So I sat down this morning getting ready to write out a long heartfelt post on the subject of teaching my children how to be respectful, yet maintain their own opinions and make their own choices. Then while I was scrolling through my Facebook feed, I came across an article already written on the same subject. I haven’t explored many of the author’s other articles, but this one in particular is spot on.
Sunlight is dawning across the living room floor, and the dollhouse is full of Lego Star Wars action figures. They’re sleeping in beds, sitting on toilets, cooking breakfast, and one rogue Jedi is standing on the roof. On an early autumn morning, my daughter and I play dollhouse as the rest of the household slumbers.
Her older brother wakes up, walks into the room rubbing his eyes clear, and sees his new birthday presents defiled by a dollhouse. A look of horror takes over his face—like his dog is lying dead in the road—and he pushes past us to snatch up his action figures.
I hold out my hand and try to be patient. “Give them to me.”
He looks at me, and his horror becomes an oppositional “No!”
The parent in me feels like a failure because I’m not being respected. The parent in me gets angry because I feel out of control and I’m supposed to be “in charge.” And the human in me feels just plain sad, because the morning just got a whole lot harder.
But the psychologist in me is secretly thrilled he said “No.”
Follow this link to read the remainder of the article: