There’s an old saying that “children don’t come with an instruction manual.” But in this generation, they kind of do. From the internet being full of tips and to-do’s to every other mother and grandmother willing and ready to give you their two cents, instructions for raising your child can be found everywhere. And while I still believe that no one knows what’s best for your child but you, I have to admit that the tips and advice are useful and make sense. But I don’t always follow them.
For example, when it comes to setting a standard bedtime for my little guy, his bed time is whenever-he-falls-asleep-o’clock. And this is not the expected early 8PM that most would recommend for a young child. But his father and I are night owls. So why make him go to bed early, only to rise early, when we go to bed late and do not rise up with the sun? Don’t get me wrong, he is usually in bed well before midnight (on most nights), and we have somewhat of a bedtime routine. But this 8PM bedtime is one rule we break daily.
When it come to other rules, I’m not just breaking them left and right. I want to give my child structure and morals and a good upbringing. But I do slip up sometimes. I don’t always feed him at the same times everyday. I don’t always let him cry it out. I do spoil him from time to time. I do let him sleep on his stomach. I do let him watch TV (PBS Kids or Nick Jr only). I do let him get messy during feedings. I don’t always cut his nails when I should. I do let him explore and walk the line of “limitations” on occasion. But I don’t think this will ruin him. I don’t believe this will cause us to be on a future episode of Maury where the topic is “My Uncontrollable Child.” I think he will be okay.
There are just so many “rules” to follow when it comes to raising children. But breaking these rules from time to time doesn’t make you a bad parent, nor will it make your child a terrible citizen. So to all of you parents out there beating yourself up for “slipping up” every now and again, hear me when I say IT’S OKAY! You both will be alright.