Re: FIRST POST Questions and sort of statement (Wayne Tyson)
From: Elizabeth Magill (
Date: Thu, 9 Sep 2010 13:43:49 -0700 (PDT)
In my experience "no rules" means "only unwritten rules".

That is, "everyone" expects a certain type of behavior (say, no running in the common house, pay bills no more than 2 days late, take a turn mowing the lawn) and will glance disapprovingly at the person who doesn't follow the rule.

But should a person not know what is expected, forget what was discussed, join after the first day, not have reading social signals as a major strength, or be having a bad day; that person doesn't have any way to find out what that rule is. So they see people looking dis- approving, but don't know why.

"Social mores" depend on culture. If you expect all members to be from the same culture you are limiting the group quite a bit. It will be unlikely to attract people from other cultures (say different education levels, different economic background, different ethnicity, different religions, etc.) if the founding members have a set of social mores they aren't willing to name, and discuss, but just think "everyone should know this".

In terms of kids and rules, my nephew S would thrive in "no rules"-- he reads the social mores cultures similar to his own easily.
My niece A would simply be unable to participate. (14 year olds.)

Elizabeth Magill

On Sep 9, 2010, at 4:24 PM, Wayne Tyson wrote:


Thanks for the ideas; they will help a lot, especially in an environment of
no rules about not talking about rules or no rules.

Where I'm going with this is a challenge to the straight-jacketing effects of rules and laws as a substitute for social mores and, of course, "working
things out." I know this is uncomfortable for some, but I join you in
appreciating the cordial nature of the discourse.

Will kids be better off in a rules environment or a no-rules environment?


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