Rules Parents Never Thought They Would Need

I posted a list of rules I never thought I would need as a parent as a blog entry on March 24, 2011.  Because that entry was picked to be on the “Freshly Pressed” page of WordPress, I was fortunate to receive a lot of additional responses.  So, I am putting in this page with my original list and some of the other rules people suggested.  If you want to add a rule, please send it to me at  I may not be able to use every rule someone sends, but I will use as many as I can.  Somehow, I think lots of people will have lots of interesting things to add!


Do not cut the screen out of its frame in the window.  (The need for this one arose when she was 6.)

Do not put anything in your ear, including rocks, without consulting an adult first.  (Age 4.)

Do not put anything in your nose, including wooden sticks, without consulting an adult first.   (Age 4)

Which led to:  Do not put anything in any body part for any reason unless a parent says it is okay, with the exception of food or drink in your mouth.

Do not cook eggs on the stove without a parent’s presence and permission.   (About age 7:  this one is harder to justify because the one time that she did cook the eggs by herself, she did a good job and remembered to turn the stove off, which is more than I do sometimes!)

Do not try to pierce your ears with the end of a paper clip, even if it looks like an earring hole is there.  (Age 6 and 7).

The controls on the dashboard in the car,  including the radio, are MINE!  Please leave them alone.  (This has been a running battle ever since she was old enough to ride in the front without a car seat.)

Do not drag a dog into the bathtub with you.   (Age 6).

Do not dump the entire bottle of shampoo in the tub to use as bubble bath.  (Ages 6 through 8).

Do not dump the entire bottle of liquid soap from the sink in the tub to use as bubble bath.   (Ages 6 through 8).

Do not dump the entire bottle of conditioner in the tub for reasons I have yet to understand.   (Ages 6 through 8).

It’s not a good idea, either, to dump all of the bathroom dixie cups in the bathroom sink and then fill it up with water.  (Age 6, but she had help from a visiting 4 year old.)

Do not wash your hair with conditioner only.  (Age 8 through 9).

Soap is required for a bath to really be a bath.  (Age 5).

And, last but not least,

Paper is not a proper treat to give a dog.  (Age 9).  (Darwin and Mandy liked it  but at least Tyra was smart enough to say no.  I guess I should be grateful Kayla didn’t decide to hand out socks for all!)

From BigSheepCommunications:

Do not pass the time while sitting on the toilet by stapling staples into the wall.

Do not bring a stapler into the bathroom to begin with.

From TheVeryHungryBookworm (who brought a teacher’s perspective):

“No, do not throw pencils at each other.”

**a short time later::

“No, you can’t throw pens…or ANYTHING at each other either.”

From Meditating Mummy:

Do not use the expensive shampoo on dolls, Polly Pockets or princesses.

From LeahSinger:

Do not put the entire roll of toilet paper into the toilet to make a “cake” and then attempt to flush.

From Katiefoutz:

Do not kick the phone.

From Elysianhunter:

If you wore them, they’re dirty.  Put them in the wash.  NOW.

From Britta:

No biting the dog.

No licking the bottom of your shoes…or any part of your shoes, for that matter.

From Chase McFadden:

Don’t lick Daddy’s glasses.

From Betsy Hansen:

Do not let your child shovel snow with sibling within the length of the shovel handle. (age 5 with sibling age 3) Black eyes and lacerations can be the outcome.

From Jeff Silvey:

Do not drag a cat into the bath with you.

From Michelle:

Cereal is for breakfast ONLY.

From Lizzi:

Don’t sing in a restaurant unless you’re getting paid for it.

From Runningforautism:

Do not put a Bob the Builder figurine into the toilet, add an entire bottle of bubble bath, and flush, even if you believe that Bob is dirty after a day’s work and needs a bath!

From DLFields:

Don’t climb onto the roof and then clean the tar off your feet with the good towels.
Don’t throw wet Cheerios at each other.
Don’t cut your hair and expect it to grow back.

From Carol:

No more dead animals in the house- referring to real skeletons and things preserved in jars.

From Javi:

Do not eat things that are on the ground (and don’t ask why, either!)

From butijustwantedapintofmilk:

Don’t bang your head on the toilet seat.  (To a 3 year old.)

From YouGetWellSoon:

Water is not a toy.

Don’t eat dog food.

You can’t leave the starbucks until we are all ready to leave.  (To a young child.)

From eid2323:

Don’t bark at other children, it scares them.

Don’t lick the kitchen floor.

Violet (stuffed puppy) doesn’t need the Aveeno cream from head to toe! Her skin is covered in fur!

From Aligaeta:

Teeth are not for holding straight pins.  (Made after 12 year old managed to inhale a pin and consequently spent 4 days in the hospital to make sure everything was okay.)

From Lisa:

Hair must actually be wet for the shampoo to work.

From Miss Substitute Teacher:

1. a. No cutting your own hair.
1. b. No cutting your sister’s hair.
2. No packing the cat in a suitcase to take to grandma’s…a week in advance.
3. No drawing on the kitchen table unless there is paper between your writing instrument and said table.
4. No trying to carve your name or designs into the dining room table. Just because the pencil went through the paper leaving an impression on the table doesn’t mean you need to sit there and make it worse with your fork.

From Katie: 

1. Do not shoot the arrows in the house, even if it is at a blank wall.
2. Do not shoot beebee guns in the house.
3. Do not throw things into the fan to see how far they will fly.
4. Stairs are not ski slopes.

From StylistNC:

Do not take a swig of my perfume.

Do not play in the laundry basket if it has sharp plastic edges.

From TrainingUpMyBoys:

To the 3 year old:  Do not roll over your brother (10 months old) just because you think you are a monster truck.

To the 10 month old:  Just because we ban the dog from the toilet doesn’t mean you have free range to it.

From Paige Morgan:

Do not put furniture on your sister.
Do not tie people up with karate belts.
Do not put things in your bottom.

From SherryGreens:

Do not kick me all the way through dinner.

From comingeast:

Don’t do chin-ups on the towel bar and think it can support your weight.

From Matt Trifiro:

Do not climb onto the kitchen island and swing the faucet around so that it is over the counter, and then, in particular, do not turn on the water and flood the kitchen (age 2).

Do not clean daddy’s laptop keyboard with an entire bottle of window cleaner (age 2.5).

Ditto for mommy’s laptop (age 2.6)

The cat’s tail is for his use, not for dragging him from one side of the house to the other (ages 2-4)

Do not spread mayonaise on the inside of the DVD player (age 3)

From akagringita:

You MAY NOT EVER climb out the second story window onto the roof.

Later caveat: “Unless the house is on fire and that is the ONLY way out.

From Nancy:

Don’t dry yourself on a bath towel then shove it back on the shelf when you are done {this from my 15 year old!}

2 responses to “Rules Parents Never Thought They Would Need

  1. After a couple of frustrating days at work my darling 4 year old daughter cut her own hair at daycare and then today used almost an entire bottle of shampoo to “clean” the shower! I thought, “What is wrong with her that she thinks this ok?” This website and posts made me realize that I am not alone and laugh at my own situation!

    • I’m glad. No, you are not alone. I have “cutting your own hair” stories for Kayla, and “cutting your own hair” stories for every girl child among my family and friends. Shampoo seems to be a fascinating object for all children under the age of about 8, too!


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