Originally Posted by karina5
Uptownzoo, I love your post!!!
I also agree w/ the person who said that some people might not be liking the idea of saying "No" to a child.
Hmmmmmmm. That's interesting. Wondering if Yooper and some of the others that have not been a fan of the word "rules" feel that way (that they don't tell their child, No, ever).
I have no porblem with the word no. I use it often. Mostly when it is in regards to whether or not I will do things or allow things to be done to me. People say no to me too. I do not aim to avoid the word no. I do aim to take my dd's requests and needs as seriously as I do my own, dh's, and any other person that I care about. I do not believe in setting "rules" that have no purpose other than to make my life easier or to impose my ideals on another. I *do* stop dd and try to help her dd find another way if she is about to do something that will come up against a non-parent-imposed limitation like jumping off the roof (I did not make the rules of gravity) or getting run over by a car (rules of physics). We do not have rules about food, bedtime, friends, TV, teeth, bathing, toys, sharing, etc...... I am especially wary of rules that focus on bodily functions like sleeping and eating. Dd is just as, if not more, capable of knowing her own bodily limitations and needs than any adult I know. Does that mean I do not remind her? No, of course not. If she is about to reach for another brownie, I might remind her about the yucky feeling she got last time she ate one too many. It is still up to her. She cannot tell time. At around 8pm each night I ask her if she is ready for bed. 90% of the time the answer is yes. When it is not, she stays up. I might ask her again in an hour if she does not take the initiative herself. If she appears tired or we have a big day the next day, I will bring that up. But it is still up to her. Dd made it clear at birth that no one can "make" her fall asleep anyway. She even understands that mommy and daddy like time alone, usually to watch movies that scare her, and she has no problem "reading" or listening to books on tape in her room if she is not tired as the night hour creeps later. Because we have not made rules about these things, she is not only very good at listening to her own body, but she is also more than happy to help *us* get what we want just as we do for her.
We do have some family rules that we all agree on. We can eat in the living room, but we must lay a towel on the couch. This applies to all of us. There are some foods none of us are allowed to eat in the living room, like blueberry cobbler. Dd came up with the cobbler rule after she witnessed dh almost stain the couch. We discuss "rules" that make our house run smoothly and they are for everyone. We all agree on them. If someone does not or comes to a point where they do not, we discuss and change as necessary. None of them are set is stone, no one has trumping power, and they are living documents.
I am out in the real world. Most friends and family have rules for their kids. Some operate more like we do. Some of our friends have rules in their house that we do not have in ours. Dd (and the rest of us) have no problem adhereing to the rules of other's when visiting thier house. I would not say anyone is "right". I am also not going to say hypocricy is "wrong". But for my family, parent-imposed rules do not work for us. Our house is far from chaos. Dd feels loved and secure (as far as I can tell). She is very "well-behaved" as is dh and I. Despite not having any rules she brushes her teeth most nights, is well rested, eats far healthier than most kids I come in contact with, says please and thank you most of the time, and everything else people keep telling me she will never do unless I "make" her.