think it’s important you be alert for tomorrow’s test, so how about let’s go to bed, okay?” The proper form is “It’s time for you to go upstairs and get ready for bed.”Why? Because you said so.
Then there’s “my child won’t leave me alone.” That simply means the parent in question has failed to define and enforce a boundary in the parent-child relationship. The parent complains that the child interrupts constantly and asks for one thing after another, but the reality is that the parent
has never said to the child “You’ve got your nerve coming to me for something as trivial as that. I am not your servant. I am your mother, but the fact is you don’t need a mother right now, and I’m not going to be one.”
I heard those very words from my mother on several occasions. Several was all it took. And by the way, that sort of reprimand did not “traumatize” me, nor do I need to speak to a counselor to “resolve” conflicted feelings concerning my mom. I have no conflicted feelings about her. Today’s mothers,
not all, of course, but way too many don’t set clear limits on their children’s access to them, then complain their children won’t leave them alone.
Under the circumstances, it’s understandable their children treat them as if they were vending machines.
The long and short of it is: Your child is a mirror. Look carefully at the image reflected therein.
Family psychologist John Rosemond answers parents questions at johnrosemond.com.