With my general observations of human behavior I tend to agree. All people seem to want to know is just what is expected of them, be the standards wise or not. From there we are able to organize our own thoughts and behaviors. Children, in particular, like to have the rules and consequences set before them in black and white. With a clearly marked target it makes it easier for them to push the limits and
Consistency is a nice, easy word to say. But life, oh dear, it is messy. Ofte, the focus is in one sphere and all goes well there, while, in the background, the real action is happening. The periphery, where attention is remiss, is where values conflict.
What to do when the rules, and the values the drive them, collide with one another?
In my home, creativity is king. But, Don't Be Wasteful is queen. When creativity involves wasting (money, the earth's precious resources, time), I have to have a sit down and figure out which value trumps.
I will admit I am not a quick thinker. I am, however, quite flexible in my musings, and able to come up with all sorts of tricky, bendy rationalizations to justify this decision or another. My fondness of generations and grand sweeping declarations go only as far as my joy in seeing a nicely outlined target. Exceptions, peculiarities, and extraordinary circumstance are the bread and butter of my parenting.
I am quite consistent in my eccentricities.
Creativity vs. Waste?
Whatever. Because I know twenty minutes of a toothy grin is worth a buck fifty in clear tape.
My children love being the focus of my attention. But they make full use of my periphery too, where the borders are less patrolled and there is more freedom from the penetrating gaze of adult judgment. A little benign neglect on my part goes far towards helping my kids learn about the world.
The outcome is a reminder that honoring the dearest values leads to the development of skills (okay, and coping mechanisms) and not just giving us the guidelines for living. Reframing a situation - a bit of useful parenting dexterity - means we can appreciate an unanticipated blessing instead of getting all angst-y over what's best and who decides anyway.
It is not a mess, it is a Composition.