You Are Not The Boss of Me! Being in Authority, Under Authority, and Saying “No” to Authority
When we have friends over, we sometimes have issues with the kids getting into trouble. Especially in the winter, when we are all stuck in doors. My main frustration is that my own daughter gets into trouble and then blames her friends, because it was someone else’s idea. Even though she knows better.
Recently, I realized, I need to teach my daughter that her friends do not have the authority to give her permission to break the rules.
I want my daughter to know the authority she carries.
Growing up, I believed whoever is older, is wiser and therefore is the boss. So I submitted to them and went along with their ideas. It seems, my daughter thinks a lot like me. She is a natural leader, however she will choose to follow anyone who is older and appoints themselves as the leader.
When we are hosting friends, I want my daughter to be the leader, even over the older kids. She knows the rules in her house, and she carries my authority to enforce those rules. I want her to be able to say to her friends, “in this house, we don’t do that.” And then come to me for help, if her friends choose to break the rules. Rather than going along with their bad ideas.
I also want my daughter to respect the authority her friends carry.
On the flip side, if my daughter is at her friend’s house, than he is the leader. Even if the friend is younger than her. He knows the rules, so she can ask him, “is it ok to do this?” If he says, “no” that is the same as if his Mom saying “no.” Because in his house, he caries the authority to enforce the rules.
Like the Centurion in the Bible. Our kids are under our authority so they also have authority.
I want my daughter to be able to say, “no” to authority.
It seems pretty straight-forward to establish who is the leader, based on whose house we are at. But what about when my daughter is not at our home, and her friends have a really bad idea?
I want her to be able to say with confidence, even to an adult: “no, I am not doing that,” or “this is my body, so I am in charge.” I want her to know she has the authority to say, “no” instead of surrendering to the will of an abusive person simply because they are in authority at the moment.
I want to teach my daughter to do what is right, and make wise choices. Regardless of what others are saying or doing. She is free to choose to follow their ideas. But ultimately she needs to know that she is responsible for her own actions and will experience the consequences of her choices.