Originally Posted by 2tadpoles
Of course I don't see them as negative. But I think that the majority of parents, even the unschooliest ones who claim they never impose their own "wants" on their children, do coerce them from time to time. They just don't call it coercion. More semantics.
I do see a big difference between rules and principles, or values, or whatever else. A rule is black and white and prescriptive - you must do this, you way not do that. I'm looking at the bigger picture. Tromping mud all over the house means muddy floor and socks and whatever else - it creates a problem for other people in the house, as well as for the tromper sometimes. If "muddy shoes go off at the door" is a rule, then you've taken the problem out of context and limited the potential solutions to 1. Principles and values are about generalizing and problem solving, so that rather than creating lots of rules, you have just a few uniting values. Maybe muddy feet are fine on days when you're really tired and just want to walk across to the sofa and collapse for a few minutes, and it's worth the clean-up job later to not have to deal with your boots right then. Or if you're going out again soon and your boots are hard to get off and on, maybe you can stick your feet in old grocery sacks and walk that way.
We do have some procedures... like when Rain was little, we had the getting-ready procedure, which involved getting dressed, then brushing teeth, and then brushing hair. Or the making coffee procedure... or whatever. They're ways of doing things that work well for us right now, so we tend to follow them, but they're not mandated.
I see nothing coercive about making something unpleasant more pleasant, either... I kind of think it would be coercive not to, you know?