I told my six-year-old boy “Can you please put your toys back in its proper place?” He said, “Mom stop being bossy!” The way my son spoke just shattered me. I feel like I am still fumbling around and making my way through this new stage of motherhood.
When he came back from school I asked him, “Can you please remove your clothes?” He was annoyed and said, “Mom stop being rude!” I felt offended by his words.
I questioned myself! Does teaching discipline to my kid mean I am rude to him? Is this not a part of parenting? I never wanted to be a permissive mother.
I never wanted to be called a controlling mother. I always wanted to bring my son up with all the freedom and discipline without jumping in and intervening. I wanted him to be independent now.
I admit that every day I keep giving him instructions and teaching him etiquette. At the same time, I allow him to express and understand the emotions surging through his body. I give him the opportunity to speak, and I try to be the listener.
Certainly, I was not controlling him or being bossy. Anyhow, I wanted to resolve this problem. So, I sat with him and asked him calmly, “Do you really mean it when you say I am being rude and bossy?” He confirmed and said, “Mom your job is to teach me, don’t boss me around. You always give me orders, and your voice is so shrill while you talk to me. I really don’t like it.”
I then realized that my boy is right, I had an imperious attitude towards him. My constant commands and demands made him utter these sentences. I totally agreed with him and apologized for being bossy. I told him I would work hard on the way I talk to him and be polite.
No one wants to be bossed around. My job is to teach him but sometimes our kids have something to teach us as well. All kids have different ways of responding to their mothers. Some respond best to a harsh tone, but my son communicated to me through his words that commanding does not work for him. This is what motherhood is all about. You need to balance everything. You have to control without appearing like a control freak. You have to boss around without appearing bossy, and you have to be loving without being permissive.
Motherhood is not at all easy. As a parent, we think we know everything and are always correct while dealing with our kids. Sometimes our kids guide us, perhaps in a more subtle way as my kid did. I am very grateful to my son for reminding me that my duty was to teach him, not to boss him around.
In order to teach him, I need to understand how he can learn in the best ways. I need to make conscious choices about my tone and words.
“Mom your job is to teach me, don’t boss me around.” This statement pops on my mind on a daily basis, and I am proud to learn from him throughout my journey of motherhood.