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7. Understand their motives (or, at least try to)
Mindlessly agreeing with you is NOT your child’s job. Thank goodness! Can you imagine where we’d be if each generation had simply done what their parents asked, without reflecting on their own values?
Children who find a third option when they’ve only been offered two aren’t trying to slow you down, get on your nerves, or undermine your authority. They’re thinking of alternatives that might fit both of your needs in the equation. If you celebrate their innovative mind they’re more likely to listen and respect your position.
Kids today are more tolerant, less racist, more equality-minded, less violent, more growth oriented, more open, more authentic and more intuitive than any generation before. We can certainly teach them how to integrate into our “black and white” world because they’re reliant on us for everything as they grow up. But at the same time, kids teach us how to integrate into their “shades of gray” world because we’re not an island unto ourselves and we’re going to rely on them for a lot as we grow up, too.