You’re Not the Boss of Me!

hallo guys today in this class we well lern about You’re Not the Boss of Me! so let’s stat this class

Even when a narcissistic person is strong-willed and coercive toward you, it is still possible for you to respond with firmness and confidence. You need not collapse into feelings of defeat and tension. This course will provide the necessary strategies that will allow you to live with:

  • Self-respect over insecurity
  • Self-trust over fear
  • Assertiveness over suppression
  • and Equality over inferiority

You CAN be at your best despite the narcissist’s efforts to keep you down.

No one likes being manipulated and dismissed. Instead we prefer freedom to be who we are meant to be. This course will offer clear instruction so you can find strength to make choices consistent with your free-will instead of feeling like you are duty-bound to conform to a narcissist’s agenda. You will be challenged to rethink your self-defeating responses to the narcissist, acting instead upon clearly identified alternatives of behavior, communication, and attitude.

Living with a narcissist can prompt you to question your own sanity since you know that your preferred choices will be persistently squashed. But if you want to live a life consistent with your truth, and if you want to maintain self-respect, this course will give you the tools to stand up cleanly for your dignity. You will receive clear behavioral directives to help you break free from reactions that keep you feeling chronically inhibited.

Who this course is for:

  • If you have been controlled and invalidated by a significant other, leaving you feeling emotionally wrung out or powerless, this course will set you onto the path toward personal empowerment.

What you’ll learn

  • Recognize the signs of narcissism and its influence on relationships.
  • Listen to internal messages attached to emotions like fear, anger, and shame for the purpose of acting upon those emotions in a self-preserving manner.
  • Maintain dignity and self-respect even when a controller communicates the opposite.
  • Identify false guilt as a motivator, becoming anchored instead in behavior and communication that indicates confidence.
  • Disengage from circular, non-productive arguments.
  • Address personal needs firmly without being drawn into unnecessary debates.
  • Choose involvement in relationships that are mutually rewarding.
  • Communicate with calmness even when the narcissist disapproves of your preferences.
  • Respond to unreasonable demands with appropriate assertiveness.
  • Find freedom in self-expression.
  • Distinguish between unhealthy appeasement and healthy coordination.
  • Think objectively about who you are as opposed to filtering your self-talk through the narcissist’s impossible agenda.


Can you believe my son actually said, ‘You’re not the boss of me!’? Thus began the litany of complaints this particular dad shared with me about his seven-year-old child. He continued, I hate to admit it, but my kid is a brat.

I wish I could say this scenario is rare, but I assure you, it isn’t. So often parents tell me tales of raising the child they swore they’d never have. But while many a discouraged parent has declared her child a brat, the label has different meanings for different parents. Her brat might be whiney; another’s might be irresponsible and lazy, while yet another’s is sneaky and unreliable. And though most bratty traits are intolerable at any age, some actually have the potential to be positive attributes later in life. For example, the child who is disrespectful now may have the capacity for the wit and irreverence that so often gives rise to out-of-the-box thinking—traits that may someday serve him well if used appropriately.

The truth is, most kids behave in bratty ways at one time or another in the course of growing up. In some instances it is a necessary part of some stages of development, as the child struggles to be separate from you, become his own person, and test his wings. Being bratty can also be a temporary condition in response to an environmental change such as a new baby, a parent who is working out of town, a relative who has been visiting for too long, a move to a new house. Or bratty behavior can be a cry for help due to unhappiness at school, trouble with peers, or issues with siblings. With some adjustments, these brats can be brought back on course. As different as brats might be, when the behaviors fall within the realm of what is typical for a child’s developmental stage, parents can take comfort in knowing that their child—the brat—is not on the way to being a lifelong sociopath. (When this is not the case, however—when the child’s challenges are unrelenting and appear to be quite different from those any other parent is encountering—it is a good idea to consult with a mental health professional.)

Essentially, what every parent needs to know is that the brat is a child who doesn’t feel significant, who doesn’t feel as if he plays a meaningful role, and who needs to feel that he has a purpose in the life of the family. While it may seem that the opposite is true—that he believes the world revolves around him—he is really just trying to find his place in that world. Sometimes being a brat is better than having no place at all. The child who has a loving, trusting, and secure relationship with his parents, who feels connected to his family and feels good about himself, is not a brat.

Brat-proofing your child—that is, cultivating character traits and inculcating him with values—is a tall order indeed. In ages past it wasn’t something that parents even had to think about. In the rural cultures that dominated the landscape for centuries, children were apprenticed to their parents, working side by side with them from sunup to sunset. Their participation was essential. Who had time to be a brat? Children developed their parents’ character traits because that was exactly what they were exposed to all day long. Extended families lived together, too. Grandma was there to reinforce the message with a clear explanation or a gentle slap upside the head and to give an embrace to underscore the lesson. Core values were reiterated by many and passed on from generation to generation.

And it was real life, not a lecture or wagging index finger, that taught the lesson. When a responsibility wasn’t met, the system broke down, and everyone suffered. If the eggs weren’t collected, there wasn’t any breakfast. If the field wasn’t watered, the crops died. Meaningful consequences followed irresponsible behavior.

Today, children are no longer needed for their help in the fields. Many are treated more like an acquired accessory than a contributing member of society. Raising a child who shines takes a whole lot more than a little silver polish now and then. It is a twenty-four-hour-a-day job. I don’t have to tell you that being a parent is the most difficult role you will ever have. (It will also be the most rewarding, but you may have to wait a while before you get to that part.) And raising a child who is mostly not a brat can be especially hard work.

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Over the years, I have been a teacher, a preschool director, and now a child development and behavior specialist, not to mention the mother of triplets! Working with hundreds of families, I have seen that the children who go through their growing years with the least sense of entitlement also have specific character traits such as independence and self-reliance, empathy and gratitude. It is these traits and others that this book teaches you to facilitate and encourage as a means to brat-proofing your child.

Although life is much easier today in many ways, it is much harder in other ways. Families are splintered; each member has a full calendar of daily obligations and events. Not only do we live in a world filled with conveniences and amenities, but there are choices, distractions, and temptations aplenty for parents and children. Today’s world often sabotages the very values you want to instill in your child. Missing is a whole range of meaningful interactions with people. Even the family meal has all but disappeared. When and where will these crucial lessons be absorbed? Not out in the fields anymore, that’s for sure.

And then there is technology. As amazing and useful as it can be, technology often works against the child’s cultivation of anti-brat character traits. As an ever-increasing part of our children’s daily existence, iPods, DS, Xboxes, Wii, and computers are robbing our children of the raw contact—the real interactions, feedback, body language, facial expressions, and social cues—that build their social and emotional intelligence. They cut our children off from other people. And it is from experiences with real people—most of all, from you—that children absorb valuable and lifelong lessons.

Children learn from living with their parents. That’s a lot of responsibility, I know. It is really hard to be the person you want your child to be. In fact, it’s really hard to be the person each of us wants to be. Life gets in the way. You are tired, hungry, irritated, stressed, and any number of other normal states that result just from getting through each day. But your children are paying attention and look to you as a model of how to be.

You may be wondering if it is ever too late to start instilling these good qualities in your children. I sure hope not. Even if you don’t see the light until your child is in elementary school (much like the dad of the seven-year-old at the start of this introduction), all is not lost. Children as old as eleven can still be turned around. Bear in mind, however, that the older the child, the more difficult the process, both for the child and the parent. He will have had many years of practice being a brat, and you will have developed the habits that allowed that to happen.

Many times my husband shared with our children the story of a buddy who flunked out of college after his first semester of his freshman year. After hearing the news, the young man’s father sent his son $600 with the suggestion that he figure out what he wanted to do with his life, anywhere but at home. After six months of renting a bed in a stranger’s house on the other side of the country (having gotten there by bus) and washing dishes in a restaurant for a living, he decided to return to college and raise his grade point average, proving the point that lessons can be learned at any age. But as this man’s parents would tell you, it’s a whole lot harder to close the front door on your almost-adult child than it is to make good on a threat to take away your six-year-old’s tech time.

It’s no coincidence that we say couples are expecting when they are pregnant. Every child comes into this world carrying his parent’s expectations, as well as their hopes and dreams. You want your baby boy to grow up to be honest and responsible, independent and self-reliant. If only that were all it took—wanting and expecting! But as you well know, your child is not like a self-basting turkey; he’s not going to emerge well-seasoned and having just the right tenderness without some effort. Your child is born with potential, but not with complete abilities. He comes with the capacity to be the kind of person you want him to be, but it is up to you to cultivate in him these character traits and values. Having high expectations means that you believe in his capability. My hope is that this book will help give you the tools you need to teach all of your children how to be active agents in their own lives. It is, after all, your job to make it their job.

Hope: If you are liking the class, then stay tuned, keep learning in the class, then you know.

Did You Hear Me?

How to Talk to Your Kids

Do as I say, not as I do. You know that old saying, right? But what in the world was that person thinking? Could he have been more off base? The truth is you cannot rely on words alone. When it comes to brat-proofing your kids by instilling in them the most important character traits, you can’t talk those traits into your kids. Cross my heart, it’s the truth! The most powerful way parents can communicate with their children is by example. As Robert Fulghum, author of Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, said, Don’t worry that your children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you. Your children are observing all of the time; they take in your every move, and they remember each one. When you are on the phone gossiping with a friend and think that your child has been struck deaf, I promise, he is absorbing what you say. When you are having a heated argument with your spouse behind closed doors, he hears that too. When you mumble under your breath about how much you detest your neighbor, your child is picking up that message as well.

My client Lisa confessed that she talks on her cell phone in her car all the time, even though she knows it is illegal here in California. I asked her if she does it when her kids are with her, and she said, Yes, but they understand that sometimes you have to break the rules. It’s those Yes, but…s that speak the loudest. I can almost promise Lisa that not only will her children rationalize that talking on the cell phone is okay when they’re driving (even though she will have told them never to do it), but that excuse-making for rule-breaking is contagious. And Lisa has demonstrated the technique!

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Modeling is the most powerful form of communication there is, but it is just one of four ways in which we teach our children. Nonverbal communication is the second. This includes your posture, stance, and facial expression as well as the way in which you set up the communication. Your proximity to the child and even the height differential between you two sends a message. The third form, verbal communication, is the most obvious form of communication, and it includes not only the words you say but also your decibel level and tone of voice. Your tone, in turn, gives your child potent clues about what you are feeling at that moment. Finally, there is the way in which a parent listens to her child. How well you receive your child’s communications, verbal and nonverbal, gives your child a strong message.

Tips for Setting Up Communication

What you say, if supported by what you do (and vice versa), will have great impact, especially if you give serious thought not only to your words but also to the communication setup itself. Regardless of the child’s age, the setup for the communication sends a message about how much you honor and respect your child.

Be deliberate. The optimal distance for communication between two people is two to four feet, and no more. The space between players will depend upon the age of the child. The very young child often prefers to be right in your face, even sitting on your lap. It’s hard to give an objective message when you are nose to nose with your child. And it invades personal space. The older a child is, the farther away from you he will want to be…like all the way across the room! Think twice about calling out to your child from across the house, or even from room to room, or couch to computer. Instead, say: I know that you can hear me from your room, but I value our conversations. Will you please come in here so we can see and hear each other clearly? Then ignore the inevitable grumbles. As your older child will always be busy, you may be more successful if you plan a time for your discussions. Ask: What might be a good time for us to talk? I don’t want to interrupt what you are doing.

Location, location, location. Certain places lend themselves to conversations, especially the heavier ones. My particular favorite is the car. Not only are car talks great because you don’t actually have to look at one another (sensitive topics and older children can be tricky), but both parties know there is a beginning and an end. You arrive at your destination and the conversation is over. Tuck time is another good time to talk because it is cozy and intimate. But heavy topics shouldn’t be addressed before sleep, unless you are interested in a sleepless night for your child or for you. With older children and more serious conversations, sometimes it is helpful to plan them around something else—a walk, a hike, or a meal out.

A client, Janet, carefully planned a conversation she needed to have with her ten-year-old son, knowing that he would likely have an explosive reaction when he learned that previously made plans had been changed. While mother and son were on a bike ride at the beach, Janet explained—using carefully chosen words—that their weekend plans had been cancelled. Daniel was furious, spewed some bad language, and sped off ahead of her. Janet gave him a little time to himself and when she caught up to him, Daniel had calmed down enough for them to talk and not yell. Peddling hard used up a lot of angry energy.

Nothing should come between you. Be aware of the barriers between you and your child when you are talking. Even a coffee table, the laundry you are folding, or the desk at which you are sitting separates you from your child and interrupts the flow of your communication. Tell him: I want to hear everything you have to say to me, and I want you to hear me. Let’s sit together on the couch so we can talk.

Noise is a barrier. The television, the radio, and even running water are sensory distractions that can detract from your communication. Clearing the sound space between you gives your child the message that your communication with him is important: You want to focus on and hear him, and you want the same attention from him. What you say to me is so important. Because I really want to hear you, I am going to ask you to turn off your music while we talk.

Get down on your child’s level…or bring your sprouting adolescent down to yours. Eye-to-eye communication levels out the playing field and takes away the home court (height) advantage. When I taught sixth grade (at my height of 5’ 4″), I began my conversations with the taller kids by saying, Have a seat so we can talk.

Do not demand your child’s eye contact. Though your father may have grabbed your face in his hand and yanked it around to get you to look him in the eye, such a gesture will not enhance your communication with your child. In fact, doing so will detract from your child’s focus as he thinks to himself, I hate it when my dad holds my face. I am so mad at him for doing that. He will not be able to concentrate on your words. In addition, for some children, especially those who may be challenged by sensory integration issues, looking at you takes a tremendous amount of effort. (See the box on sensory integration below.) As he struggles to keep his eyes on you, he won’t be able to hear your words. Rest assured, a child can hear you even if he isn’t looking at you.

Looking someone in the eye is a sign of respect and part of the good manners you want your child to learn. It is reasonable to ask a child to do so as he grows; and the older he gets, the easier and more automatic this will become. But for children who are temperamentally more timid or introverted, looking someone in the eye is a real challenge. (See chapter 3, for a discussion of temperament.)

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All people, even very young children, integrate in different degrees the information they take in through their senses. This process is known as sensory integration. Some people are particularly sensitive to noise, others to bright light. You might know someone who has a really good nose, sniffing out a pie baked earlier in the day or a sponge that needs to be washed. There are people whose sense of touch is particularly heightened—seams on socks and tags in shirts are highly irritating to them. There is hypersensitivity (taking in too much information) and hyposensitivity (not taking in enough). The person hyposensitive to touch loves a deep tissue massage while the hypersensitive individual may be able to tolerate no more than a tickle. If you suspect that your child may have issues with sensory integration, consult your pediatrician about having an evaluation by an occupational therapist.

Use multiple senses. Set your child up to receive your communication. Walk over to him, get down (or up) to his level, and put a hand on him…somewhere. This is a multisensory approach. He may not be looking at you, but he is hearing you and feeling you. There’s no way he can say he didn’t know you were talking to him!

Relax! Your child is extremely sensitive to you and your moods (even though it often seems that he doesn’t care). If you are tense, nervous, or ill at ease, your child will sense it. Try to be aware of your body language. Your feelings will be evident in your facial expression or in the way your arms are folded across your chest. Try to have an open, available stance, facing the child with your whole body.

If you need to have a heavy conversation, practice what you want to say, even write it down in advance so you are clear about your agenda and script. And don’t let your feelings get the best of you. You may need to make a mid-course correction. Hold on. I don’t like what I just said. I need a do-over. Crazy as it sounds, you really can start over. Your child will appreciate your ownership of the direction the conversation is taking. And he will learn he can do the same.

What Your Child Hears

Remember how the adults in the Peanuts comics were portrayed: Waaaaaaohh Waaaohh Waaaohh, like the noise of a horn, droning on in the background? That’s not going to be you. The tone of voice that you use in any communication says as much as the words you choose. It gives a message about your attitude and the emotion behind your words. In fact, your child first hears your feeling before he ever processes your words. That is his first clue about how to interpret the conversation.

Tips and Scripts for Using an Effective Tone of Voice

The contagion of tone. The mirror neurons in a human’s brain (see chapter 2, for a description of mirror neurons) contribute to our ability to take on the feelings of another person. Have you ever noticed that when someone whispers, you tend to respond in a whisper? When you use a calm tone, there is a greater chance that your child will react in a similar fashion. When you raise your voice, the volume pumps up your child’s reaction to your level, thereby sabotaging communication. Making use of your child’s mirror neurons can improve communication dramatically.

The tone needs to match the message. Be sure to reserve your most serious tone for the most serious communication. When you want your child to stop poking the baby in the eye, saying Now sweetie pie, Stevie doesn’t like it when you poke him in the eye, is not likely to stop the behavior. You must convey that message like you mean business. But do save your big voice for the big stuff. If used too often, your child will become immune to it.

Beware of your anger. All parents get angry now and then, and at certain stages in your child’s life, your anger seems more now than then. Displaying your anger by yelling or using a really big voice signals danger to children. No child likes to feel that his parents are mad at him, and to the young child it is downright scary. Some children even say things like, Stop yelling at me! when the parent isn’t even yelling at all. In this instance, all of the child’s energy goes into defending against the anger, and he doesn’t even hear the words his parents are saying. Use your loud, angry voice sparingly and not when you want a lesson to be learned. If you feel an explosion coming, remove yourself by saying, I am going to go in my room so I can cool off. Not only will you be better able to deal appropriately with the situation at hand, but you are modeling what people should do when they are feeling explosive.

Consider your own decibel level. Some people have loud voices (my husband, for example). Some children are particularly sensitive to loud voices, especially the child who may struggle with sensory integration issues. Speaking loudly usually signals anger (that means danger) to the child, and it doesn’t guarantee that the child will get your message. Ever notice how an effective teacher gets her class’s attention? She begins talking in a very quiet voice, and soon the whole class quiets down to hear her. Take a lesson from that teacher. You are an adult and can control your voice.

Some children use loud voices all the time. It may be genetic or because of a hearing issue—have you asked the pediatrician to check your child’s ears and hearing? Might it be a characteristic of his Sensory Integration Dysfunction? Or has it developed just from living in a loud-voice house? Help your child to use a quieter voice by pointing out his use of the voice you want him to use. You are speaking to me in the perfect voice. That’s a great inside voice. And when he doesn’t, That voice is too loud for inside the house. Let me help you take that voice outside, where it is just fine to be as loud as you want. Don’t threaten. Just walk him outside. Remember, it’s not a punishment; it’s a lesson. No anger, please.

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