Parenting & Setting Rules: The Pros & Cons Of ‘Let Kids Be Kids’ & ‘Because I Said So’

Every parent has their own parenting styles, with the "let kids be kids" and "because I said so" as two of the main approaches when it comes to bringing up children. Some parents think it's best to enforce rules on children whether they like it or not. Other parents, however, believe that it's better to allow kids to enjoy themselves and have slip-ups.

Both of these parenting styles have pros and cons. The "because I said so" approach is akin to authoritarian parenting, wherein children are recognized as naturally determined and it's up to parents to force them to be obedient, according to Psychology Today.

The "let kids be kids approach," on the other hand, is a permissive parenting style. Parents that practice this approach are more lenient on rules and they don't believe that control is the most important facet of parenting. Assigning tasks or chores to kids are minimal in this parenting style.

According to an article on Lifehacker penned by science and health writer Beth Skwarecki, the best kind of parenting approach is a combination of the "because I said so" and "let kids be kids" styles. But sometimes, there are instances in a parent's life when one approach is calling to be used than the other.

Shopping in toy stores, for instance, can be grueling for parents. Saying "no" to a child who wants you to buy them an expensive toy truck or Barbie doll may be the best approach when you don't have enough money.

Some kids can be fooled by parents into choosing the less expensive toy, or promising to buy the toy at a later date like, the child's birthday or in Christmas. Some parents, however, resort to giving what their kids want from a toy store when he/she starts throwing tantrums and becomes a disturbance. It's up to parents which of these scenarios suit them best.

Rules, however, are there for a reason and children must learn to respect them. Skwarecki advised parents that if they want their children to "respect a firm 'no,' you'll have to restrict its use to times when you can actually enforce it." Structure and routine are important as well and kids shouldn't be blamed when they don't want to follow a surprise rule that they are not accustomed to.

A line should be drawn on permissive parenting when it gets to a point that a child's bad habits are being tolerated. Permissive parenting can make kids aggressive or overweight, while authoritarian parenting can lead to a child having low self-esteem, resourcefulness and social aptitude.

Which of these parenting styles work best for you? Share your thoughts below.

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