When it comes to rules – there are either kids that love them, or kids that hate them, and it really just doesn’t have much or anything to do with the rules, it’s the fact that there are rules.
Judging kids, are the ones that THRIVE when there is a set order of rules and routines to their world, just the fact that there is consistency and order brings out the best in them. Perceiving kids are the ones that would prefer for their life to be COMPLETELY about spontaneity and NO rules in their lives at all.
Of course neither of these preferences can be lived completely in the way that our children would like, and that is where we need to teach our kids about the sides that are opposite of their personality, but just as important. Today I’m going to talk about how to cope if your kid doesn’t like rules.
My 6 year old, is NOT a rules kinda guy. It takes a lot of patience and consistency to get the rules and household routines flowing, and even then if he feels like I’m not paying attention he will bend them just so far to see if it matters. It’s not that he’s overly naughty, it’s not even that he’s being disrespectful or showing bad manners, it is simply that he really and truly just doesn’t understand the need for them. As adults, we know that sometimes you have to follow rules. We have to follow laws, we have to follow school rules, and eventually we get a boss when we are working and have to follow those rules. If we want to borrow money there are rules about paying that back, and I could go on for a while. Whether my sons personality enjoys rules or not, he’s going to need to follow them.
But this is the thing – you can’t just arbitrarily concoct rule after rule to try and teach him about rules. In fact, in a move seemingly completely opposite to what I’m trying to achieve, if I want my 6 year to learn happily about rules, I have to provide time with NO rules. I have to take my foot off the pedal, the pressure off his back and allow some freedom when it doesn’t matter. I have to give spontaneity, to give free time, to let him choose opportunities and responsibilities……. If I let him play and enjoy the side of his personality that he prefers he will be easier to help with the rules side of life.
If my 6 year old starts to purposefully break the rules – then that is a clue for me that I’ve been putting too much pressure on. If he starts breaking the rules, then I need to allow more freedom, so that he doesn’t feel the need to rebel.
I’d love to hear what you think of this – or if you have any experience with what I’ve described.
PS – one of the things that I coach about is how to manage kids like this from toddlers through to teenagers. If this is a big problem in your home than look up my coaching options or drop me an email.