As a parent, do you sometimes break the rules with your kids for the sake of a good memory? I do it all the time. This parenting gig goes fast, and I want to make fun and memorable moments for my kids. Good memories that will last them their lifetimes. Rule breakers are often the perfect kindling for creating memories for life. I’m sharing my mom ideas that I’ve done with my own kids: 10 Fun Harmless Memorable Rule Breakers Kids Love.
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I adore this idea of harmless rule breakers. When moms or dads break the rule, the kids will remember, and they will love it! They won’t forget it either. It will be an idea they bring up time and time again.
“Hey, Mom. Remember when we ate cookies and lemonade for lunch on the deck while we played Yahtzee? That was so fun!” They might even ask to do it again, I say let them. Do it for the sake of a memory (within reason of course!).
Rule breakers=memory makers
10 Fun Harmless Memorable Rule Breakers Kids Love
1. Stay up late to do something that they will have fun doing and remember forever.
Whether it be staying up late for a movie or to play a game, kids love breaking the bedtime deadline rule. If they get to stay up later than normal, they remember it and revel in it.
We have a backyard pool and recently the pool was still pretty warm and the air was cooperating by being a bit balmy still at night (doesn’t always happen in Minnesota). So, I took advantage to make a fun memory and let my kids do a night swim in the dark. It was almost bedtime, but I let them swim in the dark with the pool lights on, the lantern lights, and no other lights so it didn’t get too bright. They loved it! They didn’t want to get out either. Stayed up WAY past bedtime.
As a mom, I will cherish the fun memory too because they enjoyed it so much and they played together so nice (mostly, just one minor splashing squabble, but nothin’s perfect, right?). But, no, it really was perfect. The stars were clear and crisp, the moon was giant and bright white, glowing and making moon shadows of things around the pool. The fireflies were out doing their lightning bug things letting us spot them here and there, and yell out that we spotted another. There was no wind, the water was warm, the air was not cold; it was perfect!
Other Ideas for Staying up Late past the Normal Bedtime
- take a walk in the dark (just be safe)
- have a special, rare, bedtime snack of any treat topped with another treat
- sleepovers: kids love staying up late with their friends during sleepovers
- let them finish a movie they started too close to bedtime
- give in for requests extra piece of birthday cake before bed on their birthday
- allow everyone to finish a game they started before bed
- snuggle too long, past bedtime in bed, all cozy
- staying up a few minutes late just to play with a new toy
Finish Monopoly all the way to the end of the game! Even if it goes late…
2. Skip Sports Practice for a Party
Sorry coaches. I’ve done this. However, I totally take the commitment to a sports team seriously. Once we sign up, we are all in for the season. But…
If my kids had a birthday party for a friend or a cousin, I let them just skip sports practice (not a game). I get it, coaches. Kids need every practice they can get to perform the best they can in a game, but they need the fun memory with their friend or cousin more. So, on when the situation has come up, I have let my kids skip practice to attend a fun party.
I’ve even let my boys skip a practice the night before going on vacation. Times are hectic then anyway, so sometimes, fellow moms, we need to make the never skip a practice rule. My kids have loved it when we’ve done this, they love the games more anyway, right? 🙂
3. Eat Popcorn and Candy for Lunch While Seeing a Movie
We usually go to matinees when we go to movies because paying for five people to see a movie, plus snacks is a ginormous amount of money these days. Sometimes, we have gone over lunch and my kids ate so much popcorn and candy, I did forego a healthy well-balanced lunch. And my boys loved it!
Or, watch a movie at home and eat popcorn and candy for lunch…on purpose;)
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4. Have Breakfast for Dinner
My kids love breakfast food. Pancakes, waffles, eggs, hashbrowns, sausage, bacon, you name it, breakfast foods are some of their favorite types of food. We often break the rules and have breakfast dinner. For some reason, they just love this, probably because it goes against the norm and they get foods they love. This is harmless. They can still get a healthy meal, but something different than they have the majority of the time for dinner.
5. Wear Pajamas All Day Long!
When we are home for a day, my boys have been known to wear pajamas all day (I admit, I’ve done it too!). They think this is fun to be super comfy and not get dressed all day, especially my youngest. When sick, kids do this, of course. But, let them do it on a day when there are no plans, and they will love it!
I like this one too! This might just be the best of the rule breakers!
6. Skip the Reading Books Before Bed in lieu of Something Else
I’ve always been an avid pusher of reading books, especially when my kids were young. They loved reading books, and I always loved reading to them, but on occasion, I would skip it and just cuddle with them in their beds and had a long conversation with them instead.
Now, this only works if the kids are okay with it, rule breakers are meant to be fun. If they still want the books, of course, still do books, but then maybe do number 1 from above and stay up late cuddling for the sake of a memorable conversation.
7. Let Kids Each Take a Turn Bringing a Friend to a Family Event
Family time is important. Alone. Don’t ever give it up. However, sometimes it’s fun to bring a friend too. I’ve let my boys take a turn bringing a friend to a family event on occasion for something different.
For instance, let them bring a friend along out to eat, to the beach, to an extended family party, or to a movie. It can get too expensive to have all three of my boys each bring a friend to certain things (and if my husband goes too, there aren’t even enough spots in the vehicle for this), but adding in just one more body is often doable. This is especially true for free events like the park, beach, or to another family members house.
This allows each kid a turn to have something special for the day or outing. They will definitely remember it and create a fun memory with their friend too.
8. Skip School
UGH! Did I just admit that to the world? Yes, I did. Though I’ve only done this on a very rare occasion. (Sorry teachers!).
If my boys, especially my older two, seem extra stressed out, didn’t sleep well, or are upset about something, I have allowed them a mental health day. I don’t do it all the time, of course, school is important, but so is mental health. This needs to be absolutely warranted or I won’t do it. I’m the mom, I can tell when it’s totally called for and when it’s not. A mom just knows.
Related Post: Mom Mental Health and Self-Care
9. Eat Dessert at Dinner Time, then Healthy Food Later
This is just a timeline thing. Of course, you risk them not being hungry later for the healthy food (ha! who am I kidding, this won’t happen!).
I’ve done this, especially when we’ve had a special dessert they love. They always get hungry later and we have healthy food or a decent meal later in the evening.
10. Have Donuts or Treats for Breakfast
We’ve all done this one, right? It’s super harmless now and then.
I like to start my boys off with a healthy breakfast, but, boy do they love the donut breakfast when we do it. I don’t do this often, but I buy donuts for breakfast for special events like when we go camping, birthdays, holidays, and sleepovers. They just love eating a donut for breakfast, a treat right away in the morning is super special because we so rarely do it.
On Easter and Christmas morning, my boys always get candy or chocolate of some sort. I let them eat it right away, for breakfast. They’ve been known to chow half a chocolate bunny for breakfast on Easter. I like healthy foods, but I’m not the sugar police parent, I let them enjoy sweets, especially on holidays.
Following the rules is important, but so is breaking them.
I like breaking the rules now and then to illustrate for my kids that sometimes things are flexible. This teaches them not to be so rigid also. I think life is gray, not black and white, and I seek to teach my kids this thought process too.
I fully admit it, sometimes, when warranted, I do break the rules (even my own rules). Not that the rules aren’t important, they are, it’s just sometimes the rules don’t fit; and sometimes, breaking a rule can lead to something good, like some fun, memorable moments kids will never forget and talk about for years to come. Those moments are pure gold.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading these rule breakers, I sure have:) Go ahead, moms and dads, break those rules! Be the fun mom! Be the fun dad! Use these rule breakers to the best of your abilities! Add your own favorite rule breakers below to share with other moms and dads.
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