One thing that was so hard for me about reading a lot of the attachment books like Nancy Thomas is that they recommend having the child treat you like a queen. That just doesn't feel right to me. I want my kids to love me and while I know that to do that they also need to respect me, I just don't feel right demanding it.
Still, Bear especially does have a better relationship with me when I am assertive and hold him accountable. When he first got here I wanted him to like me. I catered to his needs and tried to make him comfortable. I was lenient and accommodating. He saw me as weak and manipulatable. Once I realized he actually preferred one of his teachers who called him a turd when he was being a turd, it was easier for me to be authoritative. And when I realized my other children needed protection from him, I became more like a Mama Bear (no pun intended).
I still hate confrontation though. If Hubby is around then I prefer to have Hubby be present when I have to talk to Bear about something he's done wrong. Otherwise I'm tempted to be kind of passive aggressive about it. I'm working on it.
So back to the beginning of this post.
When I was a kid, my mom remarried. Her husband was 9 years older than she and at the beginning of their marriage, she always said, "Yes Sir" or "No Sir." Very respectful, but it mad me upset. I'm not sure if it was because I thought this was a sign of a bad relationship, if it was because I saw my strong Mom being submissive, or if it was because I was used to having a father figure that I could boss around (my dad was a weekend daddy) and not someone in authority. (FYI, after over 25 years of marriage she doesn't call him Sir anymore).
When the kids first got here, Bear would occasionally say "Yes sir" or "Yes Ma'am" to Hubby or I, and I would gently correct him. He stopped.
Now, 3 years later he's started this again. Some of this I'm sure is because of the ROTC. He's supposed to call everyone by a very respectful Sir and Ma'am. But I strongly believe that some of it is to distance himself from us. I think he doesn't want to use a more familiar or affectionate form of address.
What do you think? Should kids say "Yes sir" or "Yes Ma'am" to their parents?
I've already made up my mind. I'm MOM, not Ma'am.