Have you ever heard your child say these words? I bet you have…and probably with an attitude mixed in!
These words can trigger a power struggle in many families as parents’ automatic first thought is often, “Oh no you’re not!”
But what if your answer was….
“You’re right! You are the boss of you.”
No power struggle …
…and a huge teachable moment!
All people like to feel powerful and in control – even kids.
Children often feel like victims in their lives because they see grownups as having all of the power – their parents tell them what to do; their teachers tell them what to do; their coaches tell them what to do.
Teaching your kids how to be the boss of themselves enables them to step into their power, enhance their self-esteem, and build self-confidence.
Here are just a couple of tips to share with your kids about being their own boss.
1. First, being the boss doesn’t mean being bossy.
Being the boss means they get to choose how they treat others — do they want to treat others with kindness and respect or do they want to be rude and disrespectful? Their choice will directly impact the relationship they have with other people.
Here’s a tip…. If your kids want something, teach them to ask a question or make a request instead of making a demand or using backtalk. Learning to effectively use questions enables kids to feel empowered in their lives.
2. Second, being the boss doesn’t mean they get to break the rules.
Being the boss means they get to choose their actions.
Teach your kids that rules are part of life – there are societal rules, school rules, and family rules to follow. If they don’t agree with the rule, they have three possible responses:
a. First, they can “be the boss” and decide to follow the rule on their own. This decision enables them to stand in their power because they proactively make the decision to comply versus being forced/told/punished into complying.
b. Second, they can “be the boss” and break the rule. This decision enables them to be in charge; however, being the boss also means they must be willing to take responsibility for the consequence of breaking the rule.
c. Third, they can “be the boss” and ask for something different. Sometimes rules can be bent or changed…teaching children to ask for something different teaches them to stand in their power instead of rebelling against a rule or feeling like they have to comply against their will.
As “the boss”, they get to choose which action they take.
So next time you hear your son or daughter say, “I’m the boss of me”…surprise them by saying, “YES YOU ARE!”
[Aditi Verma, our co-founder is a certified WISDOM coach for kids]
Copyright © 2011 Renaye Thornborrow, AdventuresinWisdom.com. All rights reserved.
Reprinted with permission from Renaye Thornborrow.