Rules Schmules

I know, I write about this all the time. But it’s a huge theme in all of our lives.

I’ve been struggling my daughter’s entire life with this whole rule issue. In fact, I’ve been struggling my entire life with rules myself. I’m the authority figure here, which somehow seems to be a joke, because I don’t even want that title. When I look into my daughter’s eyes, she has so much soul and wisdom that I question my own silly few rules that we have in the house. And I’m glad she’s not a rule minder. I’m actually allergic to rules. Her father doesn’t know rules exist. It’s no wonder she has a hard time coming to grips with these stupid lines, signs, and arbitrary laws that make no sense in our backward world.

The last few weeks, I’ve been around quite a few kids who actually love rules, who thrive on them, who check in with me or their caregiver every few minutes to see if they are doing things “right.” And other kids who get irritated at others for making their own way that doesn’t include the rules. And I have to say, I’m always cheering for the rule breaker and encouraging the rule follower to wander off course. I’m also a little envious and a little sad when a parent gives a command and their kid just does it. Part of me wants that and part of me is appalled by that type of response. Because I know kids and I know there are some kids who are born cooperative but what about the others, what did it take to get to this place of “well behaved?”

It’s all too complicated and born of manipulation and control. So, screw the rules. My daughter will be a bad-ass rule breaker and not take what is fed to her. It may suck for me some of the time and I may face the looks, disappointment and wrath of others in public (which in all reality does make me a bit bitter) but I would rather her question authority (even mine) if it will make her a stronger person and woman in the future.

At least that is what I’m telling myself for the moment!

“Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it.”
~Henry David Thoreau


2 Responses to “Rules Schmules”

  1. my husband and I just had the same talk this weekend- kids who automatically do what others ask of them have often had the spirit/zest/life drilled out of them. Yes, it would be easier, but there is no way I could do that to my kids. Yup, it sucks when you are trying to get them to do something, but we are trying to soak up and store up all those magic moments (like your autumn post above), and let those help us get through the rough spots.

  2. […] 28, 2008 by Peripheral Vision That we need to do things a little differently from the norm with […]

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