What do you do when your child says: 'You can't turn off the TV because I'M THE BOSS"?

Apr 13, 2023

My eldest son is 25 now.

I know this sounds so predictable, but it really does seem like a couple of years ago when aged 2, he screamed at me:

“You can’t turn off the TV because I’M THE BOSS!” 

It wasn’t long after that that my husband and I reached out for help with our parenting.

When the coach asked us “Does he know that you’re in charge?” we both looked down at our shoes as we felt so uncomfortable knowing that he absolutely didn't know we were in charge.

But we didn't want to be too strict.

I was all for raising a spirited child, I didn’t want to use punishments or squash him with too many rules. 

Except the balance was all wrong.

We danced circles round him to avoid conflict.

This question 'does he know you're in charge?' was such a turning point for us.

Susan Stiffelman refers to being in charge as ‘The Captain of the Ship’

Dr Becky Kennedy refers to being a ‘Sturdy leader’ 

We needed permission to be in charge and to gain the right tools to parent that way.

I’m not going to say it was easy, each of our 4 kids has presented us with many different challenges. 

But the key was learning a gentle AND firm approach to parenting that was truly transformative to our family life.

What happened next?

We learnt how to get Nico to turn off the TV without a meltdown AND to go to bed and go to sleep without us needing to lie with him for hours. Plus SO much more!

And then...

I then trained to be a parenting coach and I’ve been on a mission to show other parents how to be in charge without being strict or punitive.

Last night I held such a lovely ‘Q&A hangout’ on Zoom and the parents who attended had so many goals in common:

  • They don’t want to repeat patterns from their past
  • They want to create a loving, calm home environment with minimal shouting
  • They want to raise kids who can bounce back from life’s knocks with a strong belief in themselves
  • AND they want to able to get them to follow simple instructions without needing to nag, threaten our shout!

What’s your biggest parenting goal? I’d love to hear it! Send me an email [email protected] 

If you’d like my support with your parenting goals, then you’d love my course The Parent Survival Academy. You can kick off by watching the video lessons and then join our 5 weekly group sessions on Zoom. Want to join? Just email me at [email protected]


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