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“You don’t have the freedom to…” is a phrase I got from On Becoming Preschoolwise page 78. I love it. It seems to be a phrase that leaves no room for rebuttal. Everything from “you don’t have the freedom to tell mommy no” to “you don’t have the freedom to XYZ without permission.”
With this phrase, my tone will change from time to time based on the seriousness of the offence. As a general rule, I try to stay pretty nonchalant in my manner of speaking. It is frank, to the point, but lacking emotion in any direction.
This leaves room for some shock/dismay/surprise/etc. when the offense is especially serious. This would be saved for moments of disrespectful speaking toward a parent. “Whoa, (look of surprise/dismay–head cocked) you do not have the freedom to speak to your mother like that.” You might notice that I take away the contraction. Instead of “don’t” it is “do not.”
This phrase lets my children know that they have overstepped their boundaries. They know their actions or speech is not acceptable. It is good because not only does it tell your child something he did was unacceptable, it tells him what it was. You aren’t simply saying “that’s not okay,” you are using a real noun or verb. This phrase offers concrete information for your child to process, not just an ambiguous idea or best guess. “You don’t have the freedom to…” has served us well.
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