That is an interesting approach... Sterness and strict rules, removing the capability of breaching trust in order to garner trust. I'd love to look into this further to see just why this method is effective and to see if it brings results in the majority of similar cases.
I actually got my 3-year old step-niece to open up to me in that manner. She was extreeeemely solitary, aggressive and distrusting. After days of trying, I felt like my kindness and attempts to connect were simply to no avail. I'm a big proponent of "if you do what you've always done...", so one day when I tried to say hello and she just turned her back on me, I turned my back on her and just pretended to ignore her. I eventually just walked out on her and closed the door. After a little while I heard her crying through the door. I can't tell you how badly that broke my heart, because I thought that she would have just been happy to be left alone or to be done with me. I ran in and scooped her up, told her I was sorry, and let her cry it out. That was one of the most transformative experiences that I've ever had because I could literally feeeel the anger melt away from her. After a while I apologized again for leaving and asked her point blank why she was so mean all the time. Three years old, mind you, and her answer was, "I don't like people."
I've always been a "mirrorer" with children, but before this experience, I wouldn't have guessed that mirroring even their negative actions (to a degree) would have resonated. I doubt that this will be my first approach in the future, but I think that when warnth and kindness fail, I can see this method being utilized...
But why does it work? Again, does it generally work? Anyone know?
One day it will all make sense