Don't tell me what to do
“Don’t tell me what to do.” Living with headstrong kids can be challenging, especially when this is the first thing you hear from a five year-old in the morning. But I’m getting used to it.
I like that they can be so strong and self-assured. I like that they have the confidence to be able to talk to a grown up in this way. I may not particularly enjoy it being said to me, but I like that they are able to.
Fear is such an integral part of so much child-rearing. If you can scare a kid through threats of retribution and punishment, if you then follow through with them, then you are likely to have a well-behaved child, too scared to speak up and ask for what they need. Without E here to guide me, there is a good chance that to some degree I could be this kind of parent. I probably am anyway.
Fear and love are opposites: it is impossible to experience both at the same time. Obedience can be a form of dishonesty: I behave like you want me to in order to avoid your wrath, not because this is who I am.
And Y has a point when she says not to tell her what to do. I can tell anyone what to do, but the moment I become invested in the outcome I am setting myself up for a fall. She’s such a great teacher.