A school in Auckland, Australia has decided to do away with playground rules and, as a result, bulling and injuries have nearly vanished.
The move to get rid of rules initially started as a local university experiment, but after wild success, the school’s principal continued the policy for the rest of the year. Kids are now encouraged to spend their recess however they choose: climbing trees, riding skateboards, wrestling, and playing with sticks. Instead of punishing the kids, the school’s principal had to find ways to work with them and as a collective. The kids started to make their own less restrictive rules; like wearing mouth guards during tackling games.
Initially teachers and parents were opposed to the no-rules concept, but after they saw that the kids were happier and fewer injuries were occurring during recess, most bought into the idea. “When you look at our playground it looks chaotic. From an adult’s perspective, it looks like kids might get hurt, but they don’t,” stated the principal.
This goes to show that most attempts to control anyone will ultimately lead to more distress and contention, whereas a rule free environment allows individuals the freedom to grow and develop their own personal guidelines.