Kids need limits, though. Don't be deceived by hippie-free-style parenting-- it isn't superior to good, old-fashioned guidance from parents. Kids don't have experience or understanding like adults do. They need us to set limits. That's where your rules should come from.
- Don't set more rules than are necessary for your children's safety and well being.
- Good rules:
- Don't play with matches
- Healthy food before sweets
- Responsibilities before screen time
- Be on time wherever you go
- Call if you're going to be late
- Do what you say you will do
- In almost everything else, let your kids make choices! They key of Love and Logic parenting is choices and consequences. Never give your kids a choice you DON'T want them to choose-- always give them two or three choices that you can live with, but let them have control over most of their lives:
- Homework- before or after dinner
- Chores- after school or after dinner
- Within boundaries set by you, what video games they play, TV and movies they watch (set your boundaries early, but be ready for shifting as they grow up... but it is VITAL that you still have household boundaries!!)
- Be loving and kind in explaining the purpose and reasoning behind rules you set and try to help your children understand the purpose of them. If you don't have a reason, you shouldn't have a rule, and I believe kids have a right to a short, simple explanation, if they ask.
- Always know the reason for your rules. "Because I feel like it" is not a reason. Don't create a lot of rules as a means of controlling your children. This will ultimately backfire. Rather than giving them reasons to rebel, give them reasons to obey.
- Note: Do not engage in debates or arguments over rules. You set them, you stick by them (though, that doesn't mean you can't adjust and change them as you go...). An explanation is important, but not defensiveness. Don't let your kids drain your brain... (See: Love and Logic!!)