The “Week without rules” officially ended just over a week ago. As a person who thrives on structure and routine, this was one of the most challenging weeks I have had as a mother. This isn’t a new revelation, as all parents know, the only way to be effective is to follow through; so that is exactly what I did and to my own surprise this experiment worked!!!
I really didn’t have any expectations of success from this week without rules but I have been pleasantly surprised by the results. Here is a recap on what I did (or didn’t do). Genevieve had to be fully responsible for waking up and getting ready for school, I no longer told her what her assignments of the day were nor did I check her homework (don’t worry her teacher knew), she didn’t have chores, we didn’t have a set time to eat dinner, she was in charge of her personal hygiene, and she didn’t have a bed time.
The first few days for her were probably great because she didn’t have to answer to no one, then she started to feel the fatigue of not enough sleep, the consequences of not completing assignments, and the felt what it was like to have disengaged parents: And she hated it! By the end, she was begging for the rules, she started to enforce the routine she has had all her life. After this was completed, we sat down and talked about how it felt to live in a home without structure and how it feels to lose that control. For the first time, she understood that each member of the family affects the balance and stability of the home, and that rules really do translate to love.
We are now one week out and she is still behaving with limited resistance, her homework done, chores finished, and she bathes. I am not suggesting this experiment to anyone, I do not have a degree in child psychology or human behavior; I can only say that after following the Love And Logic Parenting model for years; that this drastic change really opened her eyes and mine too!! So Genevieve learned “The grass is not greener on the side without rules”.
Now the next test is how to discipline these two……