Just The Notes

Parenting Tip #369 – Let Go Of Unnecessary Rules

Every day, I let go of one more commandment etched in stone on the tablets in my head.

A recent article I wrote for Fatherly frequently pops into my head. The article discussed my tendency to shy away from my parent’s style of discipline and not enforcing rules on my kids which aren’t my own rules.

Every day, I let go of one more commandment etched in stone on the tablets in my head.

It could be from exhaustion or just not caring anymore. It could be because the kids ignore some decrees so why bother.

I wasn’t sure why I enforced so many of these unnecessary rules for kids until I saw a recent interview with Kanye West.

Yes, that Kanye West.

Yeezy’s Thoughts On Unnecessary Rules For Kids

West talked about parenting his kids and unnecessary rules for kids. Before watching his Kimmel appearance, I couldn’t imagine Yeezy and I having a similar parenting style.

We probably don’t.

But he touched a nerve when discussing his children and…coffee tables.

“Sometimes we need to break the simulation. Here’s what I mean by simulation. Let’s start with acting. When a 2-year-old screams at a restaurant, the entire restaurant screams ‘teach that kid how to act.’ We’re all unpaid actors in some giant script that we didn’t write.

Simulation – a 2-year-old jumps on a coffee table and someone says ‘that’s a coffee table, don’t jump on that.’ So it went from something that makes him feel like Superman, with his cape on, to having to think about this family member he doesn’t like anyway. He’s 2 years old, doesn’t give a f*ck about coffee or a coffee table, and he’s starting to calculate all these things and by the time you’re 40 years old you’ve got a wall full of coffee tables.”

My reaction to that monologue is the same as Jimmy Kimmel’s when he replies “I think I understand what you’re saying.”

I do get where West is coming from, though he lost me on the whole simulation thing.

Rules. There are many rules which are necessary for survival.

Unnecessary rules for kids which point them in a specific direction in life.

I’m slowly trying to eliminate the unnecessary rules.

I don’t care about the music playing in the car. Let’s all agree on something.

I don’t care if their clothes don’t match when they picked out the outfit themselves.

I’m not reacting to a toy being broken on purpose to create another toy. It’s not my toy.

“Oh, you cut up all the crayons, added hot water, and made a Crayola stew? Cool!”

I’m not advocating allowing kids to run wild and be morons. I’m suggesting parents ask the question of “but why?” when enforcing specific rules.

I will tell the kids to stop dancing on a coffee table for safety reasons.

I won’t tell them to get down off the table just because of the fear of how other people view them for dancing on coffee tables.

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Chris Illuminati is a freelance writer and published author. Follow him on Twitter (@chrisilluminati), Instagram (@messagewithabottle) or email him at

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