I used to think saying “no” made me a good, strong parent. But now I think— if it’s relatively harmless and the kids enjoy it, why the hell not? A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about abandoning the rules in our house and saying “yes” to everything, now that we are stuck at home pretty much indefinitely. Since the rules about being outside are so strict at the moment, it makes sense to me to loosen up the rules inside.

So many of you responded with broken rules of your own and things you have been letting slide lately, I decided to make a list of my favorite responses. Hopefully, this list will make you feel better about your own lack of structure and give you some great ideas!

29 Parents Share The Rules They’ve Abandoned in Quarantine

1) “My son really wanted to have sleepovers in the kitchen with his dog. It means adults going to bed early and a whole set up in the kitchen. But it makes him so happy and he totally looks forward to it. The dog runs in as soon as we put the mat down and lays down. Since my son is an only child, this dog has been so amazing for him while we’re stuck at home. They’re like brothers.” – Jennifer

2) “We bought our 5-year-old and our 4-year-old a pint of their favorite ice cream and let them both eat right out of the container. They’re definitely getting used to this lifestyle.” – Kristen

3) “I installed Messenger Kids on my 5-year-old’s iPad. I let her call family and friends while I’m on Zoom calls. She tells everyone that ‘Mommy says I can do whatever I want when she’s in her meetings.” – Natalie

4) “I have become a ‘YES’ mom. I used to say no to anything that didn’t make sense to me, like costumes before dinner when I knew they had to be in pajamas in an hour. I used to say no to projects that clearly required several days to complete, or going to the pool in the middle of the week, or dessert every day. Now in quarantine, I have said yes to virtually everything. I even let my son create a werewolf costume out of old t-shirts. He got scissors and cut them all up like a werewolf ripped through them. I would have never encouraged that before quarantine. And we’ve had dessert every dang day.” – Vanessa

5) “Getting dressed and putting on appropriate clothes are out the window. You want to stay in your pajamas all day? Fine with me. You just have to change them when I can smell you. I have never done laundry so infrequently and I am kind of loving that. My only rule is— do not crash mommy’s video calls with the Chair of the Board in questionable attire.” – Sarah

6) “Currently, my 11-year-old daughter is watching some show on her phone, eating a bagel, popcorn and cookies. That’s her lunch. It’s 1:37. This would never happen in my ‘Real World of Mommy Structure’.” – Mary

7) “I have zero idea what time my teenagers go to bed.” – Veronica

8) “Our oldest two (11 and almost 8) have practically no bedtime, and honestly, it’s been kind of lovely. Between remote schooling, my husband and I still working from home, and the chaos of a 4-year-old running around all day, it’s nice to be able to connect with our big kids and just hang out after the youngest is in bed. Sometimes we play a board game or cards, but usually we watch something together. We are working our way through old seasons of Survivor and Worst Cooks in America. Then they trot off to sleep without a complaint. It’s not like we have anywhere to be in the morning anyway.” – Elizabeth

9) “I got both girls their own jar of Nutella, and they can eat it whenever they want! I also dyed their hair with permanent dye (bangs and ends for my youngest and strips of bleach and color for my 11-year-old). I let them paint their own nails, too, and it’s a freaking mess. I. Don’t. Even. Care.” – Katie

10) “As a former teacher, I have always been a stickler for getting homework done and turned in on time. After seeing how unrealistic e-learning has been, there are days when my kid does no homework at all, and I don’t even care. Luckily his teacher has the same mindset.” – Kearsten

11) “We let our 8-year-old run around naked in the backyard (fenced and secure) with his body wash to take a shower in the rain! For us, if it causes no harm and will bring some joy, we allow it!”- Miranda

12) “I swore I would never allow my daughter to play Roblox. Then her school organized a group of kids from her class to share usernames and play together. Now she requests Roblox instead of money for her allowance, and I’m just happy she’s socializing. We have done a lot of research on how to safely play the game and I’m actually encouraging it now.” – Krystal

13) “Two words: breakfast Doritos.” – Keren

14) “My 10-year-old daughter and I binge watched Gilmore Girls. I had told her she needed to be older, but she’s been begging for awhile, and I finally gave in. We watched every single episode together and it was such a welcome respite from what’s happening in the world. Plus it is such a special show that celebrates moms and daughters. Now we have these inside jokes and quotes we say and it’s kind of our special thing.” – Dani

15) “I let my 8-year-old son start digging holes in the yard. I had told him nowhere but the sandbox, but at this point, if it’s entertaining him without a screen or a conflict with his sister, so be it!” – LJ

16) “We’ve given up on healthy lunches. Every single lunch now consists of a cheese product. Pizza? Of course. Mac and cheese? Absolutely! Grilled cheese? Quesadilla? Why not?!” – Sierra

17) “The boys think shirts are optional, and now so does my daughter. And they had a huge mud fight which I would normally never be cool with. They loved it.” – Kristen

18) “I let my Pre-K kid do crafts unattended, complete with glue, glitter, and scissors. So far, all the messes have been easy enough to clean up.” – Allison

19) “I’ve been allowing all the screen time for my 11-year-old son. This is how I justify it— he’s playing with his good friends and I can hear them talking to each other and working collaboratively. We also decided that he owes me five minutes on the treadmill for every hour he’s on. Treadmill time is due and payable before he can play the next day. He’ll be in great shape for cross country in the fall!” – Jennifer

20) “We have eaten more bacon in the past couple of months than we have in the past couple of years. Also, my oldest has stopped wearing pants.” – Theresa

21) “We are having epic nerf gun battles in the downstairs hallway on our main floor. I NEVER would have done something like that pre-pandemic.” – Lauren

22) “My friend questioned why I let my 2-year-old have pancakes in bed almost every day. My answer? I have literally nothing but time to wash sheets if need be, and seriously, if that’s what she’s asking for, since I can’t give her what she really wants, she can have all the pancakes.” – @jorlinksi

23) “Screen time limits have gone out the window. They are currently eating Wendy’s on the floor in the living room while watching Netflix.” – Rachel

23) “We used to allow the kids to build a fort once in awhile and let them sleep in it for one night. Now they build forts and sleep in them all week long. I think it has helped strengthen their bond as siblings. The downside is their bedtime is now more like 10:00 p.m., instead of 8:00-9:00, because they’re having fun.” – Arlene

24) “My 8-year-old daughter is now the proud owner of a quarantine guinea pig, and she has temporary pink and orange hair. Having fun helps during this stressful time.” – Katie

25) “I have been letting my kiddos sleep in the same bed and fall asleep watching a movie they pick out together. When we stopped going to school, my kindergartener was so lonely, having her little brother by her side at night helps a ton!” – Sam

26) “We bought a narwhal sprinkler and a 100” blowup pool, since town pools won’t open this summer. We can’t go anywhere or do anything so why not?!” – Amanda

27) “One day my kids were the parents! They got to set the rules, but they also had to do more work around the house. They had a blast and it was fun to see what rules they set!” – Hannah

28) “My daughter asked to eat her dinner in the bathtub last night while also watching shows on her tablet. Sure why not, the rails are off here.” – Stacey

29) “You all still have rules??? We are living in a lawless land.” – Esther

What rules have you broken during quarantine?