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Rules Children Need to Break

Study Shows That Kids Should Break the Rules

Rules are meant to be broken. That was the battle cry of a generation of rabble-rousers who questioned authority and challenged the rules set by the generation before them. A new study published in the latest edition of Child Development finds that the freethinkers may have been right. According to the findings, rules that require tots to restrict their personal identities are not only the ones they are most likely to disobey, but ones they probably should break. Unlike moral rules (like those that forbid stealing and hurting others) that wee ones tend to view as binding, those that prevent a child from expressing themselves are most likely to be broken as early as 4-years-old.

Here are five rules parents make that I think should be broken, what are yours?

  • Turn off your light and go to bed, don’t read.
  • Clothes must match before you leave the house.
  • Don’t question your teachers/authorities.
  • No dessert until dinner's all gone.
  • Don’t play with your food.
Join The Conversation
runningesq runningesq 7 years
Why would you tell your kid NOT to read??
starbucks2 starbucks2 7 years
I would never make my kids finish their plate (my mother was always almost forced to eat up and has been struggling with her weight her whole life!) but only dessert is not an option! No particular rules here yet, but I will not instill any rules I don't expect to be followed...
TammyO TammyO 7 years
Well I think the rule about no dessert until dinner is gone is just based on trying to encourage good eating habits. I can't make my kids eat ALL their dinner but I do encourage them to at least eat a little of everything on their plate before they get dessert. Just so they will try new things. But clothes don't have to matchy match, they are 5 and 3 for crying out loud! Also we skip bath on Saturday nights and they can lounge in pjs for a little longer before bed.
Girl-Jen Girl-Jen 7 years
My mom's most absurd rule was "No singing at the dinner table." To this day, it makes no sense to me. I think our singing annoyed her, and she wanted a little bit of quiet. That's no reason to make a rule! Just yesterday, my daughter and I were sitting on the back porch eating lunch (because sitting at the picnic table would have made too much sense :D ), singing our little hearts out.
jen4979 jen4979 7 years
we break bedtime on the weekends from time to time...to read an extra book or two, or play just a little longer.
skigurl skigurl 7 years
a variation on the dessert one, but definitely "you can't leave the table until you finish your entire meal" also, "dessert can never be eaten before dinner" is a bull rule!!
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