Life Rules That Don’t Apply to Kids

If you’ve been following the blog for a little while now, you’re probably already aware that I am currently in the midst of raising a three-year-old who acts a lot like a moody teenager (Lord help me when she is actually a teenager!).

In among dealing with tantrums, mood swings, split-second mind changes, and potty-training relapses, I’m also trying to teach my daughter the difference between right and wrong and the importance of following rules/laws, in the hope that she will grow into a productive, law-abiding, moral human being.

As I’ve been going about these herculean tasks, a sense of something, I don’t know what exactly, has been fluttering around way in the back of my mind. Then it finally dawned on me. Teaching our kids the difference between right and wrong and the importance of following rules/laws is HARD. Not because they are young kids who don’t really understand what we are telling them – although that does make it hard too! It’s because so many of the “life rules” we are trying to teach them now have so many exceptions, particularly for kids!

Here are some examples of some “life rules,” that we as adults take for granted, that don’t apply to kids, except when they do!

There is no such thing as a dumb question.

(Disclaimer, it can probably be argued that this is indeed NOT true, even for adults, but for argument’s sake, let’s just go with it).

As many a mother will tell you, it’s fantastic when your kid starts talking, because it helps them communicate more effectively. But along with talking comes the questions! The non-stop questions! The questions like: Mom, why did you just blow your nose? Mom, why did you turn the car on? Mom, can I do this thing that you’ve told me 100 times I can’t do? You get the idea. I get it, kids are learning, testing boundaries, being silly. But in the end, some of the questions that come out of their mouths are just plain dumb.

Walking around in public naked and/or when only wearing underwear is unacceptable and can get you arrested.

Walk down the street in a quiet little neighborhood on a hot, sunny, summer Saturday and your bound to see at least one young child playing in a pool or sprinkler clad only in their birthday suit or a diaper. And you’ll probably think “awe, how cute, oh to be young and carefree again.” But if you continue walking and come across a middle-aged man mowing his yard in HIS birthday suit, you’ll probably call the cops.

Tell the truth.

As adults, we know when to tell the truth and when to just not say anything at all. Kids, not so much. My daughter is really great at pointing out people’s flaws (“look, he has a really big tummy!”). Her verbal honesty is innocent and makes for some really great teachable moments, but I’d prefer not to have those moments in the Target check-out line surrounded by lots of shoppers!

Eating with our hands/fingers is (usually) inappropriate.


Yes, there are some foods we as adults eat with our hands. But most of us wouldn’t dream of eating our mac & cheese or yogurt by the handful. My daughter is perfectly capable of using a spoon and fork, but there are some foods that require just a tad more coordination than we have time for. In those instances, I usually end up begging her to just user her fingers so we aren’t sitting there for five years while she tries to eat the last spaghetti noodle with a spoon.

No crying over spilled milk.

There is just something about spilled milk that brings on the tears!

Dress appropriately.


This totally goes out the window when kids realize they can have a say in what they wear! They want to go out in public with a bucket on their head and a diaper over their pants? Sure. PJs to the park? Why not? Tank top and shorts in the middle of winter? Okay. Winter coat and hat in the middle of summer? Alright. Mom’s shorts and sports bra hanging around your neck? Maybe. Anything to get them out the door in something other than nothing.

Are there other life rules you can think of that don’t always apply to kids?

Becky is a Minnesota Native and Wisconsin Badger fan living in the heart of Hawkeye Country. Since graduating from high school, she has lived in Duluth, MN; Birmingham, UK; Minneapolis, MN; Louisville, KY; and Madison, WI, but is now happy to call Iowa City home. She and her husband have been married for ten years and have a spirited four-year-old daughter and a mischievous baby boy. Becky juggles working from home and keeping two kids happy each and every day. In her free time, she enjoys working her side business, spending time with friends, relaxing with a good book, and eating snacks.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.