One of the many things students learn when they go to school is that rules can be different in different places. The rules in their classroom may differ from ones they must adhere to at home. The rules in the cafeteria may be different from the school playground, and the rules in the gym will certainly be different from those in the library.
This is an important skill for children to learn. While general rules, like respect and nonviolence can transcend location, other rules vary. Children need to learn to respect and follow the rules in the place where they are, whether it is at home, at school, at a friend’s home, at church, at a sporting event or another extracurricular club.
If your child is having difficulty in this area, talk to him or her. Ask which rules are different in some of the areas mentioned above. Ask them if they are harder or easier to follow in one place than another. Find out if he or she is uncomfortable with a certain rule, and explore why that may be. You can also play a game where you ask your child what rules he or she would make if she or he were king or queen. Then follow their logic. “What might happen if everyone to the people who want to read if everyone could dance and sing in the library?” “How would the children learn if the teacher couldn’t talk?”
Especially during the elementary years, learning about different rules and when and how to disagree is part of the child’s developmental job. You can help them learn respectful ways to follow and challenge rules. By doing so, you will give them a skill they can use well into adulthood.