The alarm went off this morning like the starter’s pistol. As I dragged the comb through my hair I called out to my kids to get up and ready for school. Emily, my seven-year-old, graciously declined the invitation. As time slipped by, I became more and more frustrated. Bus time was approaching and we were nowhere near ready to go. My reminders became more and more urgent. Finally I began to raise my voice threatening to take away dessert if she did not immediately get ready .
Emily looked at me and asked, “You know, punishing me doesn’t help. Why do I have to have rules anyway?” I told her that everyone has rules to follow that keep them safe and help them have a better life. She informed me that she didn’t want to follow my rules. ” Everyone needs to respect one another and follow the rules of the house to reap the benefits of being part of the family,” I explained. Emily inquired what would happen if she didn’t follow the rules. “Then I don’t make your dinner, do your laundry, help with homework, etc,” I told her. Emily said, “Well I don’t need any help, so no rules for me!”