A letter to my kids: You’re not the boss of me.

Have you ever yelled to your kids, “WHO IS IN CHARGE HERE!!” …and realized you’re not even sure Ever feel guilty for choosing your own preference over your child's Written from a mom-in-the-trenches, this is a must-read for any parent.Dear darling children,

We need to clear something up around here, and I’ll get right to it:


Remember this morning? You complained about our day’s plan until I re-considered the plan altogether.

Thankfully, I got some sense in my head, waved my hands in the air, and yelled, “WAIT A SECOND!!!! WHO IS IN CHARGE!!!????!!!”

(I actually yelled it to ME more than you.)

True confession, kiddos: as much as you need reminded that I’m in charge of you (rather than the other way around) – I need reminded too sometimes.

Throughout our days, when it comes to your safety, or right vs. wrong, we often butt heads. But I’m secure in my authority. It feels concrete and I know I’m in charge. Of course I am – I’m your MOM, right?

It’s issues of PREFERENCE that trip me up these days.

Like when I want (need) to exercise, but YOU don’t WANT to go to the Y right now. So I scramble to think of when else I can work out.

Or I’ve planned to make salmon, but YOU don’t WANT to eat fish. So I reconsider the entire dinner menu.


Pardon me, but when did this become a democracy? (More like demoCRAZY, because all day long there’s two of you and one of me, so you hooligans keep winning.)

At some point (the second you were born), I started feeling GUILTY for doing something I want to do if it’s not what you want to do, or when you want to do it. But guess what, kiddos: it’s GOOD FOR YOU to experience that the world does not revolve around you.

There is a sneaky lie we moms must recognize. It’s a lie that equates your PREFERENCES with your NEEDS. This is very dangerous ground, kids.

As your parents, it’s our responsibility and privilege to ensure all your needs are met – your need for love, food, shelter… But your preferences?

If I ensure all your preferences are met, I will effectively cripple you for the rest of your life.

You are important. But you are not in charge.

In our family and in life, your personal preference will often take a back seat to the needs and/or preference of others. THIS IS OKAY. This does NOT mean anyone is out to get you or you’re not a valuable person.

It will serve you well to learn this early on.

Contrary to popular belief, expecting you to do hard things, inconvenient things, “not your favorite” things, is NOT stifling your childhood. You CAN have a love-filled, fun-filled childhood that includes compromise, submission, and the ability to yield to authority.

A childhood missing these leads to an adulthood of narcissism and entitlement.

I want better for you.

Kids, I’m sorry for the times I let you wear me down with your complaining. I’m sorry for so often denying you the healthy opportunity to submit to my authority – EVEN IF it’s “just” about what we have for dinner.

You are so smart. And crazy funny. You’re brave, generous, and kind.

You are world-changers.

But you’re not the boss of me.

All my love,



3 thoughts on “A letter to my kids: You’re not the boss of me.

  1. Karen Lanser

    Love it! I just said the same words to one of my most cherished and darling grandchildren! Thanks for the amusing and loving reminder that we are not alone in our best efforts to stay in charge … 🙂

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