you’re not the boss of me

In ALL, SNIPS & SNAILS by Stephanie Klein2 Comments

Lucas, you say it often. “You’re not the boss of me.” I don’t think it’s something you’ve practiced saying at school, something you’ve learned to say to other children on the playground, and I don’t think they’re words of defiance. You’re not a brat. Maybe what the deepest part of you is saying is, “I need to be free.”

You’re a good kid, and I have to read that pulse. I can’t treat you just as I’d treat your sister because you have different temperaments. Your soul seems to sing if it’s left on its own, to cruise. You know the rules, and you’ll follow them with gentle reminders. When you say, “You’re not the boss of me,” and I respond, “You’re the boss of you, and so am I, sir!” I ought to remember that it might be your way of communicating, “I know who I AM, and I can tune in to my life’s purpose without your input. Don’t try to drown me out.”

You might be very clear and connected to who you are, and I don’t want to see you lose your way. But, Kind Sir, when it’s time for bed, it’s time for bed. And when it’s cold as a penguin’s testicle* outside, you’re not wearing a tank top to school.

* I imagine a penguin’s testicle to resemble a snowflake, or asterisk, as it were. But given that a penguin’s testicle is up inside the bird’s body, I’m sure it’s not all that cold. Still, it sounds cold.


  1. Oh – haven’t had that comment yet by my 9 yr old boy and am not quite sure what to say to that.But it is probably a stage he is at where he is realising that although you are the boss of the house, he can decide some things for himself. Maybe he is testing the boundaries. Maybe you could say that for some things you are the boss and some things he is the boss and bed time is not up for negotiation. You will have to be consequent about the things you feel you should decide. Maybe give consequences if he does not do certain things – and then he is the one to decide what happens – either he follows your rules or not, his decision. You could remind him that even though it might seem that you can decide what and when you do what you want, you also have to follow certain rules in life, otherwise there are consequences for you too. One interesting new comment my son said the other day was – when I asked him to try something on and he said he already tried it on last week. i said i couldn’t remember and he said ‘well you must have a small brain if you can’t remember that’…

  2. “Maybe what the deepest part of you is saying is, “I need to be free.””
    learned it. thank you

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