In « Il me cherche ! » (“He’s provoking me!”), it is said “Kids hate limits, they love rules.”
(we had already noticed that during our reading of « J’ai tout essayé! » (“I tried everything!”)
What’s the difference?
Limits set what’s forbidden, whereas rules, like those of a game, aim to allow.
Why privilege rules?
For two reasons: one, because formulating in terms of prohibitions won’t be as efficient, and second because if the child has to suffer prohibitions when he is in position of inferiority, chances are he will use the same methods of prohibiting things, when he is in position of superiority.
We are in a way teaching him how to use the power of position onto others in an abusive way!
Thus, and I follow here the author’s thought, he’ll show less respect for others in relationships with his friends, his siblings… and you’ll see more conflicts!
Last week, we went to the community pool of a friend’s building.
Another family was there, and the little boy had borrowed our tricycle.
He was happy, and rode and rode, until he decided it was fun to ride right around the pool. Not only the idea of rolling around the pool is problematic, but additionally, it’s circled with slippery tiles.
The mom tries to tell him: “Don’t go there!”, but the boy doesn’t listen.
I get close, get to his height, and tell him: “Look, with that tricycle, you can go anywhere where it isn’t slippery, like there (showing a spot a little further from the pool)”.
Without saying anything, he rolls away on a place without slippery tiles.