(If this feels like deejay-vu, I’m reusing an old photo, but the post is new.)
It is easier to be consistent.
Like our rule about no dress-up clothes outside the house. If I were to be honest with my girls, it wouldn’t hurt for them to dress like a princess when they play on the playground every now and then.
But, dress up clothes aren’t that sturdy and playing outside leads to dirt, washing, tearing and sewing. Rinse and repeat. I have limited time and I can save a lot of time if the dress-up clothes stay inside.
And, if I tried to judge each individual situation, depending on where we are and which dress they want to wear, it just ends up more complicated than it’s worth. The girls understand it less, it takes more explaining and it wears me out, so I don’t have energy for other things.
But, I’m not always consistent in my consistency. For example, I’m consistently inconsistent about bare feet.
A pediatrician will tell you that your kids should wear shoes outside all the time because it is safer for the feet and if you’ve ever stitched up a kids’ foot after she stepped on glass, you would say the same thing.
But, in all of our civility and modern ways, I don’t want to lose the feel of grass under my bare feet. I don’t want to always, every day, for all time, have rubber and leather and stitching between me and the earth. I want to feel the texture and temperature and squishiness of the ground and this feels fundamental to me, this connection with my Earth, in its most direct form. And I want that for my kids too.
So I judge each individual situation, depending on where we are and what the ground looks like. Some would say it is more complicated than it is worth, it takes more explaining, but in this individual case, for me, it is worth it.