Let Your Kids Be Kids – Sometimes

I’m not a giant fan of Easter or any holiday really, but my kids love it. So that pretty much means I have to swallow down any negative feelings, and make myself into a ray of sunshine so their happiness can flourish, but I don’t mind doing that. Us parents love doing that. Which brings me to the point of my post – let’s just allow our kids to enjoy stuff sometimes.

I went through my list of post ideas. I keep a list on Google Docs so I can reference it when I have writer’s block, add random ideas when it strikes my fancy, and keep track of what I’ve already written about. Nobody wants to read the same things over and over again. On my list of “Family” posts, I saw something about the importance of manners which was what I was going to make this about originally, but in the Spirit of Easter (which is totally a thing), I’m going to do the opposite. I’m going to explain to you over-bearing, rule-queens (like myself) why we should maybe just lighten up a little bit on special occasions.

“You shall OBEY me!” -me, all the time

Do you remember a hundred years ago when we were kids? Do you remember the fun we had at family functions because honestly nobody was really paying attention to us? I do. Times have changed since then, and people like to keep their kids a little closer than they used to. When I was a kid the adults stayed inside and we took our candy outside, ran around like crazy people, and had dangerous, sugar-fueled, unsupervised fun. Since the times are a-changin’ we need to possibly look at how we treat our kids during special occasions, when they are supposed to be making memories.

A few of my biggest rules at home are to not run in the house, to use your indoor voice, and to always clean up after yourself. My husband thinks I’m a hard-ass because I don’t normally bend on these rules.

“You do it, you get in trouble. I don’t care what the situation was or how you felt. You follow the damn rules.”

One thing I personally had to learn was when to chill out. Easter, or any celebration, is a time for fun and family. One of my children, Chloe, is very vocal with her happiness. I love that she gets so happy and excited so easily, I just wish sometimes she’d do it a little more quietly. I can tell she’s having fun, but I know it’s not THAT fun. I’m also not a big fan of noise. I like cats, and books, and silence. Those are a few of my favorite things.

-Chloe, swinging (direct quote)

But it’s Easter! If she comes running through the house like she’s at a track meet to tell me she’s found all of her eggs, and she’s yelling because she lacks any situational awareness like every other 4 year old, then I’m going to say “OH MY GOSH! That’s awesome!” I’m not going to reprimand her.

Does it really matter that we’re at someone else’s house? Does it matter that they are breaking almost all of our normal rules? Not really.

The only thing that I stay adamant about is manners. It ruins everyone’s fun when your kid is stomping their feet, acting like little entitled jerks because they didn’t get the EXACT same amount of candy as another kid. They aren’t going to get away with telling Grandma that her green bean casserole tastes like hot garbage. They can’t just throw themselves on the ground, pounding their fists on the floor, because you told them “no” to rolling around in the mud outside in their Easter dress.

Other than manners though it’ll usually fly. It’s ONE day.

It’s easy to get up-tight. Believe me I do it all the time, but maybe for one day we shouldn’t let things get to us so easily and let our children just enjoy their happiness. It’s unfettered with what bills are due when, or when they have to go back to work, it’s just pure joy. They’re not going to get to experience that forever.

She experiences happiness you never will again. Sorry, but it’s true.

Do you agree? Disagree? What rules do you let slide on happy occasions? Let me know in the comments!

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