In general, we're a pretty laid back family in terms of rules. Most of the rules that we do have are pretty straight forward.
"Don't empty out more than one bin of toys at one time."
(Because they love LOVE to dump stuff out, but no one wants to sort and clean them up later. Which means I get to do it.)
"You can't watch hours and hours of uninterrupted television."
(We're a somewhat tv liberal family. We don't have time limits, per se, but the content is strictly monitored, and I don't want it on all day.)
Clothing choices when leaving the house should be seasonally appropriate (no snow parkas in July, no bathing suits in December,) and consist of some sort of shirt, and pants/shorts/skirt combo. (Neither of my kids particularly like wearing clothes, and either one is apt to decide they don't want to wear pants today.)
Pretty basic, reasonable stuff, right?
Want to hear a secret?
Sometimes when we're having an "off" day, or we're feeling bored or cranky, we bend the rules.
Some days, I let the kids dump out whatever toys they want, even if it wrecks the house, and I have to spend an hour doing most of the clean up later. This occasionally sparks a new game, like the one last week, where Thomas the Train was interacting with the whole Pokemon crew.
Occasionally, we have tv/movie day. I plop down with the kids and we watch hours of Spongebob, and eat too many snacks. (This is a good one for when we're getting sick. What else can you do then, anyway?)
If the clothing issue is becoming too big of an deal, and we aren't going anywhere, I pretty much let the kids wear whatever they want. If V wants to put her dress on inside out and backwards, and wear a ski hat, and my flip flops, I let her. If L decides he doesn't feel like wearing pants today, so be it.
The trick is that we don't do these things constantly. If we did, the house would be a wreck, (er...is wreckier a word? To be honest, sometimes it's a wreck anyway.) the kids would be lazy little couch potatoes, and we'd have the fashion police after us all the time.
It pays to be flexible, though. Sometimes changing things up just a little gets us out of a rut.
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