To think people who say "your child your rules" should be taken out and....

(54 Posts)
seeker Mon 12-Nov-12 10:07:47, ok then, severely reprimanded.

Dahlen Mon 12-Nov-12 10:21:10

Sort of. wink <sits on fence>

I'm all for live and let live generally. My way may be the best way for me but I'm not arogant enough to believe it's the way everyone should raise their own children.

However, I do think the world would be a better place for a lot of children if we were slightly more judgemental - and openly so - about some of the things that get ignored under the philosophy of 'your child, your rules'.

A lot of so-called low-level abuse, for example, continues because people are afraid to comment. Not only can this lead the victim to believe it's their fault and that they deserve it, but it can also normalise it in the wider family and community. This is why it's so often perpetuated it in the next generation.

Then there's feeding a diet dominated by junk food. This may not be breaking any laws and it may not be maliciously-intended abuse, but it's still neglect and thus a form of abuse that can have life-long consequences for the child's health and emotional well-being (particularly if the child is obese).

nellyjelly Mon 12-Nov-12 10:23:11

Hate that phrase. Suggests a parent can just do what they like with their child.

It does seem a little like saying your child so you can do what you want IMO

Sometimes just because it's your child doesn't make what your doing right so yanbu and what dahlen said

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Mon 12-Nov-12 10:26:44

99% of the time it is your child your rules. You might politely listen to the advice or suggestions of others and would be sensible to listen to health care profs,teachers and social workers. But generally your child your rules prevails. Why do you disagree with this?

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Mon 12-Nov-12 10:40:18

As long as there continues to be parents who are irresponsible to their children and to society, YANBU.

I would love to live in a world where every parent could be trusted to make sensible choices for their children so that the phrase could apply to everyone, but sadly, we don't.

FreudiansSlipper Mon 12-Nov-12 10:41:17

yes smile

and my house my rules what is the need for a set of rules hmm

Kalisi Mon 12-Nov-12 10:44:36

Depends really. I kind of agree with the sentiment that, as I love my child, live with them every day and genuinely want to do what's best for them, I have no qualms making decisions based solely on MY opinion of what is best. However, I too hate that phrase as not everyone is as great a parent as me and shouldn't be encouraged to do the same wink

niceguy2 Mon 12-Nov-12 10:45:12

Obviously the 'your child, your rules' line has limits. But we all have our ways of raising children and within reason we have to just put up with it.

For example, personally I think children should play out and not be watched over all the time. We live on a safe estate on a cul-de-sac with few cars. I allow our 5yr old to play out on his own and he happily peddles his bike around and calls for friends. The neighbour opposite, his classmate. His parents NEVER allow him to play out unsupervised and sit outside watching him like a hawk. He's not even apparently 'old enough' for sleepovers whilst our son goes to friends houses all the time and thinks nothing of staying over.

Who's right and who needs to be 'severely reprimanded'? Me for wanting my child to get some freedom and learn to be independent? Or them for mollycoddling their child.

Tee2072 Mon 12-Nov-12 10:47:02

So whose rules should I follow if not my own?

The reason there is no test to be a parent is because there are a million different ways to raise children.

Yes, some things are harmful, i.e. all junk food all the time. But if you make a rule about that, what's to stop a rule being made about, say, toys. You may not like your child playing with a certain toy, I have no problem with it. Whose rule reigns?

Tee2072 Mon 12-Nov-12 10:48:10

Also, define sensible choice. Sensible choice based on what criteria?

One parent might find it sensible to send their child to a faith school and insist they go to a religious activity once a week. Another may find that a form of brain washing.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Mon 12-Nov-12 10:51:05

Niceguy, maybe neither of you are right or wrong. You are just being parents to different children. For an example such as the one you gave, I think it's fine for it to be a case of 'your child, your rules' in each of your positions.

In other, equally simple examples, such as one parent who sends a child into school with a lunchbox full of biscuits and crisps, and another who sends their child in with healthy, possibly less child appealing options, then I don't think the phrase should apply. The first parent is making a descison that is it only not the best for their own child, but is also making it harder for the second parent to successfully implement their choices, and in examples like that the first parent shouldn't be able to apply whatever rules like to their own child.

Well, DS is my child and he does live my my rules obviously....whose rules should he live by then??

Obviously this is within reason but we all parent differently and as long as my rules are not detrimental to anyone else then the way I bring him up is up to me.

InNeedOfBrandy Mon 12-Nov-12 10:59:06

I have that exact same situation niceguy I feel really sorry for my neighbours dc stuck in playing playstation then out and about. But their mum is a lovely lovely person who worries to much, who is to say who's right.

I do in a slight control ly like way think my way is best. My friend for instance didn't feed her dc any form of proper food when he was a baby for fear of him choking, she wouldn't even let him have a sandwich at 14months, it used to really annoy me because I could see he would end up/was a terrible eater because of this. It wasn't my place to tell her what to do with her child even if I really wanted her to do them my way.

ICBINEG Mon 12-Nov-12 10:59:12

YANBU. at all...complete crock of shite IMO.

Especially in a world where 'my rules' can include chopping off bits of other peoples genitals....

Tee2072 Mon 12-Nov-12 11:02:10

"The first parent is making a descison that is it only not the best for their own child, but is also making it harder for the second parent to successfully implement their choices"

No. Sorry. I do not make decisions for my child based on hard it makes your life.

You're the parent. You parent. So my child has crisps and yours aren't allowed them? That's your problem. Not mine. Learn to say no, for example, and stick to it.

ICBINEG Can we not go there, please? I'm begging you. grin

Everlong Mon 12-Nov-12 11:04:59


If anyone in RL says this to me I will flick them hard on the conk.

I can just imagine someone saying it with babe or hun at the end of the sentence too,

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Mon 12-Nov-12 11:05:38

Tee, I think that's a really selfish attitude, and it's the reason why so many people who are perfectly capable of making healthy choices by their children end up getting chased by the lunchbox police.

If in school, your rule makes it harder for my child to have what is best for him, then yes, it is my problem. But it's my problem that has been created by someone else who doesn't want the best for their children. I think it's ok for people to get annoyed about that.

Dahlen Mon 12-Nov-12 11:08:03

I think known to be harmful either to the child or the rest of society is the key point. So 'benign neglect' v 'helicoptering' is a classic case of 'your child, your rules' being perfectly acceptable, since neither method is proven as better than the other, despite all the opinions to the contrary. Same goes for BLW v purees, co-sleeping v crying it out, etc.

A diet dominated by junk food is proven to have a negative effect on health. Calling your child names and hitting them is proven to be detrimental to a child's well-being.

Tee2072 Mon 12-Nov-12 11:09:24

Well, I disagree.

Bringing us to the crux of the conversation!!

If you don't have the ability to control your children and their eating habits because my child has junk food (Which he doesn't, BTW, he loves fruit and veg. I'd be smug but it has nothing to do with anything I've done.) then you need to look to your own parenting.

And keep your beak out of mine.

niceguy2 Mon 12-Nov-12 11:13:33

Niceguy, maybe neither of you are right or wrong. You are just being parents to different children.

Exactly. Hence why we need to let parents parent their own child. I know my child best and there's not one way which is right or wrong.

Obviously if I am beating my child with a big sharp stick then that's different before anyone tries to suggest that rule is rubbish because I may be a violent psychopath.

Tee2072 Mon 12-Nov-12 11:16:37

::adjust spreadsheet to uncheck 'Niceguy2 is a violent psychopath':: grin

Kalisi Mon 12-Nov-12 11:19:11

The main reason I dislike the phrase is because the only context I ever hear it used is " I have run out of logical reasons/arguments to explain my choices so I will bring up the fact that they are MY children and I can do whatever the hell I like with them"
Ofcourse it is "your child, your rules" as someone mentioned before, our children are ours and our rules are all we know, but the mere fact that people feel the need to quote it suggests to me that the rules in question are difficult to justify any other way. Sorry, I'm not sure if that makes a lot of sense. I guess for example, if a HV/GP were telling me that something I was doing was not the best option, I wouldn't dream of just sprouting out that bullshit to justify my choice. I would seriously ask myself WHY it was best before going ahead and doing it my way

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Mon 12-Nov-12 11:20:05

Ok, I don't want to keep harping on about the lunchbox thing, but it's not about whether I have an ability to say no, control my children, or need to look at my own parenting. I don't mind my job being made harder because of other people's choices, it would only be harder because of choices I had also made.

It's about it being harder for a child to understand why something is beneficial to them when someone else in their class is being taught the opposite.

Surely you can see that it will be harder for a child sitting in at the lunchbox table to understand why it's important that they eat their savouries first when the child next to them is never given savouries.

I have a child who doesn't happen to like fruit that much. I can get him to eat it at home, but at school he needs encouragement. Part of that encouragement comes from support from the school. I think my child's need for encouragement to do something healthy is more important than a parents right to do something unhealthy.

Tee2072 Mon 12-Nov-12 11:28:10

And I think a parent's right to make the decisions they want to make for their children without interference from the school or government or the parents at the school gate is most important of all.

The exceptions being actual abuse, of course. I'm not saying people should be free to abuse or neglect their children in anyway.

But if I want to put crisps into my son's lunch or let him play outside or stand on his head or whatever, that's my right.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Mon 12-Nov-12 11:30:27

Fair enough, we will have to agree to disagree smile

MaryZezItsOnlyJustNovember Mon 12-Nov-12 11:30:41

I agree "my house, my rules" is more important. Your child, your rules, but not in my fucking house. Not if it means your child can have its nappy changed on the sitting room floor or eat chocolate buttons on my new sofa or pull my cat's tail <mutters>

MaryZezItsOnlyJustNovember Mon 12-Nov-12 11:36:46

But Tee, if you put too much crap into your son's lunchbox, it is affecting other people.

If a school doesn't ban certain things, then other parents take the piss. It has to be black and white rules

You might give a healthy lunch with some extra crisps or home-made chocolate cake. The child sitting beside yours will only have the crisps and chocolate - along with a load of other crap.

And the teacher has to control a class full of children who haven't had a proper lunch and have filled up on e-numbers and sugar. Which is very difficult.

Schools have to have guidelines which cater for the lowest common denominator, those parents who don't think carefully about their child's nutrition. Sometimes parents who do care get caught in the cross-fire, but that is a risk we take as a society.

ZombiesAreClammyDodgers Mon 12-Nov-12 11:44:05

So we should all have cookie cutter children with cookie cutter rules? Might as all give them up to the state and let them raise them then in some sort of Orwellian way.
Of course it's your child and your rules, within reason.

ZombiesAreClammyDodgers Mon 12-Nov-12 11:46:37

outraged children have to understand two things (a) the world isn't fair or equal (b) you go by the rules in your family.
So growing up all the cool kids wore expensive clothes and I didn't. So WHAT? My rules were I had to wear clothes my family could afford.

I totally agree with Tee - as a parent I have the ultimate responsibiity for what goes in my sons lunch box. Not another mum, not the school but me! If another kid is affected by what my DS has in his lunchbox then that it his problem, not DS's. I always tell DS I am not interested in what so and so is doing/having etc etc, I am just interested in what HE is doing/having.

MaryZezItsOnlyJustNovember Mon 12-Nov-12 11:51:13

Fair enough Betty.

But what if your child's education is being compromised by the behaviour of a number of other children whose lunchboxes are full of sweets and no proper food at all? What do you suggest the school does?

InNeedOfBrandy Mon 12-Nov-12 11:52:01

Ok I have a situation. I am quite happy for my dd to play with make up and paint her nails but her friend is not allowed to do that. Obviously when her friend is round I don't let dd play make overs with this friend but why should dd not be able to play with her toys just because of her old fashioned mum?

GrimmaTheNome Mon 12-Nov-12 11:52:48

'My house, my rules' is a useful rule of thumb. DD knows that if she's told not to do something (eg climb on the furniture) in someone else's house, then she follows that rule even if she's allowed to do it at home (tough sofa!). If you aren't happy with the 'house rules' of a friend (eg with older child, allowing drink)- probably best that they always come to you instead.

The same extends to school. They aren't allowed to chew gum while in or travelling to school; she is allowed it at home. Not a problem. If the school has lunchbox rules, adhere to them but if they are stupid work to get the rules changed.

GrimmaTheNome Mon 12-Nov-12 11:56:29

INeed...I think there the 'tie break' is that what they do at your house would spill over to the childs house, if she goes home with painted nails. Its a shame to deny innocent pleasure, but probably on this one there are plenty of other things they can do so best just avoid.

MaryZezItsOnlyJustNovember Mon 12-Nov-12 11:56:46

You have to talk to the parents INeed. And then decide how much you want the child over.

It's like, I never allowed my son to play CoD or other over 18s games at home, but I know he played them in other houses. My choice (as I saw it) was to either let him play because the other child's parents allowed it, or to stop him from going to the house at all. Another friend of mine tried to tell other parents what to allow her son to do - but it resulted in her son not being invited.

So either trust other parents to set rules, or don't trust them to look after your child. In your case, if I was the other mother I would either allow her dd to play with make-up at your house or not let her go to your house. I wouldn't tell you what you could do there hmm.

piprabbit Mon 12-Nov-12 11:59:27

Saying "your child, your rules" or "your house, your rules" or "your wedding, your rules" is often (but not always) used as a way to justify a decision which flies in the face of common sense, politeness and respect for others.

It's like people who say "I don't mean to be rude, but..." before uttering the most rude, personal and offensive tosh, in the mistaken belief that it excuses their rudeness.

Well Mary obviously people need to use a bit of common sense. Our school is not too bad on the lunch box police but we cant give them say a bar of chocolate although a chocolate biscuit is ok. I dont know the answer to your question, I dont know any mum who would send their kid to school with a lunch box full of sweets and hopefully not many mums would.

My DS is a terrible eater and so I do have trouble putting in his luch box stuff I know he will eat but I keep it as healthy for him as I can and def no sweets smile

...and DS has a friend whose mum does not allow him to play a particular game on the wii that my son is allowed to play. DS knows that when this friend comes over we do not play that game as I would not want to go against his mums wishes no matter how silly I think she is being.

MaryZezItsOnlyJustNovember Mon 12-Nov-12 12:05:06

Some parents don't use any common sense though Betty. That's why school need rules. Absolute black and white ones. In some schools there are a significant number of children who aren't fed properly.

If they allow chocolate, that is all that some children would get.

FreudiansSlipper Mon 12-Nov-12 12:08:40

i tell it like it is or i am honest and do not care what others think i tell the truth often comes along with my rules blah blah blah crap

anklebitersmum Mon 12-Nov-12 12:10:12

It's a 'welfare' issue in our house.

I make the rules, the kids don't and it's well fair. grin

In what context are they saying 'your child your rules'?

Is it because they think that;

a) you're a numpty for parenting not 'best friending' your child or is it
b) because you're best-friending instead of parenting?


sarahtigh Mon 12-Nov-12 12:10:21

"my child my rules" can impinge on other people, like for some bizarre reasons you might think it is ok for you child to push shopping trolley into your legs whether they are your child or not they can not push trolley into my legs and something not be said

also my house rules trump your rules when in my house, also my DD knows slightly different rules apply in grandmas house/ nursery school than ours

not allowed to jump on beds or put feet on sofa( even without shoes) at grandmas but can at home, at home is allowed to clean bowl after cooking at nursery she is not

OTheHugeManatee Mon 12-Nov-12 12:20:55

The lunchbox thing is a red herring - IMO most children are capable of understanding that lunchboxes vary, even if they covet someone else's crisps rather than the gravel and honey they've been given.

When it comes to lifestyle stuff 'your child your rules' is fine, but when it comes to teaching the basics of how to exist in wider society as well as within your own family's culture then it has shortcomings as a policy.

'Your child your rules' becomes a real problem when it's practiced in the extreme, and those rules translate into fundamental conflicts between what parents teach their children in terms of basic manners, ethics and social norms.

One parent ignores their little darling stealing, attacking other children or damaging others' property; another parent reprimands their child for that kind of behaviour. When those two children grow up you have two adults, raised very differently, one of which takes social norms seriously and generally abides by them, and the other of which is at best ignorant of commonly accepted behaviour or at worst simply doesn't care, or doesn't believe they should be subject to such expectations.

Quite aside from the corrosive effects of thoughtless, selfish or uninhibited behaviour on other people, the person raised without reference to any social expectations is more likely to suffer from social exclusion; they will face an uphill struggle if they want to contribute to civic society as, unlike the child who was taught manners, they have to work out from first principles how to behave in an acceptable way.

qo Mon 12-Nov-12 12:49:38

I agree - fine your child, your rules - BUT they have to live in a society as well. That has to be considered

CatsRule Mon 12-Nov-12 13:34:14

Dahlen you said: However, I do think the world would be a better place for a lot of children if we were slightly morejudgemental - and openly so - about some of the things that get ignored under the philosophy of 'your child, your rules'.

In an ideal world this would be great but the problem with this is those who are mouthy and judgemental...usually about non harmful things like giving your child a banana with lunch instead of an apple...are those who are usually too cowardly to speak up or confront those who truly display abusive behaviour.

There is a big difference in being opinionated and interfering when necessary. E.g. "Just gee up an gee 'im a botil"...this was recently said to me because I chose to breastfeed...hidious crime! This was followed by "thats ma opinion an am entitled to it" no unfortunately they are not typos...its how this person speaks but that's another matter...this judgy person also thinks giving icing sugar to a baby to be ok

ZombiesAreClammyDodgers Mon 12-Nov-12 13:34:20

Well said, manatee.

MrsMelons Mon 12-Nov-12 13:40:23

I think my house my rules applies along with my child my rules as people have said although I think we should always respect what rules other parents have.

For instance my friend lets her DCs climb on furniture (not just sofas) and do ridiculous things on the stairs. They are not allowed to do this in my house and I have told them so. My DCs are also not allowed to copy and do those things whilst at my friends house as its dangerous. My friends DCs have often said but we are allowed to at home.

I would never let other DCs watch films over their age at my house even if I would let my DCs watch them (without checking first), I also don't let the children eat anywhere other than the kitchen/diner and this rule applies to all children but if my DCs are somewhere where this doesn't apply I wouldn't expect them to sit in the kitchen on their own.

Surely its common sense really??

Tee2072 Mon 12-Nov-12 13:44:30

MaryZ I don't actually have the lunch box issue yet as my son is only at preschool. But I have to say, if he does start bringing a lunch box that he isn't allowed to have some cake in but the school dinner children are getting cake, as I've heard? I will be that parent.

And this isn't just about lunch food anyway. It's my opinion that there is too much government interference in our lives. Whether it's lunch box contents or having to have a 9 year old child met at the school gate when I think he is perfectly capable of coming home on his own (hypothetical, my son is 3.6), he's my son. These things should be my decision.

It should be noted here that I am an anarchist at heart. I don't think we need any government. But true anarchy would never work so I'm happy to obey the laws you feel you need to exist (global you, not you you) and I break the ones I think are stupid. And pay the consequences if I get caught.

BTW Manatee I agree with what you said. But that is still a type of 'my child my rules'. History has shown that those who do not follow societal norms eventually suffer. And those who challenge societal norms intelligently? Change the world.

GrimmaTheNome Mon 12-Nov-12 13:44:49

>Surely its common sense really??

You'd think...but common sense is too rare a virtue! grin

nickelrocketgoBooooooom Mon 12-Nov-12 13:46:43

i agree - your child your rules as long as it fits in with what society deems as acceptable behaviour.

Tee2072 Mon 12-Nov-12 13:47:22

I am also loving how seeker opened this can of worms and then...disappeared...


seeker Mon 12-Nov-12 13:56:42

Disappeared- or went to shovel horse poo. Depending on how you look at it.

I am of the "it takes a village" frame of mind. Beyond very basic safety and a modicum of civilised behaviour, I think children should fit in where they are. I look after them one way. Other people who love them (or even like them- because nobody who didn't love or at least like them would be looking after them!) might look after them in different ways. I think that's a good thing, not a bad thing.

MrsMelons Mon 12-Nov-12 13:59:11

Grimma So true grin

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