a sleep-deprived haze would be unheard of for any other job.  And yet we do it out of love for our children and out of a desire to raise these young ones into happy, productive adults one day.

But just because parenting is a sacrificial act of love and service, it doesn’t mean we need to sacrifice our sanity.  All around the internet I see parents complaining about things like not have a moment’s peace, even in the bathroom, or having to make four different meals at supper time because of picky eaters.

It doesn’t have to be that way.  We’re meant to be parents, not doormats.  Giving our children boundaries when it comes to what they get from us teaches them that they aren’t the center of the universe, and gives them a great sense of how they can respect the space, time and energy of others (especially their parents!).

things i dont let my kids do

To that end, and also to maintain my sanity, these are the things I don’t let my kids do:

1. I don’t let them come into the bathroom with me.  When we’re at home or at a friend’s house, there is no good reason for me not to use the bathroom alone, with the door locked.  Unless we’re somewhere that is potentially unsafe (ie. a mall bathroom), the kids always stay on the other side of the door.  Yes, that means no dawdling in there for me when I have young ones in the house, but that two minutes of privacy is essential to my sanity.

2. I don’t let them expect to be entertained all the time.  There are many times when I need to get things done that don’t involve sitting and playing with my kids.  If I’m making dinner or working, they need to play on their own, either with each other or all alone.  I believe they’ve become more creative and self-reliant because of those times when I wasn’t there to give them plot lines for their make-believe or ideas for their crafts.  That said, when I’m doing laundry or vacuuming, they are more than welcome to pitch in!

3. I don’t let them complain about the food they’re served.  This is an ongoing battle, but our rule is that you don’t have to eat, but you may not complain.  They need to sit at the table with everyone else and contribute to the conversation, but they are not allowed to tell me that they hate broccoli. 

4. I don’t let them stay up too late.  There are weekends and special days, but their bedtimes are pretty consistent overall.  And we put our kids to bed earlier than many of their friends go to bed.  We need that time at the end of the day to zone out, watch TV, or actually talk in more than just soundbites.  As well, they need the time to sleep or even just lay quietly and read a book until they’re tired.  Our sons have amazing conversations with one another after the lights are out and they don’t know we’re listening ;-).  If they stayed up late every night, they’d miss that chance.

5. I don’t let them disrespect their parents.  The youngest is still learning this one, but we’ve always tried to make sure that our kids know that it’s not okay in our family to talk back to us, insult us, hit or otherwise physically hurt us, or be defiant.   We’re teaching them how to respect others by respecting us, and that will serve them well throughout life.

What would you add to the list?

What don’t you let your kids do?

 

 

Article written by:

Megan is a WAHM to 3 (and then some) kids, who spends the majority of her time working as an Administrative Assistant, blogging and washing dishes. She loves to write about her adventures in parenting, running a home daycare, adoption and whatever else strikes her fancy!

39 Comments

  1. Robin Rue (@massholemommy)

    You sound like you are doing an amazing job. My kids complain about food somtimes, but they get what they get. If hey don’t like it, they go to bed hungry!

  2. R U S S

    I don’t have a kids and I’m not married but I’m all for the items on your list especially nos. 3 and 5. My brother and I were taught to appreciate and eat ( but we can not eat if we really don’t like it ) what’s on the dining table. We’re not allowed to complain too and we’re required to finish our food.

    Respect is something that should really be taught to kids because it’s a value that may sound simple but it goes a long way – especially when these kids become grown-ups.

    I think you’re doing a great job, Megan.
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  3. Terry

    I did let my daughter into the bathroom with me, then when she eventually had kids, I let my Grandkids in also. I guess it did’t bother me that they were there.
    When we are traveling and have to go to the restroom, we still all go in together.. Funny!!
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  4. Christy Maurer

    It is important for kids to respect their parents! We all have different parenting styles obviously because we are all unique. We do what we feel is right 🙂
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  5. Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle

    I do all of these, too! All my kids have chores, and when it’s work time, they’re not playing, they’re helping.

  6. Alli

    Kids do need boundaries. It helps them feel safe and secure. They also need to learn manners and how to say please and thank you. Sounds like you have very good parenting skills! Good for you!
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  7. Liz Mays

    I did a lot of these two. I think being able to invent games and characters with their toys out when there is no entertainment around helps their imaginations.
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  8. Kisa Johnson

    These are great rules, though once my toddler is ready for potty training she’ll be coming bathroom with me of course.

    My son has the hardest time respecting people, I don’t know why, but nothing seems to help with his disrespect. *Sigh*
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  9. tammileetips

    This is a great list of things!! I don’t know if I could handle having kids follow me in the bathroom, that’s a great rule!
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  10. Jenni E. {Sweet Pennies from Heaven}

    I should have started the “no complaining about the food” rule wayyyy earlier. We battle over food daily!
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  11. onceuponamaritime

    The coming into the bathroom with me thing is something I agree with, they can’t expect to always go with you. It has to stop at some age or it’ll be weird.

  12. HilLesha

    Sounds like you have parenting down pat! I adamant about not letting my kids, especially my son, staying up late, especially since he’s at school age.
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  13. rochkirstin

    There are so many things that our parents also don’t allow us to do. We didn’t understand them as little kids before but now we do. These are all reasonable.

  14. Jeanine

    Love this! I am the same. #1 I have kids banging and turning the know. Drives me nuts. But everything is pretty on point with me and how I parent too!

  15. Bonnie @ wemake7

    Respect is certainly on the top of my list. These days it seems like a lot of kids don’t have respect. Great list!

  16. Rosey

    My youngest has been coming home with some fresh new phrases. We’re nipping those right in the bud too. You’re right, respect serves them well their whole life through.

  17. Michelle @ Dishes and Dust Bunnies

    It’s so hard to get a moment alone in the bathroom but I really need to start getting a bit more privacy before I go nuts! It’s good to get these ground rules down before it’s impossible to set!
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  18. Jenn @TheRebelChick

    These are all really great rules – I mean, disrespecting parents or any adults is just a given but kids try to do it anyway! I have never allowed my daughter to go into the bathroom with me…that’s just one thing that no one needs company for! LOL!
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  19. Lynndee

    I think you’ve said it all and I couldn’t agree more with you. The eating part is still a work in process here in our household though. Our son is so picky when it comes to vegetables. 🙂
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  20. Chubskulit Rose

    I must agree with you on those five things although when brushing teeth, I let my kids go with me since I help them floss their teeth. Complaining about the food is a non no at my kitchen, they eat what I prepare, that’s all.
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  21. Sara-Jayne

    Manners. I will not let my boys be disrespectful to an adult. If they are asked a question, I expect them to be polite and answer, and say please and thank you. Manners make the man.
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  22. lisa

    This is a great list. I don’t let my kids do any of these things either. We also don’t let them say they “hate” anybody (that was a recent argument with the 6yr old).
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  23. Rebecca Swenor

    This is an awesome list of five things not to let your kids do. I always limited the video games to no more than one hour. It is so important to teach the kids not to disrespect their parents or elders. Thanks for sharing.

  24. TwoPlusCute

    I wouldn’t change a thing from your list though, no 1 is not a priority for me. I can see it becoming in the future.

    No 2 is what I need the most. Thank you for giving good, rational reasons to not feel guilty when we do not act like our childrens’ resident clown for the whole day. I keep re-reading that paragraph so it sticks to my mind.
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  25. Cara (@StylishGeek)

    That is a wonderful parental guide list, and although I do have a few more I add to that, I think your list in general covers the necessary bases. Thansk for sharing!

  26. Mistee Dawn

    Great list! I would add that I do not let them spend too much time online, or on their phones, etc.
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  27. Digna

    Great list. It is a shame but respect is something that is lost in the youth of our society. Thank you for sharing.

  28. CourtneyLynne

    Hehehe loving the list! Only one I fail at is letting my daughter in the bathroom… I absolutely hate it! Need to break that habit super bad.

  29. Marie

    Great list you have here. I have #s 3, 4, 5 as constant reminders to my kids specially to my 7-year-old.
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  30. Krystal

    I am trying to be more strict with my son’s bedtime, but it is SO hard! I am working on it though.
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  31. Erin

    Ha, I do all the same things! I think it’s important for kids to have boundaries!

  32. Tonya C

    Oh how I wish I could just get my 3 year old son to go to bed at a bedtime in his own bed and please, let me go to the bathroom alone!
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  33. Gabriel

    We follow the same rules, except for the coming into the bathroom part, but that’s mostly because we are trying to potty train two of the three. The food battle is heating up right now with the two and three year olds and as you say, it is ongoing – we are still having it with the 9 year old…

    The only thing I’d add is that we don’t let them sit in front of a screen all day, athough it is still more than we’d like. Can’t wait for the weather to stay better.
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  34. Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen

    I also don’t let my kid(s) do those 5 things! We need to teach them good habits.
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  35. jared's mum

    very well said! i try as i might to not let my kid do these things, either. it is a must that we instill good habits in them while they are young.
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  36. Eileen

    I think it’s great to have to draw a line between you and your kids. It’s tough enough being a parent!

  37. MCD

    I would add enforcing (while staying positive and encouraging) correct grammar to my list. Hearing children say things like “in back of me” makes me cringe!

  38. Amy Ngai

    I love this list! I have a pretty similar list in my household as well. Especially the food thing. Thanks for sharing! #ConfessionsLinkUp
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  39. Sara @ The Holy Mess

    Great list! These are all ones I WANT to have on my list, but sadly I don’t always make the mark. 🙂 We do strive for it in our house, though, especially when it comes to expecting respect, not complaining about food, and bedtime.
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