You do this too, don’t you? Child says “I want to do blah,” but you want child to do blee. So you say “First you do blee and then you can do blah.” That’s how it works, right?
Maybe this will work better with a concrete example:
Me: Time to brush your teeth.
Mabel: Read me a story.
Me: First we’ll brush your teeth, and then I’ll read you a story.
But then she turns the tables on me.
Mabel: No. First, read me a story, and then I’ll brush my teeth.
And so it goes. The thing is, I can’t really come up with a convincing reason why we should do it my way round every time. Where’s the justice in that? “Because I’m the parent” is tempting but unconvincing, in spite of its undeniable truth. “Because I want to go downstairs and watch Sherlock before I turn into a pumpkin” will likewise win me no accolades from my tough audience.
And I feel like I should give her a chance to prove herself and agree to try it her way. Except that I don’t trust her as far as I can throw her (I mean, I could throw her, but I generally restrain myself) so I’m pretty much 100% certain that she’s going to renege on this deal.
But I need to show her that I do trust her, so sometimes I go along with it. And then – surprise! – she turns out to have been bluffing and I’m left without a leg to stand on and another story down and teeth no nearer brushed.
I’m clearly doing something wrong here.