Last 2 days, while having our dinner, lil'boy was unhappy when he was asked to finish all his rice. He complaint that he's too full and walk away from the dining table to switch on the TV. Daddy was trying to encourage him to finish his meals first but lil'boy actually doesn't want to finish the vegetables!
There comes lil'darling, trying to help to persuade her lil'brother too in finishing his bowl of rice. Somehow, when daddy and I told lil'darling that it's all right (maybe we have said something not right here?) Out of sudden, lil'darling started to feel unhappy and said 'I'm just trying to help and am helping you guys!.. don't you see that? '
Daddy was trying to explain why we don't need her to intervene, but she burst into tears and cried. "Why you always let brother choose his way? Why you always give in to brother and not me? I don't have freedom!.. You didn't give me the freedom!!"
Maybe we have forgotten about her intention, but thought of doing our way.. my way, that is to spoon feed the last few scoops, in a playful little manner when talking to lil'boy. That is my usual trick to get him finish his rice. However, lil'darling feels that we have given lil'boy too much 'freedom' in choosing what he wants to do. We may have forgotten to respect her and support her in helping us to educate lil'boy. She may wants to have the authority too and the leadership in guiding her brother. This is also one of the freedom.. freedom to speak! freedom to lead!
Being a parent, is not easy. Especially when you have more than 1 kid, you have to be even more sensitive to the 'fairness / equality' that they want from you. She may be comparing her lil'brother who gets most of the freedom, whereas when she is not behaving well, we might say 'if you are not 'doing this' then you cannot go to your friend's house next time'. We will not say this to lil'boy as he does not even go to any of his friends house since he's much younger.
We may have imposed a stronger disciplinary rules or way of talking with her compare to lil'boy, knowing that she's already 9. It's evidently true that lil'darling have been very mature all the while since young and we have treated her or may have expected her to behave and act maturely. We may have oversee that she is still a child that needs that special care in the words she said or do.
I've to remember that she needs me to listen and respect and support her.