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Be clear, okay?

Many years ago when I had small children a chance comment by a stranger changed how I talked to my kids. I was at the library, wrangling a VERY active two year old. As he darted out the door, I grabbed his hand and said "You have to hold my hand in around cars. Okay?". An older lady coming in the door said "Oh honey, you shouldn't ask him if it's okay. It's for his own good". Like all harried moms, I smiled and finished lugging us to the car. Only later, when I recalled the interaction, did I really think about it. In an effort to speak gently to my son, I was asking his permission about many things. And most of them were not his decision to make. Don't mistake my meaning, children deserve t


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