It was a sight to behold. Our kids darted back and forth wildly through the massive cloud of white powder in the air. I’m sure our belly laughs could be heard from blocks away. Flour was flung across the back yard, landing on our clothes, our hair, and all over our faces. By the time we finally washed it all off, it was time for dinner. Our kids filled their plates with chips, gummy bears, cookies, and ice cream. I think there was a hot dog somewhere on there for good measure. They wanted to watch a movie, so we built a blanket fort and cuddled up to watch together. Our kids were living in bliss. What would normally seem like a nightmare for me turned out to be one of the most fun days I have had with my kids in a really long time.
A few years ago, All Pro Dad published a post about “No Rules Night.” On No Rules Night, anything goes, with only two rules in place: What we do must be safe and we must consider others. My husband loved the idea and presented it to me. With a little hesitation from me, we gave it a try (for a whole day!) and even put our own spin on it. The idea originally had me cringing with fear of messes, cavities, and lots of noise. Now the flour-flinging, silly stringing, water ballooning, candy-for-dinner day has become an annual tradition for our family. Does this idea make you cringe, too? Here are three reasons to give it a try anyway.
No Rules Day teaches you to loosen up.
My kids have told me openly that their dad is more fun than I am. They weren’t being mean, but they’re also not wrong. I am a stickler for keeping the house clean and I like maintaining structure. Neither of those characteristics gives me a reputation for being fun. No Rules Day has given me permission to break my own rules and even to become the culprit who instigated the first flour-fight. Now when my kids are making a mess, I don’t interrupt so quickly. It’s usually harmless and they’ll usually still clean it up themselves.
No Rules Day teaches you what your kids are capable of.
My kids helping in the kitchen is inconvenient when I’m trying to cook dinner. I don’t usually readily accept any help they offer because honestly, it doesn’t feel like help. I also have a mom superpower—I can glance at a situation and instantly visualize what could go wrong and who will get hurt. When my daughter asked to make cookies on No Rules Day, I hesitated to say yes. But she impressed me with her ability to crack eggs without getting any shell in the bowl. She even was able to put in and take out the cookies from the oven safely. No Rules Day provided me an opportunity to see what my kids could really do.
No Rules Day teaches you where to put your energy.
My everyday mentality is that I am not here to entertain my kids. However, this means I say “no” to my kids way more often than I say “yes.” On this special day, I’m not supposed to say “no” to anything unless it breaks our two safety rules. This means a lot of energy is spent doing what the kids want instead of what I want. No Rules day taught me that I can say “yes” and absolutely enjoy playing with my kids. Besides, it’s good for an adult to let go and get in touch with your inner child.
What would or wouldn’t you let your kids do during a No Rules Day?