You’re Not The Boss Of Me!!
My child used to say that to me. Actually, she still does. She’s now an adolescent, and she thinks she knows it all. But even as a little girl I heard that. “You can’t tell me what to do! You’re not the boss of me”!
Actually, kid, I can and I am.
I’m the adult. I am the one with a lifetime of experience and (supposed) wisdom that comes with those years. I get to make the decisions, set the rules, and apply the consequences. It’s MY JOB.
Applying those rules is what helps our children become good grown-ups. If we don’t, they won’t.
I think that sometimes parents get lost in between that tough part of the job, and the part where they want their child to have a happy, blissful, idyllic childhood. Of course we want our kids to be happy. We would love for them to look back and think that they had a great childhood. Practically perfect. The thing is, this won’t be the case if the kid gets to make the rules. Children with no boundaries are not happy. They are scared.
Children don’t know it, but they really need those rules. It’s part of the comfort in childhood. Knowing that someone else is in charge gives them the freedom to explore, experiment, and grow, secure in their hearts that someone else IS the boss. Watching out, taking care, keeping them safe. Without limits, kids don’t know who is taking care of them. If they get to be the boss, then who really is driving the bus?
When we do become adults, and parents, I think we each wish that someone else was in charge sometimes. Then we don’t have to be the “bad guys”. But by being the bad guys, we really are the good guys.