I am no tiger mom but I like to think that I rule! Over my family at least. As my kids are getting older I realise that each child takes to rules differently. My nearly 10 year old knows that heavens wont fall if he doestnt follow the rules. He also knows that it is easier on his ears if he does!
The younger one on the other hand follows any rule that is written down. I remember my nephew was like this, those days before he could read. We could get him to do anything, just show him a printed paper and say ” see it is written here..”.
Even now, at almost 7 the written word means everything to my daughter. Instruction from an authority like her teacher or a doctor is followed to the dot which makes her (so far) a good student and a very easy-to-deal-with patient. An otherwise fussy eater, she eats very well during an illness and coolly drinks the most bitter medicine. Now that she can read she will goes through instruction leaflets herself. I remember how she harassed me and and her brother a whole am, pleading with him to not ride his ribstick on the sidewalk for it is written at the back of the contraption not to be used on the road. ” Darling, this is not the road it is a side walk..” I would say exasperated. ” But look ma it also says driveway and they are the same!”
Most rules must have time stamp if i don’t want to be bombarded with the “whys”. No gum till 6 years, nail polish only after 15, lipstick at 18, kissing at 25, freedom from moms rules after 21 are few of the general rules. The other day I was reminding my son that he will do only as I say till the age of 21. I went on to say that he is my slave till then. I realised I talked too much when turns to me and says “Mom, it is actually the other way around. You cook for me, you buy me stuff, you even give me baths and massages, which means you are my slave!”
There was another instance when he pulled out a similar sword which sliced my tongue. This was a few years ago, I was at home at the dinner table with my family when I was explaining to him that we will be leaving to our hometown the next day to visit his great grandmother. He immediately said that he is not interested. I made it clear that he has no choice to which he retorts “Mom it is my life, you rule your life and I will rule mine”. I was left dumbstruck, especially with my whole family staring at me searching my face, trying to catch me falter… I still sometimes wonder where that came from, I know he was not even being rebellious just making a statement. I guess this is natures way of keeping a check on tiger moms!