“You’re Not the Boss of Me”
“You’re not the boss of me.”
“You can’t tell me what to do.”
“Mom, stay out of this. I’ll deal with it myself.”
Hearing (even just reading) those words is like waving a red flag in front of a bull. (Yes, I’m the bull.) Like the bull you can feel your blood pressure rising. “How dare you speak to me like that? I know what’s best for you and I’m going to tell you!”
How often has THAT worked out well for you?
So what do you do when your child, beginning with one of his first words, “NO!!!,” let’s you know that your help, instruction, advice and wisdom isn’t appreciated?
That’s it, really. You pause. Unless this is a medical or safety emergency (and even then I’d say pause so you don’t get hysterical) you really need to pause.
Why? Because the first thing out of our mouths is going to be some variation on “Oh yes I can so tell you what to do!” And so the spitting contest begins.
“No you can’t.”
“Yes I can.”
“No you can’t.”
Repeat several times until someone screams (probably me) and the whole thing erupts like a volcano. Nothing gets resolved and everyone is angry and upset. You end up angry, your child is angry, and no one knows how to move forward.
The issue here isn’t one of defiance so much as it is one of disconnection. And you can’t connect if you’re furious.
“But, but, I AM the boss and I DO know what to do!” Probably. Maybe. How you get that message across is actually more important than going head to head with your child about who is right.
Every parent everywhere has dealt with this issue. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could mentor each other and talk about what worked? I am inviting you to do just that. Share with me how you have dealt with this in a way that left you feeling good about the result.
© Rhonda Moskowitz, 2014, All Rights Reserved