No staying up late.
My girls know that in our house, bedtime is bedtime, with few exceptions. Why? Because I firmly believe that kids need their sleep, and there's really no reason for them to stay up late, get overtired, feel groggy and cranky, and make bad decisions the next day. Ultimately, they require a reliable framework in which to grow up, not tons of freedom to make up their own schedules. The only time I allow a later bedtime is when we are on vacation. Other than that, even on the weekends, going to bed at a reasonable hour is part of life when I'm your mom.
These aren't the only rules I live by as a strict mom; just a sampling. My overall philosophy when it comes to parenting is that rules allow children to thrive because they know what to expect from their parents. Rules also give us parents some peace of mind in a scary, sometimes out-of-control environment. And believe it or not, inside the structure I've created for my family, we have a lot of fun and laugh constantly. We are a loving, close unit that keeps a busy schedule of activities and social engagements. I encourage my girls to try new things, and be good friends and people overall. Just not in random people's houses, or after 8:30 p.m.
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