General conversations about the CGL community, sharing experiences, exchanging advice, and answering your basic questions.
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#616
My mommy doesnt seem to want to set any rules for me when i ask. I enjoy having rules to keep me in line or i end up hurting myself accidentally. :-( . Mommy has been very hesatant in talking to me at school and sitting with me. im not realy sure what to do but my littlespace feels like its crowded with bad thoughts...
#629
This could sincerely come down to a few things, including:

1. She is not a rules-setting sort of Mommy and would be likely better paired to a little with a lower regression age (say, more infantile) or different general needs. Not all Caregivers are comfortable or happy setting rules, just as not all littles want or need rules.

2. She is not quite comfortable yet with setting rules and needs some education on how to do this properly. It may not be clear to her what sort of rules one might be seeking.Perhaps she needs to grow more in her role, experience more, learn more, or just have more time exploring herself and her own desires as a Mommy.

The idea of rules is typically to help the little or age regressor to stabilize their life, build structure on their behalf, or minimize destructive/unhealthy behavior. So, let's talk about what rules are and why (and how) they should exist and perhaps you can pass this along to your partner to let them have a read and find some comfort in their own self-exploration.

Some Littles Benefit From Rules, Some Littles Don't

Not all littles want/need rules since some littles are "too little", "too innocent/sweet", or are seeking more care/compassion from a parental partner versus disciplined structure. Just like there is a little for every type of Caregiver, there is a Caregiver for every different type of little. That means that some Caregivers are not just not interested in setting rules!
There are generally two types of littles who want/need rules and punishments:

1. Littles who are "too little" and literally need the guidance and structure to sometimes even micro-manage their lives. Left on their own these people are generally pretty self-destructive and have a hard time holding themselves accountable for their actions--even when they feel their consequences. This is where the common "bedtime rule" comes into play because finally you are giving them clear direction on when to lay down to sleep and holding them accountable for it.

2. Littles who are "bratty" and need clear methods of how to "push your buttons" to achieve funishments/punishments. These people need to know exactly where the lines are drawn so it makes it easier to act out their bratty desires. For them, rules are more a convenience in terms of figuring how what to do "bad" in a safe way versus how to "be a good boy/girl at all times".

These types correlate to the REASON a rule exists in your relationship. Rules should generally be in effort to maintain structure and provide passive guidance. They should be specific to helping that individual (not blanket rules that you already have pre-drafted to toss out at just any little you may encounter) and tailored together to find the sweet spot of what fulfills the little. A rule should be crafted by evaluating a little's lifestyle, faults and needs included, and discussed rather than just dished out so that the little is capable of saying, "I don't know, I don't think that would actually help me," or, "But on Wednesdays night I really like to stay up late and play a game with my friends. If bedtime is always 11 then I won't be able to stay up like I really love to do so either I have to break the rule and feel bad about it (or suffer your punishment) or I have to lose my friends..."

Requirements for Healthy Rules

So, rules should exist in correlation to little-types, right?:

1. Rules should be personable, designed specifically for that individual. A good, attentive Caregiver should never copy and paste a list of generic rules to apply to their partner. Their partner should be very special to them and deserve their dedication to thoroughness. (This could be a massive issue with your Mommy since perhaps she doesn't know what areas you are "lacking" in with your life!)

2. Rules should be discussed and agreed to prior to being set. A good Caregiver should always, always, always give the reason why a rule exists and how they believe it will help their partner maintain a happier, healthier life. They should never leave their little in the dark as to why they've set a specific rule and how it is intended to be valuable to their little.

3. Rules should ultimately help the individual person maintain structure and safety in ways they often are lacking.

4. Rules should be somewhat "safe" to break within reason. There is not a rule that means the potential death of the relationship if accidentally broken. A Caregiver is not not dishing out "rules to life" or "rules to keeping the relationship"--they are giving ways to correct current poor behavior or create healthy/healthier behaviors for their ultimate happiness.
"Rule are meant to be broken," should somewhat apply then--even if only a "just in case they accidentally break it despite not necessarily wanting to break it" situation. "Bratty" littles should be able to look at rules and identify safe ways to fulfill their "naughty behavior" in being bratty.
Nothing should be extremely serious to the point where breaking it causes genuine harm to the little, the relationship, or yourself.

Example Rules

Example rules are quite difficult to come up generically with since they should be personal to the little and fill in areas where they lack. Some people think it can be an easy task by just copying and pasting a list that someone else has created or by throwing out generic, often unspoken, relationship structure in effort to make it seem that they have thought more through their rules. A good Caregiver should never copy and paste "examples" without determining if it would honestly, truly help their partner specifically. It means that a good Caregiver will need to dedicate time and energy into evaluating a little's life and happiness and pinpoint opportunities for improvements (and formulate ways to carry out improvements that the little is comfortable with carrying out).

So, when you see an example rule list then don't just assume it is a good base list of rules for everyone or most littles. A good, attentive caregiver makes rules for their little--not just rules for littles.

The best advice I can offer up to a Caregiver who is considering setting rules is to really sit down and think about what their partner struggles with and what could be done to help them. For a generic example: if they often wake up very, very tired and you know they have a bad habit of getting to bed late, only sleeping a small handful of hours, then enforcing a bedtime may be a good thing, but if your partner regularly is able to sleep well and enough then it would be really silly (and telling to your disinterest, perhaps) if you gave them a bedtime rule. A Caregiver needs to think about their partner specifically as a special individual and what would ultimately, in the long run, make them happier in their day-to-day life.

Next up: little age matters...A LOT!

A little's little age also matters a lot. Let me give you two very quick examples that help to explain that issuing rules is not a black and white situation:

Example 1: An infant verbally fusses to be tended to quickly. They are sometimes impatient and demanding for basic care. Would a parent or caretaker spank an infant who is excessively fussy and impatient to be changing their diaper? No, even if the fussing is so excessive it is irritating. If someone regresses to such and this situation occurs then spanking them for being fussy and heavily demanding to be changed quickly then a careless Caregiver can very well break their comfort levels with their regression around them. If a careless Caregiver's punishment does not suit who the little is at their regression points then they are only sending the messages that the little is not "good enough". A Caregiver truly knowing their little and their regression is extremely, extremely important!

Example 2: Even bio-children make mistakes or are unable to comply with their parents' structure. If a bio-child was unable to go to sleep on time one night and got up to complete a chore (such as cleaning their room, let's say) then should a parent punish that child for being unable to fall asleep on demand but having chosen to be positively productive during their wake time? What if a Caregiver's little partner is unable to fall asleep and after half an hour they get up and spend an extra hour being productive by completing some work tasks, home chores, or school work before going back to bed: should the Caregiver then punish them the next day for their inability to fall asleep on cue? What did they ACTUALLY do wrong? A good, caring Mommy or Daddy knows that sometimes a rule being "broken" was not intended and should not be punishable, and that even if a rule is "broken" doesn't necessarily mean any "punishment" is due.

Caregivers Are Not Necessarily Dominants!

Please do understand that not all littles need or want rules and not all Caregivers need or want to be or assert their dominance through issuing rules. Please talk with your partner about who you are as a little and who they are as a Mommy. CGL-based relationships are very deeply emotionally based and not necessarily overbearing dominance or hard structure for all persons within the community. Caregivers are not necessarily "dominant" persons. Your Mommy may not be the type of person who enjoys or feels comfortable with setting rules and that should be respected.


You Do Not NEED A Caregiver To Create Your Own Healthy Structure

Lastly, you know your own routine and habits more than anyone else. There is absolutely no reason why you cannot sit down and figure out areas of improvement you could really use in your life. There is absolutely no reason why you, yourself, cannot figure out how to make these improvements in small ways that you can handle on your own. If you take this approach then it is, ultimately, more psychologically healthy.

Lastly:
It's not okay to demand your partner cater to you without you ever meeting them in the middle with some things.
That is extremely important to remember. Just because you feel like you want something doesn't mean that it's okay to demand it of your partner. Partnerships are about working together and meeting both of your needs and desires in acceptable, comfortable ways. Sometimes that means you give up a little here and there and find a good balance between you two that makes you both happy and comfortable.

As an example in relation to wanting rules, a probable middle-ground could be that you define your own rules and bring them to your Mommy, asking that she look them over and tell you if there is anything she feels is not okay to have as a rule. Then you've kept her in the loop of areas where you feel you need to improve without forcing her into a position that might be very unpleasant for her as a Mommy-type.
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