Like any parent, you want the best for your children, and you especially want to be certain you are raising them in an uplifting, positive and healthy way. No parent wants their child to grow up and remember a difficult and troublesome childhood, and you are doing your very best to ensure your kids are happy, healthy and fully supported in all they strive to do.

But there are certain parenting rules every mom and dad should break from time to time, despite what the experts say. Occasionally breaking the "rules" of parenting can give your children a chance to experience the unknown, a chance to test their abilities and a chance to discover themselves.

Here are eight parenting rules you actually need to break:

1. Going to bed on time

Good sleep habits are essential to your growing child, but there are moments when you can let that designated bedtime slide for a few hours. Let your child experience a midnight snack, a late movie or a chance to look at the stars with you one night. It is in these small moments when precious memories are established. Your children won't forget these small and simple moments just soaking up the world with you.

2. Putting their needs before yours

Although most of the time, your motherly or fatherly instincts come into play when it comes to your child's needs, there is a line you have to draw when you are too exhausted to function. Don't feel guilty if you have to take a few moments for yourself instead of playing the same game with your child over and over again. Letting them entertain themselves sometimes is a good way for them to develop independence as well.

3. Skipping school

A day off from school, or picking your child up early to spend a care-free afternoon with you could be one of the greatest choices you make as a parent. School is an important factor in everyone's life, and attendance is necessary to get educated, but giving your child a long-awaited break from math and phonics and replacing it with quality time is never a regrettable decision.

4. Forbidding junk food

An apple a day may indeed keep the doctor away, but a giant bowl of ice cream never hurt anyone either. If you are keen on keeping your children's eating patterns healthy, it won't hurt to let them indulge in some junk food every once and a while. Besides, baking a batch of cookies together teaches them how to cook, gives you quality time to spend together and you are rewarded with a sweet treat in the end.

5. Only one hour of TV a day

Did you know a recent study proved that video games played in moderation can actually improve intelligence, motor skills, memory and problem-solving skills? And on days when your child is sick or the weather is bad, what better way to spend time with them than making popcorn and snuggling up to a Disney movie marathon?

6. Always agree with them

This one can be tricky, because even though you should be your children's biggest cheerleader, there are moments when you may have to disagree with their views, actions or behavior. Telling your child that you are disappointed in him or her could perhaps steer them onto the right path. Although it may be painful to admit your disapproval, those brutally honest words may have more of a positive influence on you child than constant words of agreement would.

7. Don't let them make fools of themselves

One of the greatest gifts your child has is their sense of individuality. If your children want to wear rain boots and fairy wings to school on a normal day, let them. Teaching them to be who they are comes with letting go of your fear that they will make a fool of themselves (and of you). Let them express themselves and gain confidence through their creativity. And feel free to embarrass them with your bad dancing moves in public. Show them that they can be who they are and everyone else's thoughts don't matter.

8. Don't let them get dirty

In all reality, dirt is always going to make it into your house somehow. Letting your kids jump in puddles and make mud pies is a way to let their imagination soar and lets them express themselves in new, creative ways. Don't ever get angry with your children for getting dirty, instead, applaud them for it.

No matter what kind of parent you are, never underestimate how much of an influence you have on your children. They look up to you, they love you and they need a bright example to follow throughout their lives.

Western Chief helps you be the best parent you can by providing rain boots and raincoats that let your kids be kids. Let them jump in puddles to their hearts' delight and wear their Batman outfit to the grocery store. Sometimes that's the best thing you can do as a parent.

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