MY daughter Elsie is only two years old but her world is already filled with rules.
“Yoghurt is only eaten at the table. We don’t jump on furniture with our shoes on. Whenever you want something, you must say please.”
And on it goes. She can do this. She can’t do that.
Rules are important of course. They help me to teach her right from wrong. They help to instil manners. They help her to learn good behaviour.
Rules sure have their place and are needed.
But even I – the one who has to correct and tell her most things – feel that sometimes, there are too many rules and not enough fun!
Which is why every Friday, for tea, I pretty much allow her to eat anything she likes (in moderation!) and why I occasionally, let her go wild in our home, making mess, running amok and basically causing chaos!
Inspired by Principality Building Society’s My House Rules campaign which allows children to make up the house rules, I was intrigued and thought, sure why not!
Together, Elsie and I had a little chat and with a few careful questioning prompts from me, we came up with a special list of her made-up house rules. (Mums and dads, brace yourselves!)
They don’t half make me smile.
I have to say the first one really made me laugh, because as a mum, I’ve purposefully NOT encouraged her to like pink or wear too much of it and yet, it is most definitely her favourite colour! (And the shade of her vintage dolls house too, just visible in the pic above).
Number 2 made me smile, because she often asks (and doesn’t get! ) chocolate for breakfast. I’m blaming Easter Sunday for that one.
Some of them made me squeal with horror (like no’s 8 and 9) because we’ve already had walls decorated with stickers and tables with felt tip pin, that will not come off for love nor money!
And some of them, well some of them, like eating indoor picnics, running around, being silly and being happy, we can most definitely do.
We actually do all of these things now but perhaps not enough or certainly not as much as she would like. So that’s a lesson learned for me as a parent.
As is, ‘have a really messy bedroom’!
Since Elsie got her proper girl’s bedroom earlier in the year, I’ve got into a little habit of quickly tidying Elsie’s bedroom up every day to keep on top of it.
It’s a little job that only takes about five minutes and I’ve happily done it, because I thought it would make her happier.
However, now i’m thinking that perhaps I’ve been too ‘tidy happy’ and should leave most of the mess, her mess, be. So from now on, that’s what I’m going to try and do.
I had such a good time, talking to Elsie and listening to all the things she would do with our home, if she could. About how she would choose to live at home, if we let her.
And whilst some of them I won’t be encouraging (!) there are many things here on her lovely list that have definitely given me parenting food for thought and opened my eyes.
Just don’t expect to come to our house soon and see Frozen stickers decorating our walls. Because as much as I love that film, there’s only so many images of Elsa I can take. *winks*
Disclaimer – This post was created in collaboration with Principality Building Society.