Dad tip of the Day: When it comes to parenting kids, you should be firm and choose what is going to be a red line that can’t be crossed, but let the rest go and embrace the chaos.
I think everyone can agree that kids are crazy, messy, difficult and they break stuff. For us parents, things will often get wild and it will push you outside of your normal comfort zone – the key is finding the right balance of firm and fun.
We shouldn’t be always saying “no”, but we certainly cannot always say “yes” either. The balance is different with each kid, as they all have unique temperaments and quirks, which requires fast adjustments on the parent’s side. Kids will rebel against parents who have too tight a grasp and won’t let them have any fun, but will also take advantage of too much freedom if the parents are too apathetic. Striking the right balance of authority and friend will be different with each kid.
Taking my son Jacob as an example, for me a red line that cannot be crossed is splashing water out of the tub and getting the floors, walls and ceiling all wet – not OK. I will pick that battle and put an end to that behavior. However, on the flip side, if we are outside and playing I will let him get as dirty as he wants to, including rolling around in the dirt like this picture:
Another battle I have taken up is when the toys start destroying the floor – Jacob has a few ride-on type of vehicles that he used to be able to ride around the house, however, as he gotten older and more wild/aggressive, the power sliding of the toys around the house was leaving too many scratches on the hardwood floors, so I had to relegate a few toys to be outside toys only, despite the fight and tears. On the flip side, Jacob has some Radio Controlled cars that are probably meant to be outside, but that do not really do too much damage to the house, so I will sometimes let him run them inside.
Picking your spots to put your foot down verses letting kids be kids is a parenting lesson that can be tough to master, but the key is to keep working at it and improving!
Would love to hear any thoughts you have my friends!