5 Reasons Why Following The Rules Is Important


  
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     We all know day-to-day life can be challenging. Tedious. Annoying. Overwhelming. Just plain hard. It's in our nature as parents and teachers to try and make our own lives and those of our loved ones easier. Smoother. More efficient. Less stressful. It can be so tempting to cut a corner here and there. 
     Nothing serious or harmful. Like, let your child wear a shirt for a second day. Serve a meal with no vegetables. Let the library book go overdue. Pay the late registration fee. While we all make use of these options once in a while, it can be very easy to make such decisions more and more frequently, to depend on the slip-and-slide that can exist around rules. It can be easy to let rules take a backseat to our own convenience.
     This applies to any walk of life and it can be even more amplified in the world of education. Once we have children in schools, a relationship develops between home and school. We hope it will be a positive, supportive relationship, but that relationship can take a hit if we forget that we all have a responsibility toward building a healthy relationship that works. 
     Note: Following rules for the general population does not apply in every situation. In school and out, it is only ethical to accommodate special circumstances and special needs. 
     Consider these five reasons why parents should make a focused effort to follow the day-to-day rules that govern our lives.

1. Kids do what they see. Few parents will directly teach their children to break rules, although I have seen it happen. Even when we don't mean to, we are continually teaching our children, even through our casual conversations and actions. When children see and hear us breaking rules, they will surely follow suit.
2. Breaking the rules creates conflict. When we try to manipulate life to our own advantage, others are inconvenienced, unfairly burdened, and often angered. Who needs more conflict in their lives? Follow the rules and enjoy less conflict.
3. Remember that, as parents and teachers, we are also creating tomorrow's adults, not just today's kids. If the important people in their lives regularly break rules, kids can develop an "it's all about me" attitude. This is one of the biggest criticisms of today's millennial generation. Whether it's true or not, they are seen as entitled and selfish. It's not pretty. Avoid this for your children by showing them how to do the right thing. 
4. Life runs more smoothly for everyone when we follow the rules. It's a way to pay it forward. Do your part and others' lives are smoother, thanks to you.
5. It's ethically, morally right to follow rules. If we want to raise children who are ethically and morally focused, we must model those behaviors.

     If you find yourself breaking, bending, or stretching the rules more than once in a while, it may be time for a reboot. Consider these thoughts:
1. Think about the person you want to be. Are you living up to the standards you set for yourself? If not, consider setting some new goals and working toward them.
2. Think about how you want your children to see you. 
3. Let your children hear you talk about how you respect the rules. What a lesson you can teach by saying, "I'm really tired, but I need to complete your softball registration tonight. I'm going to do it now so that the coaches will know you want to play. Then, I won't have to pay a late fee and you'll be sure to be on a team." How much easier your life will be, too!

     What do you think about following the rules? I'd love to hear your thoughts!
 

Pat McFadyen
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