How You Play the Game

Before today’s writing, I wanted to enter a note of hello to those of you who have subscribed over the past few days and weeks. It’s exciting for me to know that you’re listening. I’d love to hear your thoughts and responses to posts if any ever strike a chord with you!

And onto today’s feature:

Some people like to follow directions, some people like to make up their own.

Apparently, many of the kids in our after-school program seem to like to make up their own rules. Whether it’s Uno, War, or Kickball, the rules can change every day. A different person is the leader/dictator of the rules each time, and the group generally accepts what the leader states as the rules of the day. They display incredible flexibility in their thinking, which is great at helping them get along together. It’s not so great for the staff, though.

I’m continually scratching our heads, wondering why after being told every day that the kids need to walk from point A to point B, the kids continue to run through the hallways. The same phenomenon happens when they’re supposed to be quiet during roll, sitting cross-legged during snack, and sitting with their homework at a table during homework time. I feel bad for the kids that they’ve got to sit through all of this structure after a full day of it at school, but I also know that the chaos  that ensues when the kids don’t follow our expectations for them tends to make other things not work very smoothly.

One day, they’ll finish their schooling. They will enter some kind of real world, and their ability to not accept what they’re told will be rewarded in some sense because it will give them the strength to push through anything, but sometimes, that spirit will get them into trouble. I hope that it’s just not “too deep” when it does come.

I’ve always been a rule follower, and I think that’s actually making life more challenging now because this is the first time in my life where I’ve really questioned everything and sought answers. I think that it’s made me too complacent, and even though I’ve got a stubborn nature, I could deal with another little dose of rebellion.


What do you think: is it better to go along with the rules, or to question and fight against them? How has your relationship to rules helped or hurt you, either as a child or as an adult?