"They police everyone else." Six things you know to be true if your kid LOVES rules.

Rules are rules! And for many children, it is as simple as that. The rules are there for a reason and we should all follow them without question. Got that?

I have one daughter who is this to a tee; a total stickler for the rules. And like many other kids she really just likes to do the right thing. No. Matter. What.

As her parent, this most definitely has its positives, but it can also bring its own very unique challenges.

So, for all the parents out there who have a mini police officer living with them, here are the pros and cons that only you will truly understand.

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School Rules Rule.

As a parent of a rule stickler, you will never worry about your child’s behaviour at school, or really anywhere for that matter. You will always have the utmost confidence that they know each and every rule in existence and will follow them to the highest of standards.

Not only will they obey them, they will take absolute pleasure in doing so. There will be huge toothy smiles, a gleam of pride and a ‘rulez are cool’ swagger as they follow all instructions directed their way.

They police everyone else.

As well as being an A+ rule stickler, these kids also find themselves policing others around them, ensuring they too are respecting the directions given.

If there is any funny business like talking while silent reading is underway, or poking someone on the mat, or pushing in on an established line, you better believe they will bring that misdemeanour to the culprit’s attention or even go that extra step further and inform the actual employed teacher in charge.

They’re dibber dobbers.

Going hand in hand with policing but perhaps a bit further down on the ‘negative’ spectrum, these rule sticklers can be viewed by other kids as ‘dibber dobbers.’

While in their own eyes rule followers are merely doing the right thing, to others they are *may* be ruining their fun, and some kids don’t enjoy that happening.

Due to this, our little rule sticklers can often be a tad unpopular amongst their peers, even if it’s only momentarily.


It’s like having an extra parent around.

There have been many times where I have left my rule stickler in charge of her sister while I have been working in our home office or taking a phone call.

I have allocated her this responsibility based upon the fact that she is so trustworthy and so acutely aware of the guidelines and instructions I leave them, that I have absolutely no reservations about anything going wrong. Or, if it does, I know it will be sorted pronto.

There may have been one or two occasions where I’ve assigned my daughter to breakfast duty (pouring cereal into two bowls) and turning the TV on, on a Saturday morning, to treat myself to the rare sleep in.

And truth be told, sometimes when it comes to household tasks I feel I can count on her more than my husband.

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Sometimes it’s like you have an extra parent.

While having a responsible, conscientious, dutiful assistant is fabulous when you need extra help getting things done, sometimes it can backfire and you feel as if your adult self has earnt an extra parent.

For me, this is often the case while driving where my keen observer will point out that the light was indeed orange and I should have stopped rather than rushing through before it turned red. Or, shaking her head when we miss the due date at the library and have to pay the fine.

Or, bringing to my attention when I haven’t rubbed the name labels for 15 seconds when placing them onto the stationary as per the instructions provided.

They are often very thorough (a little too thorough) and observant of all that you do.

Cheating is the devil.

A rule stickler child will never cheat. Never. Ever.

For them, it isn’t all about winning or losing, it’s about following the rules.

If someone wins but hasn’t followed the rules, well they haven’t really won. So watch out while playing anything in the playground. Hide and seek? You better count properly all the way to 20.

On the plus side, as their parents we can be 100 per cent certain they will never cheat on a test. So that’s a win.

Shona Hendley is a freelance writer from Victoria. An ex secondary school teacher, Shona has a strong interest in education. She is an animal lover and advocate, raising three goats, two cats and two humans. You can follow her on Instagram:

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