Have you ever heard a child, a teenager, yourself or an adult say “You are not the boss of me.” when you have asked them to do something they don’t want to do?
Years ago, I first heard this sentence when I was babysitting local children, then I heard friends' children say it, and more recently I have heard my grandchild and other people’s grandchildren say it.
I know that some people reason that when children say those words, they are feeling frustrated at not having control over certain things. Sometimes I think children just want to be heard as they feel all day, they are told what to do and when to do it, “Get up now, get dressed, eat breakfast, clean your teeth.”
I have never said these words but sometimes I feel many people seem to be bossing me around and tell me what to do, I suppose, my family, the rules, and laws of society.
As I want to avoid conflict, I often just go along with what people ask or tell me to do.
I remember when I was first taking medication and trying to get some control of my previous chaotic life that I felt every thing I did was being scrutinized. If I bought a small item, it was seen as me spending irresponsibly, if I had a different opinion to someone I was being difficult, and if I was tired I was being lazy. It felt like I had no control over my behaviour, and I was like a child being told what I can and can’t do.
So, when I child says “You are not the boss of me”, I understand their frustration. Of course, as an adult I have a responsibility for the welfare of a child.
So, who is the boss of me? What do you think?
Are there times when you want someone to make decisions for you, maybe in a crisis, when you are stressed, when you find it hard to make a decision or for other reasons?
How do you respond when a child says to you “You are not the boss of me”?
Have you felt like saying you are not the boss of me, to another person?
A Moodscope member.