Rules, Rules & More Rules for Kids: Here's Why I Hate Some of Them! Opinion

Mike Prochaska
6 years ago

I don’t like rules. Actually, I hate rules! If you can tell me why a rule is needed fine, but if I know better and you tell me those are the rules, but I know they’re against the child’s best interests, I ask why. Rules are supposed to protect people and make sure they are safe. But what if there are too many rules that restrict kids from learning and growing?

For example, at my kids’ school they not allowed to throw snowballs – even at the wall. Why not? It helps build gross motor skills. Don’t tell my kids, but I would be so proud of them if they fought against this rule and I got a call that my kids were throwing snowballs. Just like all other play, you have to have guidelines (don’t throw at your friends’ faces), but someone is always afraid someone is going to get hurt.

If you set the guidelines for at the wall only, no one is going to get hurt and kids get the thrill. And no one knows why the rules are that way, they just following them because someone told them that’s the rules. But why? Think about rules before you mindlessly follow them. If you don’t resist stupid rules they will never get changed.

What do you think??

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Comments (11)

Mike Prochaska
I was mad today when I wrote this.
Elisa Schmitz
You make an interesting point, Mike Prochaska . I think schools create rules like that to try and maintain a safe environment. But eliminating risk doesn’t teach our kids about cause and effect or consequences. I’m wondering what our teachers think of this? Teacher Karen Kim Kusiciel Heather Bragg Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead
Teacher Karen
I think you've hit the nail on the head...yes, of course, we don't want kiddos to in a safe environment, but as I've said multiple times all learning and growth requires some level of risk. We cannot bubble-wrap our children and parents will not be with them forever...better we help them to gradually take on more and more responsibility for their own lives! And you know where I'm going here...PLAY is the best vehicle for laying the a solid foundation--addressing all areas of development! #PlayMatters
Brian Mackenzie
this post made me wonder 'do snow ball launchers exist?' yep! :)
Mike Prochaska
Wow I want one now. Can I send my kids to school with this?
Brian Mackenzie
that depends...would they be 'throwing' snowballs?? :D
Ann Marie Patitucci
I think some of this goes back to "We do it this way because this is the way we've always done it." This philosophy drives me crazy. I don't think it serves anyone well- not students, not teachers, not institutions of any kind. Whenever something says something like this to me, I respectfully ask, do you know why this decision/rule/policy was initially created? This often leads to an interesting discussion. :)
Mike Prochaska
Yes this was my whole point of writing this
Bill James
This is a great tip, Ann Marie. As far as I can see, the attitude you've described above kills creativity, inquiry and a joy of learning throughout our schools. We need all the tools we can gather to counteract this approach, as many staff hold onto it for dear life. And they often don't know why.
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