Some things in life are just elemental - like building blocks and the alphabet; or, primary school and homemade meals. The right to vote and voice an opinion. The privilege to influence your surroundings. Like the right to freedom and opportunity.
Okay, so yes, that is a little petulant and somewhat whiny; yet I find myself saying it to my 'tween daughter repeatedly.
"I am the parent, you are the child. Now, do what I asked you to do."
I give her an instruction and she either gives ME an 'better' idea or continues on with whatever important 'tween thing she was doing at the moment, as if what I was saying was optional. Then, when she does take up my command, she does it at the slowest pace imaginable to womankind, and with the least degree of follow through. This means I have to go back, repeat the instruction coupled with a threat, and get the 'sighs' from her as she marches off to do the chore or assignment again.
Recently, I have made progress at being a good disciplinarian with my children. I don't mean that I beat them senseless, but that I employ methods of discipline which they will take with them through life to set boundaries and limits when they are outside of my authority. This p…