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Friday, July 22, 2016


Last weekend, soccer parents from all over Iowa escorted kids to the Iowa Games. We had the joy of cheering on the U14 boys. This also meant monitoring the actions of boys with a penchant for mischief who consider themselves on the brink of manhood.

I'm not sure how many times my particular 14-year-old said, "Got in trouble again." Hotel management, store clerks, other parents, etc. After I confirmed that no one was harmed during any of their escapades, I shrugged my shoulders and thought, oh well.

That wasn't always my attitude. There was a time, in a galaxy far, far away, when I intended to be the parent who would hold my kids to very astute standards. Early bedtimes. No pop. Ice cream only on Sundays. No R-rated movies until they're adults. That mom took a dose of reality pills and held dearly to the advice her own mother told her. "Choose your battles."

As it turns out, rule-breaking isn't the worst thing for your kids. I came across this article in the Wall Street Journal this week: The Joy of Bending Rules, which offers a refreshing perspective for parents who second guess their propensity to give in. Case in point: me. Perhaps the next time I get that call from the principal, maybe I won't break out in a sweat.

My favorite quote from the article is this:

"Rules are good to a point but if you keep them around too long, the child isn't going to learn to set his own limits."

I think there's some profound truth in this. After a weekend of testing the boundaries and navigating into just a bit o' trouble, our boys managed to take the gold. Hmm.
Oh yeah. This mom is totally boasting.

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