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13 Parenting "Rules" You Should Be Breaking

Some rules are made to be broken — like the rules for when it comes to raising children! And there are other things you don't need to break, like the new Nature Valley Crunchy bars.

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1. Rule: Never let your kids choose their own outfits.

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You want your kids to be dressed appropriately — BUT freedom of expression is important too. As long as the outfit your child picks isn't totally nuts, let him be himself!

2. Rule: Don't let the kids color on the walls.

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Of course you don't want kids drawing on every surface of your home, but this could be a special treat for them right before you plan to repaint.

3. Rule: Always stick to a strict bedtime routine.

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Routines are really important to children, but some of their favorite memories (and yours!) will probably be of staying up past bedtime for a late-night snack or extra cuddles.

4. Rule: Never let your child quit an activity.

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Perseverance is definitely an important lesson for kids to learn. But if your child is really, really not into one activity in particular, it's OK to quit. And asking to quit is a sign that she has a strong sense of where her passions lie — a major win!

5. Rule: And make sure your child is involved in a variety of hobbies.

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Just like allowing your kids to give up a hobby that isn't quite the right fit, it's OK if they have just a few favorite interests. It's a sign they have their own identities.

6. Rule: Time in front of the screen should be strictly monitored.

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Being able to keep your kids busy and entertained without the help of a screen is great! But that doesn't mean you can't enjoy a good family movie night now and then!

7. Rule: No jumping on the bed. Ever.

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Once your kids are older, they'll definitely be too big to jump on the bed. Let them have some fun while they're still little, as long as it's within your supervision. It can even be great exercise!

8. Rule: Never let your kids see you fail.

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All parents want to set a good example for their kids. However, part of setting a good example is showing them that it's normal to make mistakes or fail. No one is perfect!

9. Rule: Junk food should ~always~ be off-limits.

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Feeding your kids healthy food when they're little can help establish healthy habits for life. But healthy living is also about balance, so say yes to that cookie once in a while!

10. Rule: Kids should be taught not to interrupt.

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Learning to be polite is part of growing up. That doesn't mean repressing your opinions though. Teach your kids when it's OK to speak up for themselves.

11. Rule: Stick to your original word no matter what.

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It's perfectly fine to change your mind when parenting. Just because you told your child they had to eat their broccoli or could sleep over at a friend's doesn't mean you can't reconsider. And your kids will learn a lesson in compromise.

12. Rule: Teach your kids to stay away from strangers.

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Protecting your kids from danger is imperative, but you don't want them to live in fear either. Helping kids to understand when it's OK to be friendly and when it's not will set them up for success in life.

13. Rule: Your kids come first — no matter what.

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Obviously, you love your kids and want to put their needs before your own. That doesn't mean ignoring your own needs though. Taking care of yourself and making time for your interests sets a very important example for little ones!

Some rules are made to be broken. But at least you don't have to break the new Nature Valley Crunchy bars. Just bite and enjoy!

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