To all of you who work with young children I challenge you to pick a rule and get rid of it. Give it up. Just stop enforcing it. And see what happens.
Maybe it’s the ‘no guns’ rule, maybe it’s the ‘no toys from home’ rule, maybe it’s the ‘keep the playdough on the table’ rule….doesn’t matter, just give up on a rule.
I understand there are reasons to keep those rules, co-workers will be upset, what will parents think? and licensing!?! Be brave and do it anyway. I bet there is a rule that you know in your heart doesn’t belong.
Give some time to not having the rule. Let everyone live with it, settle into it for a bit. Yes it might feel a bit scary, letting go of control always does. Embrace the uncertainty.
Here’s a story to think about: my colleague Rhoda recently read my post Running and decided to try it…she would stop saying “no running’ and just see what happened. And what happened? Nothing. Well, not exactly nothing, but nothing that she expected. No one crashed, no one got hurt, chaos did not erupt. And the biggest thing that did not happen? She did not nag. Rhoda didn’t have to continually say ‘walking feet’ ‘ no running’ ‘Remember… NO RUNNING!’ She was so delighted not to nag, and so delighted with how the children managed to keep themselves safe without the nagging. Rhoda said she was able to spend more time engaging with what children were doing, a direct result of taking away one rule.
I challenge you.