Jun 10, 2011

Who's the Boss

In full 9-year-old mode, he whines defiantly to the teacher, "WHY do we have to wear shoes?!"

I wait for the teacher's patient response about safety, hot roads, liability waivers, etc. Instead, he turns to give his full attention to the boy and says, "Do you want to know Why? Look at me. Do you want to... look at me. Do you want to know why?"

Finally the boy looks him in the eye and more quietly says "Yes."

"Because... I ... said ... so." Slow, steady, strong. Not challenging, because there was never a challenge to this man's authority. He was and is the boss, the alpha male, and just needed to remind the boy.

The child's response? Not anger, not counterwill, and not deflation. Just relief. My universe is still safe because my teacher is still the boss. Relief, and release of anxiety. On went the shoes.

We don't have to ask for our children's compliance. We don't even have to demand it. Just expect it. We don't have to explain all our decisions - even the ones that are easy - just be confident in them. The more fully we are in the role of Adult, the more freedom they can have to enjoy and grow in their role of Child.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, THIS!

    Too many parents now see "parental involvement" as bullying the teacher. Those same parents often have made the child the boss. It is a very sad thing to see.

    Of course, I work with teens, where it is totally normal, right, and even just for them to question authority. They just need to learn to accept that questions are fine, but it is still my classroom, and my rules.

    Teenagers mean all new rules.