Last month I celebrated ‘No Rules Day’ with my daughter! I have a 5-year old bundle of energy at home who is forever all over the place. I, being a typical mother and educator have some kind of a fixed routine for her. I realized that my daughter had started getting bored of the routine and the rules that accompanied….like sleeping at the right time, eating on time, playtime, eating healthy food, etc.
So, one Saturday morning I sat down with her and told her “How about celebrating no rules day today?” She had a million-dollar look on her face. She couldn’t believe her ears. The only hitch would be that I would tell her the consequences of any action, but the decision would be hers entirely. For example, if her toys are strewn on the floor, I will only tell her that either she or someone else is likely to fall, but I will not ask her to put the toys back into the cupboard. My daughter readily agreed. Thus began the day. The first thing I told her was right after her bath –“Wet towels make the bed smelly.” And she picks her towel up and puts it on the hook.”Drinking less water can cause infection and pain, but the decision in your hands.” “Jumping on the sofa can cause a terrible fall, but it's upto you.”
I served her a nice hot lunch and she wasn’t interested-“A good meal will make you fit as a fiddle, rest is upto you.” “Afternoon nap will make you feel fresh to play in the evening for a long time.” These are just a few of the many statements of the day. She was responding to them but she was a bit confused as the statements were not telling her what to do. And, more so, she had to decide. By evening, she was getting frustrated. And she said, “Mum, can’t you just please tell me what to do.” And I gently remind her that we were celebrating ‘No Rules Day.’ By the end of another hour, she was almost crying. And she told me “I want rules back, I don’t want to celebrate ‘No Rules Day’. So, we ended our celebration.
For many days that followed, my child did most of her things independently, without me having to tell her.
She really learned the importance of being obedient and following a schedule.
It’s a month now and looks like it’s time for another ‘No Rules Day.’
About The Author: Mrunal Raiborde is an educator, who for the last 16 years has been actively endorsing creative teaching methods and teaching creativity as a means of learning to her students. She is the Headmistress of VanitaVishram Primary School, Mumbai and a Play Ambassador for PlayFutures